REVIEW: Web of Black Widow #1 & #2

Web of Black Widow Title Page

WEB OF BLACK WIDOW #1-2 / Writer: Jody Houser / Artist/inker: Stephen Mooney / Colorist: Tríona Farrell / Letterer: Cory Petit / Editors: Sarah Brunstad and Tom Brevoort / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Sept 4, 2019 & Oct 9, 2019

Web of Black Widow #1 Cover

When we last saw Natasha in her own solo (last year’s Black Widow miniseries written by Jen and Sylvia Soksa and illustrated by Flaviano), she was taking a break from the weight and expectations of being Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow, and had gone off on her own to Madripoor to find some bad guy butt that needed kicking and kick it.

She’s back to real life now, and busy righting some old wrongs. With a history like Natasha’s, there are always old skeletons in her closet, and this time, she’s taking the initiative to put things right. In the first issue of this five-issue miniseries, she plans to sabotage a promotional charity event hosted by a tech company whose success can be partially attributed to services they obtained from the Red Room a few generations ago. The second event has her doing the same for a financial firm with a similar sordid past.

Over and Over

There’s a lot about this miniseries that feels familiar so far. With the exception of her latest solo (the above-mentioned Soska/Flaviano team up), most of Natasha’s stories over the past decade have been about her past meeting up with her present. And, as we’ve seen before, the first two issues have Natasha running into fellow Avengers who offer help, but she turns them down and insists on working alone.

Tony and Natasha talking in Web of Black Widow #1
Tony and Natasha discussing the concept of self in Web of Black Widow #1

On the other hand, with so many of Natasha’s minis being about her past coming back to bite her, a book where she’s the one doing the biting is just different enough so that it doesn’t seem like a retread. And the second issue introduces a mystery element into play, a promise that the series will deliver something new. Natasha is on a mission, yes, but so is someone else, and their motives are unknown…

Art

Natasha breaking through the doors to confront guards in Web of Black Widow #1

This series has delivered some gorgeous art so far. There are some breathtaking full-page panels, the action scenes are bold and memorable, and the backgrounds and colors do a good job in setting the scene. On the other hand, the facial expressions don’t always do it for me. In some of the scenes where the characters talk to each other, I have to rely on the dialogue to understand how the characters are feeling, and I’d like to see more of it in their faces and body language.

All in all

Overall, I’m enjoying the series, but I wish it had gone a bit bolder, a bit deeper, right from the start. I want to see why this Natasha story is different from other Natasha stories, why this story is happening right now in canon, how her recent past has led up to this, and how these events will affect her immediate future. It could be that this series will live up to my hopes, but it’s too early to tell.

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5

By day, Steph is a software designer and a writer. She loves underrated characters and filling in continuity gaps. Her ambition is to one day create the ultimate headcanon, a theory so breathtakingly perfect that it causes Marvel to revive the No-Prize just to make sure she receives one.

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