Black Widow #1 Review

Black Widow #1
Writers: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
Pencils: Chris Samnee
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letters: Joe Caramagna 
Publisher: Marvel

After a critically acclaimed and audience pleasing run on “The Man Without Fear”, Daredevil, the brilliant collaborative team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee now turn their sights on everyones favorite female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow.

I for one have been a casual fan of the redheaded assassin, always seeing her as a solid supporting character who can add charisma and charm to whatever team or solo character book she’s in.  However I never felt compelled to seek out and buy any of her solo series.  Recently though, like many I have become intrigued in her character through the MCU(Marvel Cinematic Universe) films.  Not only has Marvel Studios casted the extremely talented and beautiful Scarlett Johansson but have hired talented screenwriters who have given her strong development and identity.  This in addition with the new creative team on Black Widow has made me eager to get more of this character.

The comic wastes no time as it opens directly into the middle of an action scene.  Romanoff is on the run and is now a target of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is not hidden at all by the cover.  We get a high paced, action packed chase scene and some well drawn fights demonstrating just how deadly and dangerous this female character is.  In the end we are still kept in the dark as to what has caused S.H.I.E.L.D. to be in pursue of Black Widow.

This is the entire gist of the plot within the issue which is a bit of a problem.  While the issue is action packed and works incredibly well, it doesn’t offer much in terms of a story and intriguing character to invest in.  There are multiple panels and whole pages with no dialogue, inner-monologue, or narration which makes this comic an incredibly quick read.

Fortunately, Mark Waid is one of the most solid writers in comics today.  His work on Fantastic Four, Flash, and Daredevil are some of my favorite runs of those particular characters.  If there is any writer to trust, Waid is one of them and the direction and eventually payoff of this series will more then likely be worth it.

The artwork here is done by Chris Simnee and Matthew Wilson, which makes it a buy in itself as their work not only goes together gloriously but their visuals work in harmony with Waid’s vibe and style of writing.  As said before, this issue is action packed and the art makes it flow incredibly well and is paced perfectly.  Every panel is clear and distinct as to who’s who, and what’s what.

Final Verdict

Mark Waid’s Black Widow #1 is an action packed issue that provides an element of mystery that will entice you to invest in issue #2.  The harmonious collaboration of the writing and artwork makes this flow like no other comic that I have read in recent memory.  The lack of story and character development keeps this comic from being perfect but sets up an intriguing plot for Waid to build on.

Score: 4 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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