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Black Widow #1: Review

Jun 1999
Devin Grayson, J. G. Jones

Story Name:

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider Part 1: Uninvited

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Black Widow #1 Review by (September 2, 2019)

Review: Black Widow's first miniseries provides a lot of good “girl art”--realistic renderings of attractive women in form-fitting black leather and one has a bare midriff to boot. However, there's more to a successful comic book than that—or at least there should be. On that level the story is a bit less successful. Now there are a few unnecessary dark moments—there's a dude on fire in issue #3. There are a few plot holes—how did Natasha know the suitcase with the toxin was in that warehouse in issue #1? And one purely bizarre moment—why would Belova be fooled by Natasha's being shot with a rubber bullet in the absence of blood, gore, and exit wound? The story is fast-paced and fairly exciting with a nastier McGuffin than usual. What sinks it in my mind is Natasha's insecurity; would a rival Black Widow really throw her off the rails like this? I doubt it, she's one of the most self-possessed characters in the MU for better or worse so why is she begging Matt Murdock to tell her she's “special”? And the result is she can give a pep talk to her rival in the end, an arrogant rival who needs to feel less secure in her actions. Sorry, I couldn't buy it so here's hoping she gets over it by the rematch two years later.

Comments:Marvel Knights”--Cover. Yelena Belova debuted briefly in INHUMANS (1998 series) #5; her origin is later revealed in BLACK WIDOW: PALE LITTLE SPIDER (from the Marvel MAX imprint). The title comes from a nursery rhyme/fingerplay for children (called The Incy Wincy Spider in British Empire countries).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Black Widow #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In the Middle Eastern country of Rhapastan, the test of a new serum is under way. A soldier is given a dose and it turns him into a frenzied superstrong fighting machine, killing his foes—and in two minutes, he is dead, his body a dried out husk. The test is considered a success....

Natasha Romanoff is looking through a chest of her belongings and she pauses at a photo of her late husband. Both of her phones ring and Black Widow is recruited by both the US and the Russians to find the new bio-weapon. Then Matt Murdock arrives for some semi-romantic banter but she is on her way out, putting the photo of Alexei and a letter from her doctor into her bag. Meanwhile, a blonde in black leather is spying on her from the next apartment....

The blonde still shadows Natasha on her flight to the Middle East by stealing an attendant's uniform and watching....

In a warehouse in Rhapastan, Natasha discovers the serum and its accompanying material in a suitcase when there is an interruption: the blonde has been caught by guards; Natasha leaps down to help her take them down. The blonde introduces herself as Yelena Belova, student of the Red Room and the new Black Widow since Natasha is no longer considered a Russian agent. Belova puts a knife to Natasha's throat....

Meanwhile at the Pentagon, the US and Russian generals bicker over which country Black Widow is going to bring the bio-toxin back to....

Natasha has been holding a communicator during the conversation and this brings more guards running. All hell breaks loose with Belova shooting down many enemies and Natasha hijacking a helicopter for her getaway. The bad guys use a rocket launcher to shoot down the copter, apparently killing Natasha; instead we discover that she is really driving a truck into the desert, the suitcase with the toxin by her side. Miles away from the base, she takes a moment to sit under the moonlight, reading the letter from her doctor, unaware that Belova is standing atop the truck, assault rifle in hand....

J. G. Jones
J. G. Jones
Dave Kemp
J. G. Jones (Cover Penciler)
J. G. Jones (Cover Inker)
Andy Troy (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Yelena Belova)

> Black Widow: Book info and issue index

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