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Black Widow #1: Review

Apr 2010
Marjorie Liu, Daniel Acuna

Story Name:

[The Name of the Rose, Part One]

Review & Comments

4 stars

Black Widow #1 Review by (June 26, 2024)

Review: On the first reading I was unimpressed, thinking it another “Natasha discovers a secret from her past that a baddie uses against her,” which describes most of the Black Widow stories from this time. A second reading set me straight: well, yes, that actually is a description of the plot but the interactions with Black Rose, Wolverine, Bucky Cap, Elektra, Lady Bullseye, and the Big Bad at the end, set it apart, with its witty, personal dialogue and character interplay. Kudos to Marjorie Liu for her writing and to Daniel Acuna for his bright and vibrant artwork, eschewing the dark and shadowy look Black Widow usually carries. Pretty interesting until the end when it gives in to the demand for a happy ending, not by defeating the bad guy but by presenting some maudlin thoughts on love, with misty drawings.

Comments: Issues #1-5 reprinted as BLACK WIDOW: THE NAME OF THE ROSE; the complete series appears in BLACK WIDOW: WIDOWMAKER, along with DEADLY ORIGIN and WIDOWMAKER. The song Black Rose is listening to is “Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Black Widow #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A former Soviet agent known as the Black Rose, a hulking scarred giant who works in a cemetery, is summoned to a meeting in a city alley by the Black Widow. After an introductory skirmish, she shows him a black rose with a black ribbon that was passed to her. Since it matches his code name, she asks if he knows anything about it; he doesn’t. She walks the street, talking to James “Bucky” Barnes on the phone; she encounters an old lady with a sword in her cane who attacks her. She overpowers the lady and questions her but it is cut short by a tranquilizer dark hitting her in the neck. As Natasha lies there, an unseen man directs the old lady in cutting open Natasha’s stomach and removing an object. When the man has it, he slices off the old lady’s head and departs….

Nat is rushed to surgery. James arrives, in shock; Tony Stark and Wolverine have to restrain him. They piece together what they know and arrive at nothing. Nat is fully aware of what is being done to her, due to a mix of the tranquilizer drug and the anesthesia. She tries to endure it….

The previous evening, she was at a posh restaurant with Bucky. She excused herself and followed a big-shot lawyer into the men’s restroom where she revealed that she knew the man’s wife and was aware that he beat her. Nat told him to divorce her and give her a generous settlement or Nat would come after him again. Leaving the restroom, she discovered the black rose left for her then rejoined Bucky, who was aware of what she was doing….

Wolverine visits the scene of the attack on Nat where he finds the black rose she dropped. He tracks the bad guy to a park where he is waiting for Logan. The baddie warns Logan that killing him will do nothing to stop what is going to happen, then asks him to return the rose and the ribbon to Natasha….

“Black Widow Saga”
Writer: John Rhett Thomas. Art: Various. Letters: Typeset.

Synopsis: Text article on the history of the Black Widow.

Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna (Cover Penciler)
Daniel Acuna (Cover Inker)
Daniel Acuna (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Nate Piekos.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)

(James Howlett)

> Black Widow: Book info and issue index

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