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Black Widow #1: Review

Jan 2019
Jen and Sylvia Soska, Flaviano

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Black Widow #1 Review by (July 22, 2019)

Review: A Black Widow comic written by Jen and Sylvia Soska? The duo behind the disturbing film AMERICAN MARY? Yep, that’s them. And the Black Widow tale they have delivered has a very dark premise: the torture and abuse of children, packaged as entertainment for a sleazy (and powerful) clientele. Looks like Madripoor is a stand-in for Thailand in this tale and things get very dark indeed. Black Widow is likely the only Marvel character (aside from maybe the Punisher) who wouldn’t be out of place in a tale this dark. And so the story works very well indeed with Natasha setting out on a grim mission of vengeance against one of the world’s most odious evils. (Batman also took on this mission in Batman: The Ultimate Evil a prose novel by Andrew Vachss; Google him for more details.) There are a number of fine set pieces: Nat’s use of various disguises and the little girl’s silent account of her suffering in #2, Nat’s capture of Madame Masque in #3, her brutal torture, escape, and revenge against Vlad in #4, and her confrontation with Tech Ed in #5. Very nice, if a bit dark for Marvel yet I would like to see more from the Soskas.  

Comments: In place of the cover logo, there is a black banner that reads “Stan Lee, 1922-2018.” Issue includes a brief tribute to Stan. Issue concludes with a note from the new writers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Black Widow #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Times Square on New Year's Eve: Black Widow and Captain America are searching for a gang of terrorists threatening some mayhem. As Cap walks through the crowd to a hotel, he is jeered and catcalled by various revelers, mocking him as the Hydra leader; in the elevator, Nat fills Cap in on a Captain America impersonator who is part of the gang, and some rumor about a robot army. And she tells Cap that the hostiles in the crowd don't matter—but Cap knows they do....

As Cap enters the party to confront the impostor denouncing democracy and learns that most of the crowd is the robot army as it opens fire on him, Nat discovers a hidden floor where a giant tentacled robot waits while guards keep an eye on hostages. Since she is supposed to be dead, the Widow dons a mask, takes down the guards, and frees the captives. Cap stops by as she is examining the robot but she knows instantly he is the faker and clouts him. He triggers the robot and Nat guides it up through the floor to rescue the real Cap and moments later she stops the bad guy from detonating a madbomb—and Cap has to stop her from killing the baddie. He lectures her on how killing isn't their way but Nat reminds him that killing is her way—and he killed her (during CIVIL WAR II)....

Still full of anger over her death and revival by the Red Room (TALES OF SUSPENSE #100-104) she sets out to find a place to use it and flies to Madripoor. She wears a white suit and an eyepatch, recalling Patch (a/k/a Logan/Wolverine) to attract attention. She gets it when she is attacked by a flashy gang of thugs and she kills all of them. She connects with Jessan Hoan a/k/a Tyger Tiger, owner of the Princess Bar and the island's chief good guy. Tyger needs Nat's help and has her sidekick Tech Ed explain the situation: a site on the dark web called “No Restraints Play” has the wealthy site members bidding to direct the torture of small children. Nat is horrified but realizes that now she can let her inner killer loose on these monsters. But as they leave the bar, Nat and Tyger are confronted by the Pirate King, the gangster whose men Nat killed earlier that night and he wants revenge, calling it “no restraints play”....

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Veronica Gandini
Clayton Crain (Cover Penciler)
Clayton Crain (Cover Inker)
Clayton Crain (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Tyger Tiger (Jessan Hoan).

> Black Widow: Book info and issue index

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