Natasha Romanoff died. In fact, she was murdered by an evil Steve Rogers. Now, in BLACK WIDOW #1, Natasha Romanoff operates as the enigmatic Black Widow once more soon after her return to comics. However, she is not completely ready to be an Avenger once more nor is she prepared to return to a “law-abiding” method of crimefighting.

Ultimately, Natasha Romanoff is struggling to keep the bloodlust within contained. She is thirsty for a kill as she tires of keeping the deplorable criminals she fights alive.

Thus, BLACK WIDOW #1 provides readers with an unapologetic perspective of Black Widow’s killer instinct.

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BLACK WIDOW #1 page 1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

A Basic Instinct

The story of BLACK WIDOW #1 commences on New Year’s Eve as Black Widow and Captain America embark on a mission together. Chernayan terrorists are planning an attack on the civilians in attendance of the event as soon as the ball drops. One terrorist is actually posing as Cap himself.

Fortunately, Black Widow locates and fights the copycat-Cap, nearly killing him in the process before the real Captain America fervently intervenes.

The two later engage in a disagreement about Black Widow’s violent streak. Black Widow justifies her stance and decides to take a vacation.

She travels to Madripoor, looking especially fierce with an eyepatch. There, Tyger Tiger requests her assistance. Tyger Tiger reveals the existence of a site entitled No Restraints Play, a site in which abominable individuals live stream the capture of children and allow audiences to decide the children’s fate.

Black Widow is horrified by the existence of the site in addition to the people that facilitate it.

So, she takes a swig from a bottle of liquor and prepares to get to work.

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BLACK WIDOW #1 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Verdict

Jen and Sylvia Soska have done an excellent job in crafting the introduction to a brand new Black Widow adventure. They centralize the entirety of the story’s narrative on Natasha reaffirming her identity and her agency over her crimefighting practices.

Thus, there is an authenticity to Natasha’s voice in this issue. She does not falter in her perspectives even when her close ally, Captain America, tries to convince her to change her mind.

Rather, she decides to make her own path, a path that has not necessarily been carved out for her already.

Therefore, BLACK WIDOW #1 sets the stage for something truly epic. The Soska Sisters have introduced us to a Black Widow who does not want to hold back. As a result, it is safe to say that the possibilities for this run are endless.

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BLACK WIDOW #1 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BLACK WIDOW #1

The artwork of BLACK WIDOW #1 by Flaviano comes across as a little too cartoony for my personal taste. However, that aspect of the artwork seems to fade as Black Widow travels to Madripoor. From that point on, the artwork intensifies.

I particularly enjoy the sequence that depicts a grand shot of the Madripoor setting itself. An abundance of detail is depicted in that specific panel, establishing the vastness of the location itself in addition to the opportunity that awaits Black Widow there.

Now, one of my favorite aspects of this issue’s artwork lies in the coloring. Colorist Veronica Gandini exemplifies a gritty tone, one that juxtaposes dull tones with vibrant hues. This balance of colors does not present a monochromatic display as one may expect. Rather, the colors solidify the darker nature that this series will showcase in addition to Black Widow’s personal, dynamic character development.

Finally, I absolutely adore Natasha’s style as she arrives in Madripoor. The eyepatch is giving me major KILL BILL vibes, which only emphasizes the badassery of Natasha herself.

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BLACK WIDOW #1 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

The Soska Sisters have truly set the bar for this BLACK WIDOW series. Natasha Romanoff is back and “badder” than ever. As a fan of Black Widow, I cannot wait to see what her upcoming adventures have in store for her.

Thus, it is safe to say the Black Widow is back and she’s searching for blood. Consequently, there is no doubt she’s going to get it.

BLACK WIDOW #1 by Jen & Sylvia Soska, Flaviano, Veronica Gandini, & Joe Caramanga
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
BLACK WIDOW #1 provides readers with the introduction to an engaging spy thriller as it gives us a fierce characterization of Natasha Romanoff.
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