Things are getting even more complicated in TALES OF SUSPENSE. The word chaos best describes the events taking place in TALES OF SUSPENSE #104. Matthew Rosenberg and Travel Foreman have created an action-packed comic, where things can’t just be simple or easy.

Then and Now in TALES OF SUSPENSE #104

In the previous issue of TALES OF SUSPENSE, readers learned of Black Widow’s plan to take down the Red Room. After learning that she was a clone of the original Black Widow, this Black Widow decided to end everything: the Red Room, the cloning, everything. Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier eventually got in the way. So as to save them and protect her cover, Black Widow locked the two in a safe room and blew up the rest of the building they were in. She took the Winter Soldier’s metal arm and Hawkeye’s bow with her.

This brings us to TALES OF SUSPENSE #104. Black Widow presents the bow and metal arm to the commanders of the Red Room as proof that she had killed Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier. Naturally, they believe her. As a promotion, she takes her place teaching the young girls of the Red Room. Just as she begins the next phase of her plan, Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier come barging in. Chaos breaks out. Everyone is left fighting for their lives in the Red Room.

Things Get Casual in TALES OF SUSPENSE #101

Mayhem Written Out

Matthew Rosenberg presents readers with an action-packed issue. The plot is driven by Black Widow’s plan and Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier messing everything up. This action is the main feature of the issue. Unfortunately, that does mean that characterization is somewhat neglected.

Rosenberg gives readers a plot that allows for surprises and tons of excitement. The best example of this combination is when the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye burst into the Red Room. It wasn’t up for debate whether or not they would show up, so their appearance wasn’t shocking. The surprise was the fact that they showed up riding the talking bear that they also had as a hostage. This then caused the extensive fight sequence that followed. This scene was exciting because the odds were definitely against them. It was chaotic, with people coming at them from every angle. The indefinite nature of what would happen in this fight left readers wanting more.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 presents an entertaining comic for readers. My only complaint is that the characterization falls flat. The comic tells us very little about the characters. We see them fight, we see Black Widow’s plan, and not much else. Many character traits are not explored the way they have been in previous issues. We know what they’re doing and why, but not how it affects their characters. To be fair, we already know these characters. They have existed for a while. Additionally, the issue is largely plot-driven. The action of the comic is the main focus. Fortunately, this lack of extensive characterization does not ruin the comic.

Black Widow Lives in TALES OF SUSPENSE #103

Drawing Out the Action

Travel Foreman’s art matches the action-packed and somewhat chaotic plot. The illustration shows very few straight-on views of faces. When we do see such depictions, they are small and somewhat undetailed. However, this is not a bad thing. This lends the comic the chaotic aspect that really defines the issue. Because everything in TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 is so fast paced, it makes sense that we don’t get excessive detail. Such detail would only slow readers down. If readers slow down, the action slows down too, until it becomes less exciting. The fast pacing of the art also pulls the reader’s eye all over the place, creating an element of chaos. Since readers are able to move quickly with the comic, they can experience the chaos and action of TALES OF SUSPENSE#104.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment


Rachelle Rosenberg’s coloring reflects the seriousness of what is going on in the issue. Black Widow has started taking down the Red Room, and that is a pretty big deal. For such a serious event, readers see appropriate coloring given in the form of a somewhat muted palette. The palette does feature red, but this red has a muted tone. It’s not as bright as it could be, and this lets the reader know how serious the issue is. Much of the issue we see cast in shadows, adding to the muted palette. Because the coloring lets the reader know what the tone of the comic is, it has become an effective part of the storytelling.

The Fight Is Over

TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 gives the readers action, surprises, chaos, and seriousness. The writing is full of action and excitement, largely communicated through the plot. This exciting plot, however, we see followed up by somewhat lacking characterization. Since we know so much about these characters already, it allows the comic to still be a great read without having a whole lot of characterization. The illustration doesn’t use excessive detail. This creates a chaotic and active comic that keeps readers’ eyes moving. Thus, readers stay excited. The somewhat muted palette conveys the seriousness of TALES OF SUSPENSE #104. After all, this situation, while exciting, is still very serious.

Death After Death in TALES OF SUSPENSE #102

Overall, TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 is a strong comic. I honestly wasn’t sure exactly what was going to happen next when I finished the previous issue. However, this issue has me excited and ready for more. This, as the end of the of the miniseries, satisfied a lot of unresolved things. We now know about Black Widow’s full plan. Also, we now see how Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier fall into the mix. At the end of the day, the issue on its own is a good read, but as the end of the miniseries, it does a lot. To avoid spoilers, I’ll simply say that this issue has definitely set up more adventures to be had. In the end, TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 is definitely worth your time.

TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 by Matthew Rosenberg, Travel Foreman, Rachelle RosenBerg, VC's Clayton Cowles, Andrea Sorrentino
TALES OF SUSPENSE #104 is action-packed and chaotic, and it works. The writing embodies the action and chaos, as does the illustration. The coloring presents the serious tone of the comic.
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