Another excellent issue of Black Widow, with more absolutely fantastic art from Phil Noto. I didn’t review #2, but it’s the same as #1 and this issue, a gripping, done-in-one action story that slowly builds Natasha’s character, as well as the supporting cast. The most interesting thing about #2 was probably Isaiah taking things into his own hands, but he barely appears here, and instead the focus is more on Natasha’s home, and her neighbour, Ana. Of course, Black Widow denies that she has a home, and tries to stay out of Ana’s abusive home-life, but this issue clearly demonstrates that no matter how much she tries to deny it, Natasha does have a home.
The mission this issue involves heading to Black Widow and breaking an innocent man out of prison, where he has been sent for a crime he didn’t commit. Black Widow, thanks to an awesome disguise, is able to get herself and Angelo out of the prison, but they still have to escape through the jungle. Like previous issues, this plot is simple, but it is well-told, through excellent action pacing and Noto’s art. In the process of getting Angelo through the jungle and to his rescue helicopter, Black Widow works out that all is not as it seems, and that whilst he was in prison this time for something he didn’t do, Angelo is in fact a hardened criminal, with awesome nicknames like ‘The White Wolf’ and ‘The Butcher Of Argentina’. Black Widow throws both her and Angelo out of the Helicopter and into the river, where she stabs him and leaves him for the Crocodiles. It was pretty bad-ass.
Throughout the issue, Natasha’s inner monologue is talking about the idea of ‘Home’, she says she has none, but if she does, the mission is her home, the Jungle is her home. But when she thinks this, the art shows a panel of her battered neighbour, so it’s clear that she does have a real home. Black Widow’s narration is basically her lying to herself, saying that she’s a hardened killer professional, when in fact, she does have a heart. This all culminates at the end of the issue, where, even after being picked up from Buenos Aires by Maria Hill and given a mission from SHIELD, she makes sure to stop off and teach Ana’s abusive husband a violent lesson. Issue by issue, Edmondson is peeling back the layers on Black Widow, and allowing us to know more about who she is as a person, and not just an Avenger or spy.
It looks like next issue will show the SHIELD mission, which will be a cool change, so far all of these have been Black Widow going off the books. I don’t particularly want to see Black Widow as a full-blown superhero in this title, but SHIELD missions make sense.
Phil Noto’s art was once again gorgeous and amazing, I love the way he shifted style, both in pencils and colouring, for the night-time scenes in the jungle, the white outline was a great choice, as was getting a bit scratchier. The violence was impactful, the layouts exciting, and basically, this comic looks good.
Even if you can’t read, you should be buying this comic, the art is that good. But if you can read, Nathan Edmondson is writing some pretty great words too. I don’t know why I’m talking to you if you can’t read, because you won’t be reading this either. I was speaking metaphorically! Aaargh.