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Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead #123

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GLX
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Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead #123

Postby GLX » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:04 am

Image

This week's picks:

Black Widow #4

Image

NATHAN EDMONDSON (W) • Phil NOTO (A/C)
• From the cold streets of old Russia, the Hand of God reaches out to crush Black Widow—and it is merciless.
• Outmatched by the brute force of a powerful new villain, Natasha finds a deadly plot unfolding that spans the entire globe
• Jump on to the sensational new series as the most lethal The Avenger faces her deadliest test!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Digital copy can be found here.

The Walking Dead #123

Image

story ROBERT KIRKMAN
art CHARLIE ADLARD, STEFANO GAUDIANO, & CLIFF RATHBURN
cover CHARLIE ADLARD & DAVE STEWART
MARCH 12 / 32 PAGES / BW / M / $2.99
"ALL OUT WAR," Part Nine
Whose side is Dwight REALLY on?


Digital copy can be found here.


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Post your review in the forum thread or in the comments section here on the front page.

Review as often or as little as you like. Once you've posted 5 reviews, you will be awarded 1 pick. You can post 5 reviews, right? That's a totally achievable goal and with day and date digital releases becoming the standard, it shouldn't matter if your shop ordered enough copies of this weeks comic or not.

When multiple Review Groupers have posted 5 (or more) qualifying reviews, they will be awarded their pick in the order that they qualified. What constitutes a qualifying review? Any review posted (with a score on a scale from 0-10, that's right 0!) within 1 calendar month of the thread going live. Reviews are to be at least 5 sentences long. It shows that a) you have at least read this week's pick and b) you have some unique insight into the comic.

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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby GLX » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:07 am

[Reveal] Spoiler: Click to Expand
001. Daredevil #82 - 8.13
002. Exiles #77 - 6.29
003. Jonah Hex #5 - 6.26
004. American Virgin #1 - 7.7
005. Birds of Prey #92 - 6.41
006. Squadron Supreme #1 - 7.66
007. Blue Beetle #1 - 5.95
008. Aquaman: SoA #41 - 6.67
009. DMZ #6 - 7.65
010. Captain America #17 - 7.43
011. Thing #6 - 7.03
012. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #8 - 7.68
013. Cable & Deadpool #28 - 7.45
014. Fell #5 - 8.81
015. X-Factor #7 - 7.84
016. My Inner Bimbo #1 - 6.38
017. Wonder Woman #1 - 7.3
018. Green Lantern Corps #1 - 5.65
019. Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 - 5.38
020. New Avengers #21 - 6.12
021. Detective Comics #821 - 8.05
022. Ultimate Spider-Man #97 - 7.86
023. Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #1 - 4.17
024. Batman #655 - 7.69
025. Usagi Yojimbo #95 - 6.41
026. Sonic the Hedgehog #165 - 6.5
027. The Boys #1 - 7.3
028. Heroes for Hire #1 - 6.25
029. Ultimate Fantastic Four #33 - 5.75
030. Local #6 - 9.1
031. Thunderbolts #106 - 6.14
032. Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #8 - 8.34
033. True Story, Swear to God #1 - 7.69
034. Criminal #1 - 7.63
035. Fables #1/#54 - 8.83
036. WildCats #1 - 6.51
037. Action Comics #844 - 7.22
038. Incredible Hulk #100 - 7.5
039. Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius: Happy Franksgiving - 4.32
040. Texas Chainsaw Massacre #1 - 4.34
041. Punisher War Journal #1 - 6.54
042. Immortal Iron Fist #1 - 7.35
043. Spider-Man: Reign #1 - 4.79
044. The Spirit #1 - 7.67
045. New Avengers: Illuminati #1 - 7.33
046. Winter Soldier: Winter Kills - 8.27
047. Amazing Spider-Man #537 - 6.94
048. Thunderbolts #110 - 6.75
049. Red Menace #3 - 7.43
050. Moon Knight #7 - 5.86
051. Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham Crisis #1 - 6.21
052. Action Comics Annual #10 - 7.87
052. All New Atom #8 - 6.98
052. Dark Tower #1 - 8.61
052. Fantastic Four: The End #5 - 8.55
052. Fell #7 - 9.03
052. newuniversal #3 - 8.13
052. Pirates of Coney Island #4 - 7.93
052. Ultimate Spider-Man #105 - 7.7
052. Uncanny X-Men #483 - 6.47
053. Batman #663 - 3.83
054. Civil War #7 - 7.2
055. Runaways #24 - 9.01
056. Punisher MAX #45 - 7.47
057. Blade #7 - 6.08
058. Army@Love #1 - 6.38
059. Blue Beetle #13 - 6.4
060. Avengers: The Initiative #1 - 7.27
061. Nova #1 - 6.92
062. Cable & Deadpool #39 - 5.92
063. Catwoman #66 - 7.06
064. 52 Week Fifty-Two - 7.15
065. Countdown #51 - 6.8
066. Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #12 - 6.31
067. Captain America #26 - 8.28
068. Witchblade #106 - 5.81
069. Invincible #42 - 8.35
070. Sub-Mariner #1 - 5.54
071. Highwaymen #1 - 7.87
072. Superman/Batman #37 - 4.6
073. Dynamo 5 #5 - 6.28
074. Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith #1 - 6.63
075. Lone Ranger #7 - 7.54
076. X-Men #201 - 4.76
077. Metal Men #1 - 6.18
078. Green Lantern #22 - 7.85
079. Pilot Season: Ripclaw - 5.89
080. X-Men: First Class #3 - 7.53
081. Teen Titans #50 - 8.02
082. Buffy the Vampire Slayer #6 - 6.96
083. Punisher War Journal #11 - 5.22
084. World War Hulk #4 - 6.96
085. All-Star Batman & Robin #7 - 6.43
086. Vinyl Underground #1 - 5.73
087. Green Arrow & Black Canary #1 - 8.27
088. The Sword #1 - 6.89
089. She-Hulk #22 - 7.38
090. Tales of the Fear Agent: Twelve Steps in One - 6.18
091. Annihilation: Conquest #1 - 6.93
092. Batman and the Outsiders #1 - 6.87
093. Flash #234 - 5.72
094. Gotham Underground #2 - 5.52
095. Ultimates 3 #1 - 4.8
096. Amazing Spider-Girl #15 - 6
097. Birds of Prey #113 - 7.16
098. Pax Romana #1 - 8.59
099. Hack/Slash #7 - 6.97
100. HULK #1 - 7.19
101. Booster Gold #6 - 7.68
102. Order #7 - 6.97
103. Narcopolis #1 - 5.37
104. Reviewer's Choice -
105. Tiny Titans #1 - 6.81
106. Loaded Bible 3: Communion - 8.68
107. Project Superpowers #1 - 5.93
108. Echo #1 - 8.34
109. Mighty Avengers #10 - 7.12
110. Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #27 - 7.73
111. Proof #6 - 8.48
112. Secret Invasion #1 - 7.95
113. Titans #1 - 6
114. Noble Causes #32 - 7.26
115. Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide - 7.39
116. DC Universe 0 - 4.94
117. House of Mystery #1 - 7.77
118. Captain Britain and MI:13 #1 - 7.36
119. Checkmate #26 - 4.09
120. Final Crisis #1 - 6.91
121. The Boys #19 - 8.3
122. Skaar: Son of Hulk #1 - 5.53
123. Transformers Spotlight: Cyclonus - 5.92
124. Trinity #4 - 5.15
125. Jonah Hex #33 - 8.7
126. I Kill Giants #1 - 7.55
127. Batgirl #1 - 5.23
128. Uncanny X-Men #500 - 6.22
129. Wildcats #1 - 7.33
130. Venom: Dark Origin #1 - 7.16
131. Astonishing X-Men #26 - 5.12
132. Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 - 7.67
133. Runaways #1 - 7.34
134. Marvel Apes #1 - 6.15
135. Star Wars: The Clone Wars #1 - 6.22
136. Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33 - 7.25
137. Back to Brooklyn #1 - 5.58
138. Four Eyes #1 - 9.26
139. Green Lantern Corps #29 - 6.16
140. Ghost Rider #28 - 7.44
141. Unknown Soldier #1 - 8.66
142. Amazing Spider-Man #575 - 6.98
143. Final Crisis: Resist - 6.44
144. Batman: Cacophony #1 - 7.37
145. Deadpool #4 - 6.57
146. Ms. Marvel #33 - 5.97
147. Secret Invasion #8 - 7.15
148. Punisher: War Zone #1 - 7.17
149. Ex Machina #40 - 8.11
150. Immortal Iron Fist #21 - 8.21
151. Incognito #1 - 8.65
152. Punisher #1 - 6.25
153. G.I. Joe #1 - 6.68
154. Hellblazer #251 - 6.94
155. Justice Society of America #23 - 6.53
156. Watchmen - 9.88
157. Batman #686 - 8.84
158. Amber Atoms #1 - 4.25
159. Runaways #7 - 5.25
160. Superman: World of New Krypton #1 - 6.68
161. Guardians of the Galaxy #11 - 6.41
162. Invincible #60 - 7.08
163. Muppet Show #1 - 6.66
164. Flash: Rebirth #1 - 6.93
165. Wolverine: Weapon X #1 - 6.52
166. The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft #1 - 7.82
167. Ghost Rider #34 - 8.82
168. Phonogram: The Singles Club #2 - 6.33
169. Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #1 - 7
170. Unwritten #1 - 8.53
171. The Boys: Herogasm #1 - 7.09
172. Last Days of Animal Man #1 - 6.23
173. Batman and Robin #1 - 8.01
174. Amazing Spider-Man #597 - 7.19
175. Transformers Spotlight: Cliffjumper - 7
176. Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia - 6.62
177. Justice League: Cry for Justice #1 - 6.71
178. Wednesday Comics #1 - 7.84
179. Blackest Night #1 - 8.87
180. Immortal Weapons #1 - 7.17
181. Mice Templar: Destiny #1 - 7.81
182. Doom Patrol #1 - 5.12
183. Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 - 7.14
184. Daredevil #500 - 8.62
185. Fantastic Four #570 - 6.9
186. Sweet Tooth #1 - 8.1
187. Dark Reign: The List - Avengers - 5.95
188. Beasts of Burden #1 - 8.73
189. Wolverine: Giant Size Old Man Logan - 7.95
190. Teen Titans #75 - 4.67
191. Haunt #1 - 6.6
192. Unwritten #6 - 7.41
193. Azrael #1 - 4.11
194. Dark Avengers: Ares #1 - 6.79
195. Deadpool Team-Up #899 - 5.24
196. Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1 - 6.96
197. Punisher #11 - 7.39
198. Image United #1 - 3.53
199. Jonah Hex #50 - 9.23
200. Invincible Iron Man #21 - 7.45
201. Walt Disney Comics & Stories #701 - 5.85
202. Hellboy: The Bride of Hell - 7.32
203. Webcomics Week -
204. Siege #1 - 7.84
205. Amazing Spider-Man #617 - 8.39
206. Joe the Barbarian #1 - 7.97
207. Robocop #1 - 3.59
208. FREE4ALL -
209. Choker #1 - 6.17
209. Tails of the Pet Avengers - 7.04
210. Supergirl #50 - 5.34
211. X-Men Forever #18 - 5.35
212. First Wave #1 - 6.98
213. Daytripper #4 - 7.19
214. Irredeemable #12 - 6.28
215. Amazing Spider-Man #626 - 5.18
216. Blackest Night #8 - 6.41
217. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - 9.23
218. Kill Shakespeare #1 - 5.36
219. X-Men Forever Annual #1 - 6.41
220. Siege: Secret Warriors - 6.53
221. I, Zombie #1 - 8.22
222. Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1 - 7.25
223. Avengers #1 - 7.51
224. Gotham City Sirens #12 - 4.39
225. Red Hood: The Lost Days #1 - 6.71
226. S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 - 7.57
227. New Avengers #1 - 6.15
228. Bullet to the Head #1 - 4.5
229. Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #2 - 4.2
230. Batman & Robin #13 - 6.24
231. Gorilla-Man #1 - 4.81
232. Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 - 4.79
233. Justice League: Generation Lost #6 - 7.39
234. Baltimore: The Plague Ships #1 - 6.46
235. Thor: The Mighty Avenger #3 - 6.21
236. Tiny Titans #31 - 5.17
236. New Avengers #3 - 4.88
237. Garrison #5 - 4.71
238. 1 Month 2 Live #1 - 6.02
239. Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Ghastly Fiend of London #1 - 7.82
240. Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #3 - 7.73
241. Nemesis #3 - 5.17
242. Franken-Castle #21 - 6.14
243. Ultimate Comics Thor #1 - 5.88
244. Victorian Undead Special - 6.25
245. Kick Ass 2 #1 - 6.58
246. Incognito: Bad Influences #1 - 8.05
247. Superboy #1 - 6.81
248. American Vampire #8 - 8.17
249. Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil - 8.5
250. Batwoman #0 - 8.04
251. Daredevil #512 - 5.87
252. Booster Gold #32 - 7
253. Suicide Forest #1 - 8.16
254. Larfleeze Christmas Special - 4.89
255. Action Comics #896 - 6.92
256. Weird Worlds #1 - 2.02
257. Casanova: Gula #1 - 8.53
258. The Spirit #10 - 6.72
259. Fantastic Four #587 - 5.1
260. Week 260 -
261. Heroes for Hire #3 - 7.24
262. Hellblazer #276 - 5.28
263. Avengers #10 - 4.16
264. Secret Warriors #25 - 6.61
265. Ultimate Spider-Man #155 - 6.68
266. Morning Glories #8 - 7.5
267. Lorna: Relic Wrangler #1 - 3.46
268. Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #1 - 7.09
269. Brightest Day #23 - 4.38
270. Uncanny X-Men #535 - 7.5
271. Thunderbolts #156 - 5.92
272. Walking Dead #84 - 7.3
273. Avengers Academy #13 - 6.42
274. Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1 - 5.4
275. Hawkeye: Blindspot #4 - 5.5
276. Iron Man 2.0 #5 - 5.57
276. Secret Avengers #13 - 4.49
277. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - 5.67
278. Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1 - 5.48
279. Northlanders #41 - 6.83
280. All Nighter #1 - 6.36
281. THUNDER Agents #8 - 7.95
282. Jonah Hex #69 - 8.84
283. Red Wing #1 - 6.1
284. Daredevil #1 - 7.92
285. Amazing Spider-Man #666 - 6.15
286. Severed #1 - 8.26
287. Detective Comics #881 - 8.81
288. Damaged #1 - 7.31
289. Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 - 5.41
290. Uncanny X-Force #14 - 8.11
291. Static Shock #1 - 6
292. Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #4 - 6.5
293. Batman #1 - 6.98
294. Aquaman #1 - 5.87
295. Animal Man #2 - 8.04
296. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3 - 5.1
297. HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror #1 - 3.67
298. Wolverine and the X-Men #1 - 8.09
299. Six Guns #1 - 7.6
300. Unwritten #31 - 7.8
301. Avengers #19 - 5.5
302. Infinite #4 - 3.5
303. Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 - 5.58
304. Defenders #1 - 8.55
305. Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #526 - 4.19
306. Amazing Spider-Man #676 - 4.19
307. American Vampire #22 - 9
308. Fatale #1 - 7.8
309. Severed #6 - 8.5
310. Hellblazer #287 - 9
311. Secret Avengers #21.1 - 6.06
312. Winter Soldier #1 - 8.88
313. Batwoman #6 - 3.88
314. Daredevil #9 - 7.33
315. The Sixth Gun #19 - 8
316. Moon Knight #10 - 6.75
317. Hulk #49 - 7.5
318. The Shade #6 - 7.13
319. Amazing Spider-Man #682 - 7.13
320. Avengers vs. X-Men #0 - 5
321. Swamp Thing #8 - 7.88
322. America's Got Powers #1 - 5.5
323. Reset #1 - 8
324. The Goon #39 - 7
325. Dial H #1 - 4.45
326. Dan the Unharmable #1 - 7.5
327. Dancer #1 - 6.58
328. Batman Incorportated #1 - 7.14
328. Youngblood #71 - 4.17
329. Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation #1 - 6.21
330. Insufferable Weeks 1-6 - 7.71
331. The Massive #1 - 6.92
332. Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar's Remedy #1 - 8.6
333. Hit Girl #1 - 6 (Only one review was in.....seriously)
334. Infernal Man-Thing #1 - 7.25
335. Punk Rock Jesus #1 - 6.38
336. Captain Marvel #1 - 4 (Only one review in)
336. Avengers vs. X-Men #8 - 7 (Only one review in)
337. Debris #1 - 5.5
338. X-Men #33 - 4.4
339. Gambit #1 - 7 (Only one review in)
340. Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 - 7.5
341. Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1 - 7.5
342. Uncanny X-Force #30 - 8.8
343. Action Comics #0 - 3.8
344. Batman #0 - 7.3
345. The Unwritten #41 - 8
346. Happy #1 - 7
346. Talon #0 - 7.5
347. Daredevil: End of Days #1 - 9
348. Uncanny Avengers #1 - 7.3
349. The Zaucer of Zilk #1 - 7.9
350. National Comics: Madame X #1 - 6
351. Bedlam #1 - 7.8
352. Storm Dogs #1 - 6
353. Great Pacific #1 - 6.2
354. Uncanny X-Force #34 - 7.9
355. FF #1 - 6.5
356. Avengers #1 - 4.5
357. Avengers Arena #1 - 5.34
358. Wonder Woman #15 - 8.5
359. Week of 12/26/12 Free for All
360. New Avengers #1 - 4.6
361. Avengers Arena #3 - 0
362. Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #1 - 2.5
363. The Answer #1 - 8
364. Invincible #100 = 7.3
365. Winter Soldier #15 - 7
366. Katana #1 - 4
367. Daredevil #23 - 9
367. Justice League of America #1 - 8
368. Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 - 6.6
369. Age of Ultron #1 - 3.43
370. The Manhattan Projects #10 - 8.53
371. Constantine #1 - 3.5
372. East of West #1 - 8
373. Miss Fury #1 - No reviews in.
373. Thanos Rising #1 - 2.
374. Uncanny Avengers #6 - 7
375. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Villain Microseries #1 (of 4): Krang - 9
376. Mind MGMT #10 - 10
377. The Movement #1 - 2.2
377. Suicide Risk #1 - 7.2
378. 12 Reasons To Die - 7
379. Dream Merchant #1 – 6
380. The Bounce #1 – 7.5
381. Wake #1 - 9
382. Blackacre #7 - 3.5
383. Batman Vol 2 #21 - 6.15
383. Breath Of Bones A Tale Of The Golem #1 - 10
384. 100 Bullets Brother Lono #1 - 5
385. The Massive #13 - 8
386. Avengers AI #1 - 7.5
386. Catalyst Comix #1 - 7
387. Justice League #22 - 5.5
388. Deadpool #13 - 7.3
389. Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus #1 - 8
390. Free For All
391. Burn The Orphanage Born To Lose #1 - 2.5
391. Trillium #1 - 8.98
392. Saga #13 - 8.2
393. Batman '66 #2 - 8
394. All Star Western Vol 3 #23 - 7
395. Free For All
396. Captain America Vol 7 #11 - 5.825
397. Zero #1 - 9.5
398. Free For All
399. Grindhouse Doors Open At Midnight #1 - 8
399. Captain America Living Legend #1- 5.8
400. Retro Reviews!
401. Letter 44 #1 - No Reviews In, yet
401. Forever Evil Rogues Rebellion #1 - 6.25
402. Velvet #1 - 9
403. Sandman Overture #1 - 9.5
404. Earth 2 #17 - 7
404. Amazing X-Men Vol 2 #1 - 6.8
405. Umbral #1 - 6
406. Free For All
407. Terminator Salvation Final Battle #1 - no reviews in
407. Inhumanity #1 - 4.7
408. FBP Federal Bureau Of Physics #6 - 7.4
409. Daredevil Vol 3 #34 - 7.25
410. Avengers #24 - 4.5
411. Free For All
412. Sex Criminals #4 - 8.8
413. Injustice Gods Among Us Year Two #1 - 10
413. Miracleman #1 - no reviews in :shock:
414. Free For All
415. Free For All 1/29/14
416. Captain America #16.NOW - 3.2
416. Ms. Marvel #1 - 7.5
416. X-Men #10.NOW - No reviews in.
417. She Hulk #1 - 7.9
418. Daredevil #36 - 8.3
419. Mighty Avengers #7 - 7.5
420. Swamp Thing #29 - 8.75
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Amoebas » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:44 am

Walking Dead #123

All Out War continues with Negan at the gates of Hilltop. There's a breach, the battle starts!

Kirkman continues to not let up with this huge arc. Negan is one hell of a motherfucker. And he's pretty damn smart too. And pretty damn lucky. I find it hard to fathom, for all the prep work being done at the hilltop, that they didn't have at least one sniper at the ready to blow his head off while standing there yelling at the gate (something he's been shown to have a habit of).

Negan's new plan of zombie coated weapons ensues and in the final moments it looks like it's about to claim a fan favorite of this series...

Spoiler...
[Reveal] Spoiler: Click to Expand
Rick get shot with an arrow - er, sorry, he gets hit with "a bolt" coated with zombie juice. But fret not, there was a moment of hesitation that likely was Dwight loading a sterile bolt instead. Which could lead to Rick faking his death for the ultimate showdown that's to come.


Another great issue that despite this arc's length, is simply riveting with each new issue.

Story - 8
Art - 9
Color - n/a
Overall - 8.5

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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Grayson » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:12 am

Black Widow #4 - When reading the fourth issue of Nathan Edmondson's exciting look into the world of the Black Widow outside of her role as an Avenger, a funny thought occurred to me: Natasha is basically on the same level as Hawkeye but she doesn't get nearly the same amount of criticism that Clint does for being just a normal human standing among characters like Captain America, Thor, or the Hulk. Natasha herself ponders this very thought while traversing the globe to track down a religious fanatic who is taking orders from an unknown individual and mistaking those orders as message from God to justify his terrorist activities. Sometimes it's hard to explain why in an Avengers world, S.H.I.E.L.D. just can't call in Iron Man and call it a day but Natasha makes it clear that sometimes it takes more than a high-tech suit of armor and a virtual unlimited cache of weapons to get the job done. Edmondson has created an interesting new addition to the Black Widow's world of espionage in the duel minigun (and later grenade launcher) wielding Molot and I'm really excited to see him used again, hopefully soon.

There really isn't much that I can say about the art here. Phil Noto's work is absolutely breathtaking and it really gives this series a look that makes it stand out from other spy/counter spy stories. I've seen other reviews that have criticized Noto's work, calling it "unfinished" or "muddy" and it's comments like these that truly baffle me. I think little things like that give the art a vintage feel, which again make the series stand out and work well in contrast with the modern day setting.

8.5 out of 10
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Punchy » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:50 pm

Black Widow #4

Another very exciting issue of Black Widow from Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto, and one that’s made all the better by the fact that it’s not another done-in-one, but the first part of a longer story. This creative team have established their mood and take on Black Widow wonderfully, and now we get to see them stretch their legs a bit.

The issue begins with a brief tease of the story’s villain, Molot, receiving his orders from a weird glowing light, but we’re soon into the thick of things with Natasha. Or rather, the boring of things, as her mission from SHIELD turns out to be on the less exciting end of the spectrum. Her job is to go into the Ukrainian embassy pretending to sell a motion detector, but at the same time plant a bug. I loved the narration here, with Black Widow finding more real-world spycraft like this boring when compared to fighting aliens like she does with the Avengers or on other SHIELD missions. But in the end, this mission turns out to be anything but boring, as, just before she enters the Embassy, she spots a silhouette on the roof opposite and… boom, the building explodes. I loved the double page spread of this explosion, with very quickly paced panels of Natasha turning her head, overlaid over the blast, it was very cinematic, and just more all-around brilliance from Phil Noto.

Natasha chases after the guy who blew up the embassy, but he takes her down easily. Luckily however, before he does so, he says a word in Russian, so she has at least one lead. Hmmm, Russians and Ukrainians going at it? TOPICAL COMICS ALERT! I hope Edmondson doesn’t put his foot in it here.

Even though one of her arms is injured, Maria Hill still sends Black Widow off to clean up this mess and find some answers. She heads to Kiev, which in the Marvel Universe is looking rather peaceful, and uses a tiny remote control fly camera to find out what the ministers there know about what happened to their US Embassy. She’s literally bugging them! It’s great. Natasha discovers that the mystery man is called Molot Boga, and his next target is a Croatian Ambassador who is going to be in Soutg Africa. Widow heads to Cape Town (she really is jet-setting this issue, and it was great how Edmondson explained how useful her frequen flyer miles were, another example of reality mixed in with the Marvel Universe craziness) where she sees Molot stand in the middle of the road with a chain gun to try and kill the Croatian Ambassador. I loved the fight between them here, it was a shoot-out, with Black Widow thinking she can out-smart the brutal Molot, but nope, he has more than just the chain gun, and is able to get Widow out of the way long enough to assassinate his target.

The art in this fight was fantastic also, but then every page here looks good. I liked how Clayton Cowles lettered a few of the panels where Natasha was upside down with the lettering upside down as well, very cool. So, for the second time this issue, Black Widow fails and the bad guy gets away, which is not what we’ve come to expect from this title. I can’t wait to see what will happen next issue as Natasha really starts to hunt this guy, and his mysterious glowing red benefactor (who is not God) down.

This is just a great book, and I do feel like I’m giving Noto’s art a bit of a disservice by not going into greater detail, but then I suppose it’s art that’s so good words can’t describe it. Yeah, there’s my excuse right there.

8/10

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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Grayson » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:13 pm

Do we get credit for 2 reviews if we review both comics this week?
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby GLX » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:52 pm

Grayson wrote:Do we get credit for 2 reviews if we review both comics this week?


Yep.
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Grayson » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:01 pm

GLX wrote:Yep.


Cool, I'll try to reread Walking Dead tonight and get a review written tomorrow afternoon sometime.
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Stephen Day » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:52 pm

Molot Bolga is an interesting new addition to Natasha's rogue's gallery. This issue did a wonderful job of establishing him as a credible threat to her as well. The fight scene between the two of them was well paced and exciting. You could understand just how and why the fight went the way it did.

The other aspect of this issue I really loved was the Black Widow as the detective. She used that skill set beautifully in her efforts to track Bolga down. I'm really looking forward to their confrontation next issue.

8 out of 10
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Stephen Day » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:52 pm

Grayson wrote:There really isn't much that I can say about the art here. Phil Noto's work is absolutely breathtaking and it really gives this series a look that makes it stand out from other spy/counter spy stories. I've seen other reviews that have criticized Noto's work, calling it "unfinished" or "muddy" and it's comments like these that truly baffle me. I think little things like that give the art a vintage feel, which again make the series stand out and work well in contrast with the modern day setting.


I can't say I understand these sort of comments either. I've read series in which I felt that the art doesn't match well with the story, but I really don't feel that it could be said about Noto's here. His art style, to me at least, matches the feel of Edmonson's story in a really good way.
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Grayson » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:33 pm

The Walking Dead #123 - Unlike other comic books, I haven't always read The Walking Dead in a traditional manner. I never really got very far when I was originally reading the book monthly and it wasn't until everyone was making such a big deal about the release of issue 100 that I started reading it regularly again. Now I am very slowly trying to fill in the gap by reading the hardcovers but I only recently finished the fourth book which means that there is a gap of just over 50 issues that I know almost nothing about. Up until the group returned to the "hill top" this lack of knowledge really hadn't been an issue but I find myself a little confused about some of the references that are being made all of a sudden. I suppose my confusion wouldn't be unlike the confusion of one of the survivors in the story who has been brought to the "hill top" with the rest of the group.

Having said that mouthful, the story itself doesn't really progress all that much from where we ended issue #122. I know that a lot of people like to complain about the pacing of the show vs. the pacing of the comics but I haven't really notice much of a difference between the two. Negan and his group are secretly waiting outside of the Hill Top's walls planning to attack Rick's group and put an end to his uprising once and for all, while inside of the walls, Rick's group beings to integrate themselves with those who actually live there. The suspense of this issue comes from the reader wondering whether or not Negan's twisted plan to cover their weapons with the viscera of the undead will have the desired effect on the residents of the hill top. Unfortunately we are left with no definitive answer to this but are once again left with another rather interesting cliffhanger. I don't believe that Kirkman intends to take this particular character out, especially considering the success of the series but I am excited to see how Kirkman will write his way out of this one. This isn't Invincible, where Kirkman can just pull some rabbit out of a magic hat at the last possible second. Regardless of whether or not Negan's plan works, there will be some serious consequences for what happened in this issue that should reverberate for quite awhile.

It seems like this has just been one massive story arc that has run for almost 2 years now but I agree with Amoebas that Kirkman has really found a way to make this long game into a riveting ride that keeps upping the stakes with each new issue.

8.0 out of 10
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Stephen Day » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:03 pm

With my review and Grayson's two reviews, we're both up to five. Which one of us picks this week?
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Amoebas » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:13 pm

You got to 5 first didn't you?

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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby GLX » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:45 pm

Stephen Day wrote:With my review and Grayson's two reviews, we're both up to five. Which one of us picks this week?


If I remember the old routine correctly, this upcoming Wednesday would be up in the air (pick wise). It'd then be your turn to pick, followed by Grayson.
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Re: Review Group #421 - Black Widow #4 vs. The Walking Dead

Postby Stephen Day » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:51 pm

GLX wrote:
If I remember the old routine correctly, this upcoming Wednesday would be up in the air (pick wise). It'd then be your turn to pick, followed by Grayson.


Fair enough, I just wanted to know what was going on.
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