Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: Black Widow: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Most Wanted by M. Waid et al.

Black Widow: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Most Wanted written by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, art by Chris Samnee, color art by Matthew Wilson

As you might guess from the title, Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. the Black Widow) is on the outs with S.H.I.E.L.D. She's being blackmailed by a mysterious figure who calls himself "The Weeping Lion." He uses very compromising information from her past to make her play along. In addition to stealing information from S.H.I.E.L.D., she needs to collect other intel from her former Soviet handlers back in the motherland. The direction of the conspiracy is not clear to readers or Black Widow, but that doesn't stop her from trying her best to get out from under the Weeping Lion's heel.

The twisty plot is fun and covers a great deal of Natasha's history, giving her a nice depth of character. She has just as many brains as brawn. Her conflicted history (villain turned into hero, or at least mostly a hero) makes her interesting. The action sequences are exciting if not always plausible. The art is serviceable--neither noticeably great or bad. Happily, Black Widow is drawn like a normal woman and isn't even remotely sexualized. She's a person with a difficult past and the wits to turn the tables if circumstances will let her.


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