We return to Black Widow in the middle of the title’s first real story arc, whereas the first three issues were simply just one-shots. Where will this comic take us? Is it good?
Black Widow #5 (Marvel Comics)
After meeting up with an old friend for some questionable intel, Black Widow needs to reach and stop the “Hammer of God” for taking out its latest target, an airplane full of people. However, even if she can succeed, will things go according to her plans?
Hey! Don’t skip over the details, some of the backstory might be important.
There is something I’ve noticed with each issue of Black Widow: each has its own theme, whether it be related to the spy business or to Black Widow herself. The first issue showed us the adroitness of our heroine Natasha at her job, the second issue reminded us that she is still human and things can go wrong, the third issue was about her emotions and what happens if she lets them get to her, and the fourth was akin to the second in that things are or could not be as simple as they seem in the business. This issue was more on the intel side, with Black Widow going over different types of intel and how they relate with her current mission, which also carries on the theme from the previous issue as well of “the unexpected” in the spy game. It’s very fascinating stuff and it’s extra substance such as this that truly make this series shine brighter than most.
Nuances notwithstanding, this is still a very well-written series. Writer Nathan Edmondson divides issue #5 into three acts: Widow’s confrontation with the Hammer, the aftermath and then her tracking down the person who has been ordering hits to begin with. Each part is very well structured (more than most series I read come to think about it) and very engaging, with the action intense opening to the surprising and eeriness of the ending. The pacing is fantastic here as well, really adding to the story and acts, while also getting the audience engaged in the material quite well.
I’ve concluded that this guy has skin and muscles like the Hulk. It’s the only way he takes that many bullets and the recoil of that weapon without falling over.
The dialogue and narration is also pretty strong, helping flesh out the characters and lending to some great moments. Particular highlights go to the opening bit with Widow and Tori Raven as Tori relays the intel to her or the scene with Maria Hill in the park. Speaking of characters, the characterization is as strong as ever. Black Widow is still a very well-rounded character, who’s very likeable and interesting to see as she works. The supporting cast with Hill and Raven are also nice and add a bit more with backstory and a human touch to the story. I’m still not sure what to make of the villains of the arc, especially with the reveal of who is pulling the strings, but they do at least make a strong impression with their actions and make you genuinely curious about what their true goals are.
The artwork by Phil Noto is downright beautiful as always. The characters are well drawn, distinguishable, (though Maria and Tori share the same face a bit), and have a great range of emotions and expressions. Layouts are fantastic and really capture a great sense of movement, especially in the fight between Widow and Hammer. The coloring is great, especially with some of the lighting and smoke effects done, while the line work is impressive. Ultimately, it’s a downright gorgeous looking book that really adds a lot to the experience.
Really? Geeze, I was hoping he was the one. Darn it!
Is It Good?
Black Widow #5 is what you come to expect from the series, a completely fantastic and enjoyable experience. The writing is top notch, the characters and themes are great, and the artwork is beautiful. Easily one of, if not the best series Marvel is putting out right now and is worth your money.