The last issue of Black Widow was the start of a brand new arc, a little one-shot tale where she crossed paths with Daredevil. What does this issue hold for us as the Winter Soldier enters the picture? Is it good?
Black Widow #8 (Marvel Comics)
Natasha’s latest assignment takes her to the snow covered lands of Prague. She needs to retrieve a briefcase from a train that belongs to her newest client. However, things take an interesting turn when Bucky Barnes shows up on his own mission…
Look, anything Batman can do, I can do better and in white as well!
It’s a little tough to talk about this issue: not because it’s bad or anything, but because there wasn’t much going on. Not much in the way of character outside of one or two moments. Not even much of a story either without the usual amount of depth or character put into it like with previous. This feels more like a straight forward team up issue focused more on the action than anything else. A real step backwards for a series that has had so much more to it than that.
What’s most disappointing is the team up between the Winter Soldier and Black Widow; it felt underwhelming and not fully realized. They team up due to some circumstances, fight/shoot some baddies, have a slight moment at the end, and that’s it. Outside of that moment at the end, they don’t have much in the way of unique interactions with each other. It felt like it could have been someone else besides Bucky at points and the differences wouldn’t have been too significant. It doesn’t really have that personal touch like when Widow interacted with Maria Hill or Daredevil before. I understand why things are like this between her and Bucky, but it just felt like the whole team up could have mattered more or been something more… memorable.
Now this had more personality in it.
Otherwise, the issue is perfectly fine. Black Widow is still a great character with plenty of good scenes and lines. The entire subplot with Isiah is really good, given what we learned last time, I’m really interested in seeing what happens with him after this. The dialogue and narration are good overall, the pacing was strong, and everything flowed very well. It just feels kind of weak overall in comparison to every other issue before this one.
The artwork still never fails to let us down. It’s beautiful looking book, with tons of fantastic pages and layouts (especially during the gun fights). The angles used the panels, the tone and mood conveyed, and the coloring really help make up for the story in a lot of areas. I really do believe the issue wouldn’t be as good if it didn’t have Phil Noto’s artwork helping out to cover certain parts. The characters, their movement and expressions, the scenery, and more… all of it’s just absolutely gorgeous. Easily the best looking book Marvel is currently producing in my humble opinion.
Is It Good?
Black Widow #8 is an issue that had potential, but ultimately wasn’t able to fully capitalize on it. It was also perhaps the weakest issue of the run to date, lacking the usual depth and complexity that the series has. It is still a decent read overall beyond that, with lots of good moments and beautiful artwork. Just doesn’t live up to the expectations that we usually have with the comic.