Comic Vine Review

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Black Widow #3 - Foliage Review

4

Black Widow heads to an Argentinian prison to help an innocent man who was wrongfully accused.

The Good

BLACK WIDOW is turning out to be a fantastic espionage series. This issue kicks off with a big bang as Black Widow has to help a man escape from prison. Things aren't incredibly easy for Natasha (they never are) and she must traverse the jungles in order to help the man known as Lobo Blanco return home.

This issue is one non-stop thrill ride. Writer Nathan Edmondson crafts a story that is all adrenaline pumping action that furthers the character development of Natasha as a leading lady running the show in her book. There's lots of suspense and little moments, aside from the narration, that give us better insight into who Natasha is in this series.

This series depicts a bit of a softer side of Natasha. Sure, she's still killing people, but she has morals that she follows while on her missions. Here, she explains, at one point, that she didn't bring guns with her, to help Lobo Blanco escape because the guards are just doing their job and they don't deserve to be shot. This is a really cool look at this character. She feels much more like a hero here. She's doing things for the betterment of mankind, on a very small scale, and she doesn't want there to be unnecessary casualties.

Phil Noto's work here is nothing short of brilliant. He has a real knack for drawing the reader in. His page layouts are pretty simple and straight-forward, but his art and colors stand out so much that doing anything too non-traditional with his layouts would muddle his own work. He does some great work with facial expressions and his close ups are breathtaking, especially of Natasha. This is a book you can buy just for the art; however, Edmondson's writing is on par with Noto's art, so it's like a super-awesome treat.

The Bad

We're three issues in and there's still no larger arc to this book. Thus far, it's been three (very good) one-shot stories and a lot of reestablishing who Black Widow is and what she's all about. Now, there's a good chance that a few months from now I'll have to pull my foot out of my mouth because Nathan Edmondson is a much better writer than that, but the reader in me wants something more to connect all these issues to something greater. Looks like we'll just have to wait and see.

I felt there were quite a few times, especially the scene during the night, where Black Widow was helping Lobo Blanco escape, where the art felt a bit stiff.

The Verdict

Where is this series going? It's something I keep asking myself, and it's really my only complaint about the book. It feels like we've been treated to a series of stellar one-shots, but not real over-arcing story yet. Hopefully, Edmondson has some bigger things planned down the road (I'm sure he does). BLACK WIDOW truly impresses. It's suspenseful and intriguing, with some brilliant looking art. While many of Marvel's new series are must reads, from me, this one tops the list. I highly recommend this issue.

20 Comments
Posted by dagmar_merrill

I feel that the last few pages of the issue tell us where this book is going.

Posted by Wolverine08

Cool to see a high quality comic starring a female.

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Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I liked it. Better than last issue. The writing is really great. It would be better if there a bigger story instead of single stories.

Posted by longbowhunter

I thought this was the weaker of the three issues. I liked the set up for next issue though. Still a great series so far.

Posted by Maddpanda531

I seriously love the cover of this issue. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to read it...curse you, snowstorm!!!

Posted by greenlucario

It's been good so far but with all the titles coming out this book needs to start standing out a little more. For me I also want to see it tie into something bigger, I don't see it yet, but I'll let the issue speak for itself.

Posted by lykopis

I enjoyed this issue and how it showcased more of Natasha's mind-set and approach to what she does. It had that Hawkeye feel to it as well (meaning the private side of her life and the people/creatures in it.) If there is one criticism not mentioned, it would be the secondary story in this issue. While I appreciate the intent, I resent the application and the use of it to further gauge the main character. Too many similar scenes in too many comics and in some ways, while not a "refrigerator" moment, maybe something more along the lines of a cooler pack.

Still, very happy with this series and how this character is being handled by both the writer and artist.

Posted by CaptainHoopla

Really enjoying this series so far. I'm hoping the SHIELD mission will be the start of the longer range story. Also, I really want to know more about Isaiah and what his story is. I am glad this is getting on a monthly schedule now as well.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

Maybe if they want to cash in on a female character from the movie, they need to actually have her matter in the movies.

Posted by Cavemold

Liked the 3 stand alone issues. Shield will obviously be bigger arch. Great art. This and punisher were great

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Not as good as the first too, but still solid overall.

Gonna read the series for awhile

Edited by SimonM7

I love that we have a Black Widow book, I love that it's Hawkeye-esquely separate from the rest of the Marvel universe, and I love that Phil Noto is making it gorgeous. Although my interest in reading on hasn't been diminished, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in #3.

The voice over should theoretically make us feel closer to Natasha - giving us a window into who she is. It's a problem, then, that the voice over feels equal parts shallow/generic, equal parts arrogant. Especially three issues in, her refering to herself with lofty imagery and bold, poetic statements is starting to become a little off-putting.

I do enjoy the idea of her way of adapting to every situation being the very thing that forces her to move on from attachments and a sense of peace, but the way it's conveyed feels heavy handed, and it's making her out to be really self-centred and pompous. When her inner monologue is followed by "tending the yard!" or "doing some housecleaning", and they connect her self-analysing inner voice to how she expresses herself in "reality"... I mean that's the sort of Jersey Shore people you want to punch.

All that said, I still really enjoy this book. Boy it's pretty. Natasha has a grace and a sadness and a steely resolve to her appearance that kinda finally does justice to the idea of her. I can't wait for the next issue, but by the same token, I hope it moves out of the prologue-esque area it's currently treading a bit of water in.

Edited by fhnilo

Hrm, something tells me that Argentina as depicted in this comic looks nothing like the real Argentina. Especially given the name of the issue...

Edited by Owie

I have to admit I don't see what everyone loves about this book. I mean, Phil Noto is great. But the stories have been blah. Her character is way off from what it normally is...all this talk of weakness and lack of focus and not wanting to be confrontational. To me, the core of Black Widow is that she's hard core and consummately professional and skilled; this seems to throw that all out the window.

Edited by jdp180

As someone who is deathly afraid of alligators and crocodiles, that cover scares me.

Posted by jdp180

Cool to see a high quality comic starring a female.

Yeah because there aren't enough of those floating around. <sarcasm>

Posted by micelimaxi

I wonder why she was in a school bus or a bus from the 90s painted yellow, and how in the world did she got from the jungle to Buenos Aires in that bus, it is a trip of at least 12 hours, and in the only neighborhood like that that there is in Buenos Aires all the house are painted in different colors, because it is a touristic neighborhood, there hasn't been normal neighborhoods like that since the early XX century

Posted by Wolverine08

@jdp180 said:

@wolverine08 said:

Cool to see a high quality comic starring a female.

Yeah because there aren't enough of those floating around. <sarcasm>

What?

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Posted by maldren

Ugh... the lines in spanish are cringeworthy: "Hemos entusiasmo que esperaba", "Como nos mismos"??? They don't make any sense! I don't understand, there's no need to put it in spanish but if the writer WANTS to, at least he should do it in a way it makes sense.

Besides, Argentina is a big country, so there could be a a jungle like this one... but hardly anyone would imagine Argentina as a lush jungle filled with alligators. This is more like a generic representation of a latinamerican scene.