Comic Vine Review

25 Comments

Black Widow #8 - Bitter Cold Review

5

Two sides of the same coin join up for two missions with the same goal.

The Good

Winter Soldier and Black Widow. What an inspired pairing to come together in this issue. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner in this title or more often. Of course Nate Edmonson’s work on both this and his PUNISHER series has shown him more than capable of writing a character like Winter Soldier, but there’s a certain nuance to that character that sets him apart from other “black-op” style superheroes and Edmonson nails that down with incredible economy. Widow has been hired to retrieve some critical maguffin while Soldier has been hired to ensure an international gang doesn’t wind up with it. Since he wasn’t hired to stop Natasha or even retrieve the item per se, they wind up working together when the gang shows up, and here is where the two characters really shine. There aren’t many words exchanged by the pair, partially because they spend most of the issue under heavy fire, but what is exchanged is a kind of easy, effortless banter that tips the hand to the fact that they both know and trust the other implicitly. That they feel they can exchange brief quips not only under fire, but while on-mission is a great testament to some very good tension that arises between the pair.

Phil Noto now working on his eighth consecutive issue, almost all of those have had him as the sole artist, a role he reprises in this issue. It’s an interesting commentary on where the industry is on a creative level that one person sticking with a book for eight issues is considered noteworthy, but the lack of delays and level of detail Noto manages is the real star of the story. From an absolutely gorgeous full-page splash of sprawling Prague to the incredible sense of speed during the issue’s train heist, Noto’s art is impressive from afar or close-up. Neither Romanova nor Barnes ever look boring, even when they appear stoic and that’s another critical part to making this issue as good as it is: even though the pair APPEAR to be going through the motions and making it look easy, there’s real emotion adding to the stakes.

The Bad

This is an action-heavy issue, and when the shots begin firing things get a little stiff and stilted. The action jumps from one panel to the next with a fair degree of chaos, but it’s not the kind of chaos that serves the story, it’s the kind that makes the action hard to follow and makes the characters look overly posed rather than in mid-motion.

The Verdict

This issue threads the needle on being a standalone and a jumping off point for what looks to be the focus of the next arc. This is an interesting way to write the book, and I actually endorse it as it gives new readers multiple places to begin reading the title while still rewarding longtime readers with lots of small details that continue popping up, so whether you’re looking to get started or a fan salivating for the next adventure, you would be well served picking up this issue.

25 Comments
Posted by manwithoutshame

that cover...yeesh.

Posted by Bl00dwerK

Can't wait to read it!!

Posted by longbowhunter

I miss Winter Soldier's solo series. It's good seeing him and Natasha together on a mission again. Wonder what he wanted to say to her before she left? Bucky's appearance in this issue felt a lot more natural than Daredevil's appearance last month. Anxious to see her interact with Frank and Clint in coming months. Should be a good time. Oh and wonder what's going to happen with Isaiah?

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Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Sad issue is sad

Posted by Winter_Kills

I miss Winter Soldier's solo series. It's good seeing him and Natasha together on a mission again. Wonder what he wanted to say to her before she left? Bucky's appearance in this issue felt a lot more natural than Daredevil's appearance last month. Anxious to see her interact with Frank and Clint in coming months. Should be a good time. Oh and wonder what's going to happen with Isaiah?

Agreed totally- Marvel needs to bring back a Winter Soldier solo. That would make my year. I still need to pick this up- it sounds awesome that they are fighting side-by-side again, but I was hoping for more character moments between them- they have so much history that I just love. I hope his leads to more appearances together & touching on their history and deep relationship, and her lost memories of him. Is any of that mentioned at all? There's so much more between them than there is DD, Clint or Frank, honestly.

Posted by longbowhunter

@winter_kills: None of that is mentioned. There is a scene when Nat is leaving and Bucky goes to say something and stops himself. You could tell he wanted to reach out and make a connection, but it was a pretty inopportune time. I too loved their shared history and miss that chemistry they used to have.

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Posted by Cap10nate

Great issue. I loved seeing those two together again and Edmonson and Noto did a great job showing the emotions that Buck still has for Natasha. They are doing a phenomenal job with this series from start to now. Fantastic cover too.

Posted by dondave

Their initial conversation felt too formal

Edited by Winter_Kills

@longbowhunter:

Ah man, I hate that. I hope this is addressed in the future. She's the love of Bucky's life, & I believe he was hers- would like to see some resolution there. They both know what it's like, to be unmade- and to try & find redemption. A lil' disappointed but it won't stop me from buying the issue to get my Bucky fix, and Bucky/Natasha fix in this case.

Posted by WaveMotionCannon

Love this book. Two of my favorite characters in the same story, and a lot of bullets flying. The interaction between Natasha and Bucky was interesting and I'm hoping to see some stories exploring this. Isaiah roughing up the client was hilarious and I can't wait to see what happens to him. I hope this book stays around for awhile.

Posted by WheatStalker

I bet Marvel will give us a new Winter Soldier book by the time they release the third Captain America movie--since, of course, I'm assuming it will be about the redemption of Bucky.

Posted by sparty-dbq

What is it with Bucky and trains? ;P

Posted by HumanRocket

Loving the art work of this issue. Nice little interaction between Nat and Bucky, wish it could have lasted a little longer.

Posted by Cavemold

I didn't like Winter solider look at all in this issue. It felt Winter solider was the hero in Black Widow own book. Stole some spotlight from Black Widow.. Liked the gliding scene at the beginning with Natasha. id give 3.5/5 really.

Posted by War Killer

I was disappointment in the lack of any real development between Bucky and Natasha. I was hoping we might get a tease of Nat possibly remembering Bucky, maybe fragment of their old history starting to come back, but instead we're left with a seemingly random team-up that added nothing two either character.

Honestly, now that I think about it, this just felt like another ploy by Marvel, using Winter Soldier to draw in his fan base to read this issue, only to do nothing with it.

This issue once again makes me question why Marvel isn't showing more love towards Winter Soldier. Following the success of Captain America: TWS, you'd think Marvel would want to push the character more, yet we barely see him used anywhere.

Posted by War Killer

@winter_kills: I picked up the issue for the same reasons you had, but honestly it left me a bit disappointed. While it was nice to see Bucky and Nat team-up, ultimately that's all this was...a random team-up. The issues adds really nothing to either character and doesn't even develop on the rift between the two following their untimely split in Winter Soldier's previous series.

Posted by feedonatreefrog

Still not a fan of Noto's Natasha.

Posted by LiveForever

@war_killer: I also love The Winter Soldier and am hoping for a new ongoing (I actually loved LaTour's hand-off from Brubaker too - underrated stuff). But to say Bucky's not getting a push, I have to wonder if that means you're not reading Original Sin. Playing a pretty important role there.

Posted by MegaHGFan

This was one of the best issues of the series in a while. I do think things tend to get resolved too quickly in this series. I'm really looking forward to the cross over with Punisher next month, but after that , I would like something like a 5 issue Black Widow/Winter soldier team up arc, where eventually Natasha's memories of Bucky are returned.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@jonny_anonymous said:

Sad issue is sad

Totally thought they were gonna bang in that house before the gang showed up lol.

Shoulda at least planted one on her :P

Posted by War Killer

@war_killer: I also love The Winter Soldier and am hoping for a new ongoing (I actually loved LaTour's hand-off from Brubaker too - underrated stuff). But to say Bucky's not getting a push, I have to wonder if that means you're not reading Original Sin. Playing a pretty important role there.

I am reading it and while I'm happy he's getting a little love there, it's still only a mini-series where's he's simply another character in a larger cast. His only real time to shine was in issue three when he "killed" Fury, but other than that he really hasn't done much.

He also is currently appearing in All-New Invaders, but his character is written too much like his old Bucky persona with the wise-cracks and not the darker, more serious Bucky seen in Brubaker's run.

And don't even get me started on Winter Soldier: The Bitter March...oh, I mean Ran Shen: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Honestly, since Brubaker left I've yet to see anyone write the character as well as he did.

Posted by LiveForever

@war_killer: Didn't care for LaTour's run then? I was pleasantly surprised. Was sad to see it go.

Posted by War Killer

@war_killer: Didn't care for LaTour's run then? I was pleasantly surprised. Was sad to see it go.

Not really, but then again Brubaker's run wasn't the easiest to live up to.

Personally, with how well he's writing Black Widow's book, I wouldn't mind seeing Edmondson write a Winter Soldier series.

Posted by LiveForever
Posted by Teerack

I loved this issue. I really miss Nat and Bucky.