REVIEW: Black Widow #12

Will Natasha be able to go home again? Will there be a home for her to return to? In the final issue of Chris Samnee and Mark Waid’s Black Widow series, Natasha not only has to find a way to break from her past and forge a new way for herself, but also inspire six teen assassins to do the same.

This final issue opens with Black Widow facing off against Recluse, the daughter of the woman who ran the Red Room program which trained Natasha to become the Black Widow. Not only is the Widow’s life at stake, but all of SHIELD as well. Recluse has her young trainees set to destroy all of SHIELD’s data and equipment from the secret Antarctic base.

The young assassins aren’t sure who to follow, so they let the Widow and the Recluse settle things the old-fashioned way.

Samnee (Daredevil, The Shadow) and Waid (The Flash, Irredeemable) have done a good job of balancing the personal and larger stakes of the story. If Natasha loses, not only does she die, but SHIELD effectively dies with her. The stakes match what we have seen going on before all through the red herrings like the Weeping Lion and other threats in the series.

I have to say that I have loved the art through the entire series and that is something that many Marvel books are currently struggling with. Marvel is stretching its writers and artists thin these days and with a couple of exceptions like Black, Widow, it really is beginning to show in many of their books. Samnee has packed the pages with action and emotion.

I also love that Matthew Wilson (Unworthy Thor, Unstoppable Wasp) has been using a color pallete that reflect heavily on Natasha’s own color scheme: black, red, and golds. It really has paid off giving the series a distinctive look.

I’m not completely sold on the tidy wrap up at the end, but I’d love to see Samnee and Waid take another turn at telling a Black Widow story again. This has been a fun series and a good focus on a character that everyone seems to love, but is so rarely used well.

Writers: Chris Samnee and Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colors: Matthew Wilson


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