Black Widow (2014), Vol 1: The Finely Woven Thread, illustrated by Phil Noto
Natasha takes odd jobs in between missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. because she needs the money. She and her lawyer discuss the intricate web of safe houses as well as the trust funds she has set up that she must pay to maintain. Natasha is doing all of this to atone for her passed actions, so the implication is she is paying into trust funds that benefit the families of those she assassinated. She accepts various jobs to rescue folks, foil assassination attempts, and other feats of espionage, but she’s gotten too comfortable. She’s started to miss signs of danger, signs that someone has it in for her.
Black Widow is a very different Avenger because of her covert skills and dark past. This story reads a bit more like a James Bond movie than a superhero story. The first chapter is entirely devoted to pulling the reader into the world of Black Widow, which shows her on a job, hinting at her tragic past but concluding with the sentiment that no one will know her true origin. In this way Black Widow is also different because she doesn’t have the typical origin story retelling that happens almost every time a new author takes over the character. There are a few characters that were important in other stories who aren’t really explained here, but savvy comic readers will know them, and others will either look them up or just plow through and still be able to enjoy the story. Otherwise, every other character is known from Marvel movies or the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show.
The art is less definite than most superhero comics. It looks like outlined watercolors at times. Widow's red hair often bleeds into other parts of the scenery, giving her a ghostly appearance at times.
There is some blood, violence, explosions, and some death on the page. Overall, the tone of this is a bit darker than some other superhero stories, so this would be better suited to high school audiences.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Superheroes, Action Adventure,
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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