Remember that time when the first issue of Black Widow felt like a second issue? This second issue feels like a first. See what they did there?
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Quick Review: While this issue had a lot more intrigue, it had two main drawbacks. The first is that it served to highlight the short bench of SHIELD agents right now and also how little I/we know about the current SHIELD makeup. The second is that, despite it coolness of the opening sequence of Natasha protecting the graveyard, it came off as a bit jokey. Like something out of a romantic comedy where the fiends are trying to ensure a date goes well. That said, the art is fantastic. It by itself is almost worth the price of admission. But I want a story to match and while the story isn’t bad it isn’t next level.
Spoilers Lurk Below
Analysis: Let’s get it out of the way. Samnee art is magnificent. It just is. It makes everything better. Add in Wilson’s colors and you are dealing with beauty. The acting, the storytelling, the pacing. Solid.
As for the story, well, it isn’t bad. The basic idea is Bad Guy has mysterious information about Widow’s mysterious past. This info is so heinous she is willing to undertake the events in issue one to protect her reputation.
You might ask what would a known former Russian spy/assassin be so afraid of becoming known that she would take in the super spy police.
Beats me and to be honest it feels a bit too trope for me to get that interested in this revelation.
I would be more interested in the B story of higher SHIELD agents being unhappy with current head agent (?) Hill’s use of Widow as a freelancer. But I can’t tell if that story will go anywhere or if it is just work building for SHIELD vs Widow. And that status quo kind of hurts the intrigue anyone.
As for the way to on the nose named Agent Elder, is he anyone? I couldn’t help but be distracted by wondering where the old guard if SHIELD is. Are they all dead? Maybe. But Secret Wars, so who knows. I would just be more interested if instead of Agent Oldguy it was Sitwell, Jones, Dugan or, heck, even Bridge. And now I’m thinking of the sad fate and misuse of Nick Fury.
Hold it together Thomas. Think of that Samnee art.
Wrap Up: A decent, if cliched, story and amazing art makes this book very readable. Even if it does make me think more of what if rather than what is.