Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Black Widow #1
Edmondson & Noto
The first issue of Black Widow manages to introduce the character as well as the take on the character. This issue is generally light on plot but it does provide a little action to keep the comic book moving along. Generally the book is a spy book and it presents that aspect of it but I'm not sure it's something that hasn't been seen before. This issue lifts the series off the ground nicely enough to pick up the next issue. That's really all you can hope for when a new series begins.
The book stresses through the narration and the plot that the reader doesn't know who Black Widow is. It's not that her identity is a mystery, but that the makeup of the character is unknown. Her past is largely unknown and her motives are unpredictable. This comes out well in the plot within the comic as well. This is a good direction to take the book because there have been so many incarnations of the character over the years that this feels like a clean slate without ignoring everything that's come before.
The issue's plot focuses on a spy-like job that Widow signs up for. What the reader is given is a glimpse behind her rationale as well how she reconciles this work-for-hire with her Avengers hero work. It's a good way to introduce her and the supporting cast. While I'm not sold on the idea behind this just yet it seems like this is as good a place as any to try a fresh look at the character.
The artwork is good but it suffers slightly from the shading and coloring. While Noto's pencils are soft and delicate the book seems to command a darker edge in either the inks or the coloring and shading to compensate. At times I felt that the artwork was too obscure for a book that probably needs the reader to see more story visually than what they would pick up verbally. The scenes that work best are the ones with the tension when the story turns unexpectedly. I felt the artwork really took control of the issue in that sequence and that is a good thing.
The first issue is a good start to the series. I look for more complicated plots from a spy book but it seems that those will come down the road. The aspect of the book that is made clear is that the reader and the titled character's interfaces don't know the Black Widow character at all. I'm hopeful that this is true and we will see this in the coming issues. This is worth checking out.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles