“No one will ever know my full story”

Date of Publication: January 2014

Marvel's new series featuring everyone's favorite scarlet-haired assassin is both a step in the right direction for solo books with female leads and a giant middle finger to the debacle that was Catwoman #1.  This issue is all TNT without the pointless TNA.  Nathan Edmonson (writer) and Phil Noto (artist) take the readers on a journey reminiscent of a Luc Besson action movie from the 90s, but with the muted color pallet of 70s cinema.  I enjoyed this book on two levels: firstly, it was a smart, slick, action book; secondly, it was a female-centered comic that didn't needlessly sex up the main character to appeal to the 18-35 year old male crowd.  People have realistic proportions, the costumes are funtional and not overly revealing, and even the pajama scene is not as sexy as it would sound.

Edmondson knows how to write interesting dialog, and Noto's action scenes are smooth.  He focuses on all the right elements without wasting space and some take downs are purposely done noiselessly and “off panel” to add to the mystery of Black Widow's combat abilities.  The book flows like the aforementioned Luc Besson film.  There's an intro scene with a flashy take down to showcase the protagonists abilities, followed by the obligatory setup scene that reveals the motives of everyone's favorite Russian femme fatale, and then the real action begins.  As I said before, Noto's action scenes flow well without leaping into the realm of the ridiculous.  Natasha has some moves, but nothing too out of the ordinary for a well trained non-powered human.  Wisely, the book takes a page from Hawkeye and showcases the off days activities outside of the globe trotting adventures of the Avengers.

In this introductory issue we see Natasha go from New York to Dubai and back again on a simple job to disrupt a weapons deal involving Stark tech all in an effort to make enough money to atone for her past.  She devotes the money to her trusts and her “web”.  Hopefully the series will delve into what the “web”  and perhaps tease a little more of Natasha's past without revealing too much (a girl's gotta have her secrets after all).  All in all the series looks promising and I would recommend it to anyone looking for good spy-thriller style action.  I'd also like to thank Marvel for keeping the action and the zippers high.