Monday, January 2, 2017

Black Widow #9 Review and **SPOILERS**



Now Begins Discontentment With Our Winter

Writers: Chris Samnee & Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: December 28, 2016

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Earlier this week, I saw an exchange on Twitter between Mark Waid and a fan that asked when he would work with another artist. Waid’s response was to the effect of, “It’s not a question of when I will stop working with him, but when he will stop working with me!” These two do seem well-paired, creating engaging and expertly-crafted comic book stories, and I would love to see them tackle, for instance, Spider-Man in some form or fashion. At the same time, I really want to see Samnee draw one of the Batman titles. Like really badly. He posts pics of Batman all the time so I know he would be good at it. But I’m not sure Batman would be in Mark Waid’s wheelhouse. We can’t know for certain how the future will play out, and I surely know nothing of the creators’ thoughts on the subject, so I suppose it’s best we appreciate what the duo has to offer today, and not dwell in speculation. So let’s look at the latest issue of Black Widow to hand! Shall we?


Explain It!

When the pages look this good, you use the whole preview.
After saving some former pupils of the Dark Room Assassin’s School for Girls, Natasha is back in bitterly cold Russia, following the trail of her old pal Iosef because she thinks he’s been peeping on her. As she approaches his remote cabin, a shot rings out, and she runs to Iosef to find him mortally wounded. He says he don’t know nothing about no mystery trail to find him, and Natasha figures out that it must be her old classmate and the Headmistress’ daughter Recluse, who’s been mucking up Black Widow’s righteous crusade ever since Headmistress took her own life. From inside the cabin, a voice yells, “Natasha, run!” which Natasha takes as a cue to kick the door in and discover Recluse with Bucky Barnes, looking beaten and handcuffed to a chair, at gunpoint. Recluse gloats a little, then Natasha uses one of Iosef’s cabin’s old tricks, which is for the floor to swing open and deposit Black Widow and Barnes in a dank tunnel. Natasha frees Barnes, and then the fight begins.
And it’s a nice fight. A good fight. A well-rendered fight, first in silhouette and then in the encroaching daylight outside. Art-wise, it’s some gorgeous stuff. But it goes on for seven pages. And while it does make the point clear that even with Bucky Barnes at her side, Natasha is no match for Recluse, it just goes on for too long. For four bucks, I really need more story and less mood in twenty pages. During the fight, Natasha gets to hurt Bucky’s feelings, and Bucky tells Natasha that Nick Fury wants to see her after school, but it’s not really enough to make a great issue. Still, this is a good issue and if you’re already reading Black Widow, you won’t want to miss it. But if you’re looking to jump on, this isn’t the best issue for it.


Bits and Pieces:

Some great storytelling and plotting goes on a bit too long, but the surprise introduction of a familiar character and s nice cliffhanger is enough to keep my interest piqued. And let's face it, Waid and Samnee have generated enough goodwill that I would probably read three straight issues of all-black panels and no words before I figured out I'd been duped.

7.5/10
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