Black Widow #4 Review

Posted June 16, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee

Art by: Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Just look at that creative team. Like, seriously, look at it. And then, if you’re not reading Black Widow, maybe take a couple minutes to re-evaluate your pull list. Honestly, those three names should do more than any review to convince most people that this book is worth reading. And sure, it’s not perfect, by any means. It’s not their run on Daredevil, but let’s be honest, that run is in the conversation for the best superhero run ever, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison.

Putting comparisons aside, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to Black Widow #4. It wraps up a sub plot, but simultaneously hints that it’s something we’ll come back to in the future. Perhaps it’s even the end game of the book’s first story arc, or maybe the creative team is already seeding the endgame of their entire run. None of those possibilities would surprise me. Regardless, that’s the only part of the issue that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Dealing with Natasha’s past probably could have used another issue, but then again, I’m not Mark Waid.

That being said, there’s not much else to complain about. Waid writes Natasha really, really well. She’s not a character that’s really had a seminal run, and she hasn’t been a character that’s really stood out in team books. But Waid, in the space of four issues, has made her a character that I wish I knew more about. He’s made me want to seek out past stories with the character, because she’s become so interesting. In part, I think that’s because he’s focusing on the espionage side of the character. This isn’t a massive, world-ending story, and that gives Waid room to tell a very personal story with the character.

And then, of course, there’s Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson, one of the best art teams working right now. The duo really brings the book to life, crafting intricate visuals that are just as important to the storytelling as Waid’s script. Black Widow #4 has numerous pages without thought bubbles. They’re completely silent, and there’s a power in that silence. Putting the storytelling in the hands of Samnee and Wilson is a decision that should probably be made more often, if I’m being honest. The two have an ability to create dynamic visuals that are there for purposes beyond being aesthetically pleasing. The art in this book takes full advantage of the nature of comic books as a visual medium

Overall, Black Widow #4 is a truly great comic. Sure, I have issues with the pacing of this story arc, but putting that aside, the issue is absolutely incredible. Waid’s dialogue is excellent, and the vibrant visuals of Samnee and Wilson are stunning. This is one of the best superhero comics out there right now, and one that you should definitely be picking up.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.