Black Widow Volume 1
This volume has been sitting on my shelf for a while, and for some reason I just kept putting off reading it. I picked it up because of the hype of the Avengers, and Black Widow’s story has always been really intriguing to me. Black Widow is the most human of the Avengers in that she doesn’t have any superpowers, she isn’t a god and she doesn’t have a super suit. I was very curious about what a solo Black Widow story would entail. I was also initially concerned with the art in the this book; under the wrong hand Natasha could have been turned into just a boring sex symbol and I was really hoping that would not be the case.
Black Widow starts off full of action and with a bang. We quickly learn though that her driving purpose in life is not revenge but redemption, which is refreshing in light of the expanse of super heroes motivated by revenge stories currently circulating. Natasha (Black Widow) does not let anyone decide her moral compass as she rights the wrongs she can. We learn that she is supporting a number of people financially which is part of why she takes her assassin jobs. This volume also explored an interesting idea of what “home” is and how you end up caring even when you try hard not to.
One of my favorite things about this book is the art. I don’t think I’ve ever really raved about art in a comic book as much as I do about the art in this book. The pages look like they’ve been painted and it gives Natasha a much more down-to-earth-real-vibe. I also enjoyed that in this volume there are no love interests, it’s very much a redemption, figuring your sh*t out story. I liked that she was flawed and had trouble trusting her own instincts sometimes even when she knew better. Natasha kicks a lot of butt as well and there is plenty of action for those that need it. I was surprised at how much I related to Natasha, but her unrealized search for home and belonging really resonated with me.
I really enjoyed Volume 1 and will try to get my hands on Volume 2 when I can because I am intrigued about her journey and look forward to seeing where Natasha goes next. I would recommend this book to ages 14 and up because of the level of violence. If you enjoyed Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, I would consider picking this up because there were Hawkeye vibes periodically. I would rate it 4.5 stars.