Black Widow #13
The Black Widow knows no fear, but that all changes as she faces a threat from her past! But how could someone have such a hold over the Black Widow? You think you know the story of Natasha Romanoff’s time in Madripoor. But you never witnessed her greatest fight—and her most decisive defeat. Guest artist Rafael T. Pimentel joins superstar Kelly Thompson for the deadliest bout of the Black Widow’s career—and that’s just a taste of what’s coming next for the Widows…
Last issue of Black Widow ended with a major cliffhanger introducing a brand new adversary that isn’t at all brand new to our superheroine. This issue explores the destructive first meeting between Black Widow and the Living Blade as they duke it out in Madripoor. And my goodness, is it a heart-racing battle.
First, I have to gush over the art. All of it. From Adam Hughes’ gorgeous (as always) cover art to the jaw-dropping interior art from Rafael T. Pimentel to the retro coloring by Jordie Bellaire, this comic is a pure treat for the eyes. Black Widow has always had stellar art, but this flashback issue took me to a completely different place. I never knew I missed Black Widow’s classic look and feel to this extent. The short hair, the gray suit… it brought me straight back to the 90’s in the best way possible. This issue is all action, and Pimentel delivers grace and beauty while also nailing every beat of action. He is definitely an artist I will be keeping an eye out for in the future.
As for the story, Kelly Thompson continues to prove that she understands Natasha’s headspace. Natasha is obviously a very capable fighter, but seeing her inner dialogue as she struggles against a foe on (or even above) her level is always great. She is constantly having to think ahead as she tries to escape from the merciless Living Blade and recover from her wounds.
I’m never a huge fan when a writer comes along and creates a brand new villain when there are hundreds (if not thousands) of villains who go unused, but I am definitely intrigued by the Living Blade. There’s a scene where Natasha is ready to die protecting a group of sex trafficking victims from the Living Blade that left me desperately wanting to know more about the villain. And know more about him we surely will, as this arc has only just begun! I’m very excited to see where Thompson and company take us with the Living Blade and Black Widow’s rivalry.
Fear is the real enemy, and Black Widow is definitely afraid of the Living Blade. This issue is action-packed with Natasha forced on the defensive against a formidable assassin who won't let her catch a breath. Kelly Thompson's superb writing mixed with outstanding art from Rafael T. Pimentel and Jordie Bellaire easily makes for one of the best Black Widow comics I've ever read.
Black Widow #13: Sword vs. Knife
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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