Web of Black Widow #5
The face of her nemesis revealed to her, Natasha seeks to end the imposter's reign of terror as the truth behind her troubled memory comes to light in a dramatic rooftop finale as the web closes...
Color me impressed… not only does Jody Houser right a superbly impressive spy versus spy caper with brilliant action, high drama, and intrigue but she also manages to turn this series into a journey of personal growth for Natasha Romanova. That is perhaps the single most impressive thing about this issue and the series as a whole. Houser not only has Natasha blindside both the villain of the piece by having her do something contrary to her nature and reputation but she catches the reader out the same way!
The solitary “I’ll do it by myself” nature of Natasha as a character is something readers are used to and Houser cleverly uses it to fool us all. This issue serves to explain how the web was spun and both the Anya and reader ensnared making it seem that the situation was getting more and more desperate for Natasha when in fact she was pulling the strings the whole time! I love seeing characters grow in comics and along with all in the action, intrigue, and drama including throwbacks to previous adventures (Epsilon Red worked into the storyline from Tales of Suspense to explain Nat’s memory block issues) Natasha proves she has grown as a person by doing the one thing her enemy Anya did not think she would do… She trusted her friends and therein lies the genius of this story which as much a story of personal emotional growth for one of my favorite characters as it is a thrilling spy yarn!
Mooney’s art has been remarkable this series and this issue is no exception, superb emotion-filled facial expression combined with gloriously choreographed and dynamic fight scenes which feel gritty, grounded and not over the top while packing a real punch. There is a spectacular double-page splash this issue that really shows Mooney off for the talent he is as well as a nice character splash page too. My only complaint is five issues feel like too little and that I am being robbed of more of his amazing rendition of Natasha and I hope he gets to draw her again very very soon!
Triona Farrell’s colors are once again spot-on for the book, never gaudy always muted in a noirish color palette that compliments Mooney’s line work. There is literally what I am calling “Black Widow Red” on every page which makes for a pleasing symmetry throughout the book. Cory Petit’s lettering is again spot on and I like the use of different colors for each character’s narration boxes. Junggean Yoon’s cover on this issue ties in nicely with Natasha being the spider in the center of the web which is also a nice touch.
And as an added bonus, there are also some great Black Widow story recommendations at the end of the book for readers who are interested which is a nice touch from Marvel!
This final issue perfectly caps off a fantastic series that finely balances, action, and intrigue with genuine emotional growth for Natasha as a character. Superbly written, drawn, colored and lettered, it deserves its place alongside the best Black Widow stories ever told. I highly recommend it!
Web of Black Widow #5: Get By With a Little Help From My Friends…
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10