Web of Black Widow #3
Having been caught off-guard by an unknown enemy from her past Natasha turns to another part of her past for assistance but can Yelena Belova be trusted to help Natasha unravel the mystery behind this unknown foe that is wearing and killing with the face of the Black Widow...
It’s the best issue in the series so far from Houser as Natasha seeks assistance from her old enemy, counterpart from the Red Room, Yelena Belova who also now inhabits a cloned body like Natasha. The action moves between the two women infiltrating a security company and flashbacks to the Widows past in the Red Room where we get an intimate glimpse of her with former husband Alexei Shostakov and learn about a student named Toma that Natasha is forced to abandon on a mission when the arrogant student goes off mission. Houser balances the jumps between past and presents exceptionally well and the issue reads at a perfectly pitched pace building toward the conflict at the end as once again the mystery enemy manages to best both Natasha and Yelena by murdering another person while wearing Natasha’s face.
The action is brilliant but it’s the emotional depth that Houser imbues into writing Natasha that is truly impressive. She balances Natasha’s cool and assured capability with a depth that truly feels perfect for a character struggling with returning from the dead carrying ghosts from the pasts with memories that are not all there. The dynamic between Natasha and Yelena is superb there is a push-pull tension/rivalry in their interactions that speaks to their shared past balanced with grudging respect that feels perfect.
This issue points to Toma being the faceless adversary but there is also a panel in the comic while Widow is discussing Toma’s loss with the headmistress of the Red Room that points in another direction as well… I guess we will find out.
The art is once again spectacular. Mooney’s splash pieces are absolutely beautiful, his action sequences and paneling dynamic and fluid. That ballet grace that he shows in the combat movement of both Natasha and Yelena is just so spot on and something I have absolutely loved about his action sequences this whole series. I haven’t mentioned it before but another excellent part of Mooney’s art in this issue is facial expressions and specifically around the eyes, he conveys a wide range of emotion which adds an additional layer of depth to the issue. Triona Farrell does a great job on colors as once again the muted color palette helps keep the feel of action spy comic.
The strongest installment in a really well written and superbly executed series Black Widow #3 is everything a fan of the character and the genre could possibly hope for: an action and mystery packed romp with perfectly pitched dialogue balanced against believable emotionally written characters. Thrilling!
Web of Black Widow #3: Another Set of Eyes
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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