If you ever wanted the number one issue of a comic to just take you by the hand, whisper “trust me” and essentially throw you into the deep end of an ongoing story with little background, the new Black Widow #1 is a great title for you.
The new comic, which was released on March 1, is written by the Eisner Award winning duo Mark Waid and Chris Samnee with art by Samnee and coloring by Matthew Wilson. Waid and Samnee are renowned for their run on Daredevil in the previous Marvel NOW! era.
In this new first issue, Waid and Samnee are trusting that the reader is ready and prepared to go from page one. The entire issue runs as an extended chase scene between super-spy Black Widow and her now former employer, S.H.I.E.L.D. The book starts with Maria Hill, acting director of S.H.I.E.L.D. announcing that Black Widow is an enemy of the organization, which leaves Natasha Romanoff having to battle her way through the helicarrier and the skies and streets of Manhattan.
With very little dialogue and a book entirely made of action sequences, Waid and Samnee hit the first issue of Black Widow out of the park. There was no overextended dialogue explaining why Natasha is saying “screw you” to S.H.I.E.L.D., and no ridiculous amount of world building. It was refreshing to read a comic in an established universe where the writers aren’t afraid to throw exposition out the window and just start the action in the first panel.
While this is definitely a great way to start off a comic series, it does raise tons of questions that don’t get answered and any storytelling that could give context is thrown out the window. Anyone looking for in-depth storytelling is kind of SOL. This is simple, fast and barebones, and Waid and Samnee want you to come back later for the answers to any questions.
Natasha kicks all sorts of ass in this issue (as she should, she’s Black-freaking-Widow) and Samnee’s art does a great job of showcasing the action and speed of the issue. Samnee uses clean lines that accentuate the starkness of the plot and his entire action sequence (the whole damn book) is smooth and flows from panel to panel. He really uses the visual medium of comics to full affect as he moves from claustrophobic, one-on-one hand combat to the large arial ballet that Natasha goes through in order to escape the giant helicarrier.
While it’s nowhere near the Black Widow movie that we all have been praying for (MCU where are you on this one? Everyone wants it to happen, come on.), this comic definitely fills the hole in my heart that has been missing some serious Black Widow action.