by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto
Pow! The first page of Black Widow issue six is a punch to the reader’s face but keeps a quiet pounding pace. This issue is a good representation of the series, equal parts action and quiet espionage mystery. No secret that Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto continue to give the Black Widow a book that showcases the complexity of trust and relationships in the spy world.
Issue 6 picks up right after the previous issue and is strategically written to not alienate new readers. Black Widow starts with action, a clever resolution to insurmountable challenges, all the while Natasha keeps her cool, calm 007 demeanor. Maria Hill is used effectively as the voice of the reader, showing concern, a bit of narration and explanation. The issue ends with a clever cameo and a small hint of Natasha attempting to break the cold, paranoid lonely life of a spy.
Edmondson has created a script that is a simple read with complex undertones. The roller coaster that is the emotional life of a spy is effectively portrayed without over exposition. A testament to Edmondson’s use of minimalist text boxes and dialogue. Edmondson gives Black Widow human emotions that aid in breaking the cold robotic feeling that plague badly written spy books. There is a good balance of the personal conflicts that come with being a top spy and that of being a person with a life outside of work. The story works on multiple levels, as an analogy for losing one’s personality to one’s occupation and straight spy action.
Hues and tones help emphasize action and emotion. Phil Noto’s art complements Edmondson script in a beautiful fashion. Scenes of action have a distinct hue and tone different from the more reflective segments of the issue. Noto has improved in panel and perspective creating movement on the page without upsetting the story flow. Noto art has been increasing more fluid, lines are not as sharp, color is used effectively without being abrasive. Noto has made the art match the subtlety of the script which emphasizes and provides depth to the story.
Black Widow is a well oiled machine of a comic. Noto’s art is a wonderful visualization of the personal and physical conflicts Edmondson is plotting for Natasha. Both are crafting a unique title inside the traditional spy comic genre