by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto
There’s probably nothing that can be said about this series that hasn’t been said already. The whole series has been absolutely fantastic right from the start, and all the way to issue nineteen it’s still something to rave about. Edmondson and Noto are, by far, one of the best teams in comics right now. There’s no other team that could have made Black Widow as fantastic as it has been, that’s for sure.
The events of Secret Wars seem like they’re just about to take place here, where Natasha has pretty much joined back up with the Avengers at the end of the previous issue. We only see that for a couple of panels though, and then, instead of witnessing the events we already know are going to happen, we get to go back into Natasha’s past, which makes this quite different from most of what Marvel has put out in the last couple of weeks. A nice way of postponing the inevitable end of the series, perhaps? Or it could be that the events that are happening in this flashback-issue are going to come back to present day before the series wraps up, which, after the way things have gone, is probably a good assumption.
Having almost an entire issue as a flashback is probably the best idea ever. Readers get a look back into Black Widow’s past, and it’s also a good opportunity to make people wonder what’s going on back in present time as well – and also, there’s the whole stretch-the-inevitable-ending out longer! In general it was an excellent issue, of course. It’s a great story, and leaves you eager to see what’s going to happen after that ending – and back in real-time as well. And while we do know some of Natasha’s back story, as far as how she was raised and such, it’s nice to see another point in her life, so her back story can become a little bit more filled out. Overall, the story was wonderful, and there’s no doubt that it’ll come full circle somehow and all connect before everything comes to a close.
And, as always, the art was wonderful, too. Phil Noto has done such an incredible job with this Black Widow series. And it was fun to see a younger version of her in this issue as well. It’s not specified how long ago this flashback takes place, though – her face looks very much the same, but she’s got a different hair style and just seems younger in general. It would be interesting to know just how many years have passed between then and the present day. The flashback takes place in Cuba, which provides the issue with a generally brighter, happier feeling than some previous issues have dealt with – that probably adds to the younger, lighter vibe of the story as well.
It will really be a shame to say goodbye to this series (to make way for the new number ones coming out in the fall). It has really been one of Marvel’s best series for quite some time. But don’t start mourning it now, it’s not over yet.