Connect with us
Black Widow #2 review: Hero for the #MeToo age?

Comic Books

Black Widow #2 review: Hero for the #MeToo age?

You have to give the Soska sisters major props for dealing with abuse and portraying Natasha as a protector.

So far, both issues of Black Widow wrestle with dark subject matter that’s hindered by the fact that this is a mainstream superhero comic.

You have to give the Soska sisters major props for dealing with abuse (even sexual) toward women and portraying Natasha as a protector of her gender. And where better to find rapists and abusers than in Madripoor? If you’re looking for a feminist take on John Wick, there are some scenes that will scratch that itch.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!
Black Widow #2 review: Hero for the #MeToo age?
Marvel Comics

Alas, tonal inconsistency sinks #2, just like the previous. That, and poor plotting. And iffy characterization. But for now let’s focus on tone. Many pages are deeply upsetting due to the subject matter. There’s even a scene were we witness a mutilated child who escaped from a torture yacht for online spectators (Videodrome, anybody?). Horrific stuff.

Problem is, Black Widow falls back on goofy dialogue and villains because ultimately, this is a superhero book. In order to take this seriously, the tone has to be kept relatively at the same pace or it feels disrespectful. It’s great that a series is tackling such present, very real evils. But don’t mix it in with Taskmaster and Sabretooth goofin’ on each other.

Natasha herself, as a character, is another darker element. While eviscerating limbs, she’s admitting to herself that she enjoys the thrill of killing — and that’s pretty raw stuff — for the first three thought bubbles. Like Deadly Class, the main character’s vulnerable thoughts go on for so long in such overwritten fashion, it becomes emo. Yet another element that doesn’t help tonally.

Black Widow #2 review: Hero for the #MeToo age?
Marvel Comics

Unfortunately, the plotting is also jumbled. This arc so far feels less like a cohesive structure and more like a list of people, locations, and scenes the creative team wanted to cram in. Natasha says she wants to take out all traces of a torture network, so she jumps around wherever she can find enemies with no definitive plans. There’s also no clear boss villain to challenge our hero.

Flaviano’s art isn’t the most detailed or polished. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is hard to say. It’s in an odd middle ground where it’s not quite cartoony or dynamic. Perhaps it’s best to describe his art as a more energetic, less moody Gabriel Hernandez Walta.

Black Widow #2 review: Hero for the #MeToo age?
Black Widow #2
Is it good?
As the real world struggles to protect the marginalized, comics like these are needed. I only wish Black Widow was better written to serve its important messages.
Ambitious, heavy subject matter.
Themes about abuse/misogyny are undercut by superhero cliches.
Jumbled plotting.
Natasha's inner monologues grow tiresome.

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!


In Case You Missed It

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

‘X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation’ #1 finishes up the least disappointing Onslaught story yet

Comic Books

'Nightwing' #84 offers great Batman team-up action 'Nightwing' #84 offers great Batman team-up action

‘Nightwing’ #84 offers great Batman team-up action

Comic Books

cry macho cry macho

‘Cry Macho’ review: This dull, pointless film is a waste of time

Movie Reviews

X-Men #3 X-Men #3

In ‘X-Men’ #3, Krakoa’s heroes square off with the High Evolutionary

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup