If you like your espionage stories with ballroom parties, laser nets to be bypassed, and plenty of twists, you’ll dig the new one-shot Black Widow story from Marvel Comics. Titled Black Widow: Widow’s Sting, the story is crafted by lifetime Marvel alumni Ralph Macchio with art by Simone Buonfantino. This new book is likely a creation to tie in with the Black Widow film, but had to come out sometime since the film seems to be indefinitely delayed.
This an enjoyable read if you want a familiar sort of espionage story featuring Black Widow. It doesn’t do anything too extraordinary, but it also isn’t boring. It balances elements that longtime readers will enjoy using a classic magical bauble Black Widow is after as well as familiar characters while delivering a plot that’s rather standard and simple.
The book’s highlight might be the various traps Black Widow must get through to achieve her goals. If you’ve seen any spy dramas, you know laser nets are a must, but there are some other traps in this one too. This issue does separate itself a bit with some surprises for Black Widow as well as a touch of realism. You can’t get through dangerous traps without taking some damage along the way.
Art by Simone Buonfantino is solid if you’re interested in action fare. It’s competent, exciting when it needs to be, and offers plenty of believable action. It’s neither overly impressive nor half baked. It’s the perfect kind of art for a story that feels familiar but can be enjoyed by a wide variety of readers.
If you were to find a fault in this issue, it might be the heavy exposition that ends the book. Macchio seems rushed in the final two pages to establish some new continuity while explaining who the masked woman is and it feels tacked on.
Maybe the most exciting thing about this issue is something new possibly spinning off the issue, though it’s too early to tell, especially since it may tie into the film. As far as tie-in comics go — since this truly is a promotion with the film rather than tied into the great work Kelly Thompson is doing on the main series — this is a fun book anyone can add to their pull list when they go to the comic book shop. It’s not remarkable, but it gets the job done.
If you want a traditional Black Widow story you can’t go wrong with Widow’s Sting, which offers a classic espionage tale using Black Widow in a traditional way.
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