Written by: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
Art by: Chris Samnee
Colored by: Matthew Wilson
Lettered by: Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 8/17/16
Price Tag: $3.99
Waid and Samnee’s take on Black Widow run continues to be nothing but non-stop spy action. Natasha going between alliance and alliance, friend to friend – never staying attached to anywhere or anyone long. Blurring the lines of mortality, doing the good and the bad, just like the black widow spider she is. Issue #6 yet again brings people trying to kick Natasha more when she’s down. She’ll never let them completely control or manipulate her – she’s then queen spider and she knows it.
Natasha’s past comes back to haunt her. Again. With the consequences of her actions with Weeping Lion – unable to deliver to the demands of his blackmail her secrets are know thrown to the world. Her past now interfering with someone very dear to her heart, Tony Stark.
This single panel describes Natasha through this run. She is continuously reaping what she sows. However, what Samnee and Waid do with her pain is turn it into a power. Natasha is able to take her past experiences and use it to her advantage as is seen in the end of this issue. She is constantly playing those around her, even herself.
With Natasha’s few secrets no longer secrets, she is a target to the world. Even a target to people who she could consider friends. Revealed to have been a part of the death of Tony’s mentor, the reason he became Iron Man. It’s always interested when writers mess with the “canon” of comic history but Waid and Samnee do it so elegantly. As a reader you truly believe that this could have been part of history forever.
Natasha and Tony’s relationship has always been fascinating and while it could be argued that Tony simply felt sorry for an old friend, it’s more likely that Natasha played him. When Tony sees Natasha for the first time, while trying to track her down in anger, he feels sorry for her.
Natasha is smart, she knows that being down doesn’t equate to being defeated. Instead of pitying herself, Natasha takes her pain and turns it into her weapon. She begins to once again manipulate everyone around her by making them feel sorry for her or seeing her as weak. Samnee and Waid handle Natasha with such care and never treat her as simply a damsel in distress. Even with Tony coming into the picture, she makes the situation her own.
Samnee and Wilson take the already magnificent story and amp it up ten fold with their artistic styles. The pencilling of Samnee has such a espinoge novel feel to it, simplistic and clean cut but with just enough sharp edges.
One of my favorite panels that purely captures Samnee and Wilson’s work is a brief moment in a flashback. Natasha – beat up, slipping into high heels. Her pain and feminity, her two biggest weapons in one single panel. The colors of Wilson in the flashback focusing on softer pinker tones truly contrasts the harshest, stronger colors of the present. Even Natasha, beauty still there, looks more hard.
Waid and Samnee’s run on Black Widow is one of Marvel’s current best comics. While Natasha has had MANY tales, done by many teams, it’s very fitting to have a team with a notable history like Waid and Samnee’s take her on. This series continues to deliver everything you would want in a comic and it takes characters’ readers are familiar with, adding something new yet exciting. If you’ve never read a Black Widow comic and want to get to know her from a different perspective, this is definitely a run you do not want to miss.