Black Widow #2 (of 5) – Review

Black Widow #2 
Written by Sylvia Soska, Jen Soska
Art by Flaviano Armentaro
Published by Marvel
Release Date: February 20th, 2019

Natasha Romanoff was an ex-KGB assassin, ex agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and at times, an Avenger. Then, during Marvel’s Secret Empire event, she was murdered by an evil version of Steve Rogers, Captain America – Hydra’s very own sleeper agent. However, she was brought back to life by the Red Room with implanted memories; and she’s not happy about it! Forced to live as a clone, Romanoff now walks among the living as a dead woman and as The Black Widow.

Black Widow #2 picks up where issue 1 left off, which takes readers to Madripoor, a nation of criminals. Hell-bent on exercising her demons and unleashing her rage, Natasha Romanoff found the perfect scum scapegoats. She also found a new mission to sink her desires on thanks to Tyger Tiger: the “No Restraints Play.” It’s a website designed for criminals to pay for and to watch live torture sessions of young girls; but now that Black Widow is in town, it won’t be running for long.

In this follow-up issue, writers Jen & Sylvia Soska capture a side of Black Widow that has been buried for so long. Page by page, readers can expect Natasha to fight with brutality, leaving not a single bone uncracked and leaving trails of blood in the process. But it’s exactly the kind of message she wants to send to the criminals who run “No Restraints Play.”

From issue #1, the story settles in on its tone and is more balanced. It’s as dark as Nat’s mission, and it’s as violent as the events that will be sure to come. But once again, the Soska sisters nail ex KGB-assassin Natasha Romanoff. She’s carefree about the brutal violence with which she exercises her rage, and it shows on every page.

As the issue continues, Nat runs into more problems and truths than she anticipated she would, but it’s nothing she can’t handle. And after meeting a survivor of the “No Restraints Play” club, Nat is determined now, more than ever, to see this organization and every chain of command fall. This leads to an exciting and intriguing journey for the Black Widow that will keep readers guessing and hooked. This story will only continue to get better thanks to Jen & Sylvia Soska’s writing.

Flaviano’s art and Gandini’s colors show off Nat’s great skill set as a combatant and one who is equipped to handle any circumstance. They maintain a smooth yet crisp style to showcase the violent action sequences. However, the art & colors also represent Nat’s predicament. Most pages contain dark backdrops, with the brightest objects on the panels being Nat’s hair and her white suit. It’s a clever way to show how tragic this situation is, with Nat being the one who could bring light and peace to these young victims. And once again, this contrasting effect makes for panels that are eye-catching paired with a story that is intriguing from beginning to end.

Overall, Black Widow #2 is a great improvement and continuation of Natasha Romanoff’s life in Madripoor. With every page turn, readers can expect lively panels supported by great action sequences and strong narration. With this issue, readers will know for certain that Black Widow is officially back from the dead, and she’s in great hands with the Soska sisters.