Friday, June 11, 2010

A fan of the black...

I've extolled the value of a good read over Reginald Hudlin's run on The Black Panther, which was met with some general disinterest amongst most of you (a mistake!), and now I'm turning my attention to another book that begins with that ever important first word 'Black.'

The difference of course is that the books couldn't be less similar.

Unlike The Black Panther, which is a story about a King from the African nation of Wakanda, I'm talking about a superspy from the Super Power formerly known as the U.S.S.R.  I'm talking about The Black Widow (and not the one depicted in the latest Iron Man movie by Scarlett - okay, yes that same character......but you know.....with more depth, meaning and background than they bothered to give Scarlett to work with.)

Marjorie Liu is breathing new life into this character, and after two issues I'm sold on giving this book a serious look for the foreseeable future. For those of you who don't know Liu's work, she's been running as co-writer on Dark Wolverine with Daniel Way and doing a terrific job of developing the story that will ultimately dictate the outcome of the parricidal story of Wolverine's son Daken.

Liu introduces us to Widow in a well paced, tightly written first issue in which we are reminded of the woman's deep-seeded roots as a soviet spy with too many secrets in her past. We also get a glimpse into her romantic links in the Marvel Universe, which nicely sets us up for the suggestion that all of her time as an Avenger (since her defection years earlier) may in fact have been a deception.

The hanging ending of the first book and the underlying tone of the story suggest that we're in for a story which will really dig deeply into whether or not you can ever trust the world's second best spy (*ahem* Nick Fury of course being the best) and what happens when the people who think they're closest to her finally have to start doubting the trust they have always had for her.

I like books that make me think, and I get the impression I'm going to spend some time trying to decide when and where the twists and turns are coming in this one. Frankly I don't care if she's really an agent who's been on assignment all these years, or if somebody's just trying to frame her and take her down.  What I care about is that we're delving into the roots of the character in a smart way, and that the story is going to be an exciting mix of violence and cunning.

If you're looking for something new to try, this may be a book of interest for you.

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