Staring down an incoming missile, The Black Widow has only seconds to save her own life… and the world! Your Major Spoilers review of Black Widow #5 awaits!


Writer: Jen & Sylvia Soska
Artist: Flaviano
Colorist: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Jake Thomas
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 15, 2019

Previously in Black Widow: The Black Widow has rescued children who had been abducted by No Restraints Play, a website where customers bid on directing live torture sessions, uncovering the identity of the man behind the website. But when Natasha and Tyger confronted him, they learned a startling truth: Fun Dad was really Tech Ed, the right-hand man of crimelord Tyger Tiger. Ed’s attempts to frame another for his crimes has failed, leaving him to lure Tyger and the Widow into a trap and launch a missile straight toward them.


We open with Tech Ed having won the day. Not only has he made a massive amount of money, not only has he killed The Prince of Madripoor, not only has he gotten away scot-free after torturing and trafficking young children, he has blown the Black Widow to smithereens! It’s all roses for Ed, save for one miscalculation: It’s a lot harder to kill The Black Widow. (After all, this whole story began right after she was shot in the head by evil Captain America.) Rising from the ashes, only pausing long enough to see the Prince die in Tyger Tiger’s arms, the Widow leaps into action. Racing across the city to the Princess bar, Natasha arrives just in time to keep the bar full of suffering children from exploding (Ed even made the trigger a clicker bar on a tantalizing video game on his laptop, making it possible for the kids to kill themselves), but finds that he has fled the country. Some time later, Ed finds it hard to relax on his yacht, ordering his security people to keep a perimeter, even though they’re in the middle of the ocean. Their complaints about how stupid this is are interrupted when the Black Widow rises from the ocean to kick in their brains…


This entire miniseries has been an action movie in comic book form, right down to this issue’s final showdown with Tech Ed’s gun against Black Widow’s stings. There’s even a big monologue about how he is the REAL victim, but things take a turn when he tries to shoot at her and she aims her sting right in his EYE. Granted, he’s guilty of kidnapping, torture and worse, and there’s no indication that she believes it’s the right thing to do (she’s quite conflicted afterwards) but it’s a pretty shocking moment nonetheless. I enjoy the way the Soskas handle Natasha’s shades-of-gray morality, while Flaviano’s art strikes a balance somewhere between Chris Samnee and Adam Kubert, with lots of shadow to emphasize The Black Widow’s torment. The issue ends on a more positive note, as she returns for a conversation with Captain America that indicates she may be on the road to healing her own emotional damage, something that both the art and the dialogue do a good job in conveying.


All in all, it’s a pretty solid close for this book and one that sets up the next chapter of Black Widow’s career with aplomb. I wouldn’t recommend it to sensitive or young readers, given the difficult content, but Black Widow #5 brings this disturbing arc to an appropriate (if bloody and not quite entirely satisfying) close, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this creative team.

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Looks Good

It's VERY dark and wears its movie influences on it's sleeve, but all in all, this is a good final chapter.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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