REVIEW: ‘Black Widow,’ Issue #12

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Black Widow #12

Black Widow #12 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Elena Casagrande, inks by Elisabetta D’amico, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Cory Petit. After their most recent showdown with Apogee, the two Widows acquired some intelligence about unsavory dealings that are going down under the guise of the upcoming Golden Gate Gala. Accompanied by Hawkeye, The Winter Soldier, Spider-Girl, and Lucy, the Widows hope to learn what secrets the Gala holds.

This issue opens its story with another brief flashback to Natasha’s time with her husband and child. While these brief openings have become a favorite way for writer Thompson to pull on our heartstrings, their simple beauty and the dull ache they leave in Natasha’s eyes when they end seem to be losing none of their potency. The conversation that follows this opening between Nat and Bucky only adds to the poignancy of this scene. But while the past is always with us, the now is fleeting. With a Gala to infiltrate, the duo joins their compatriots so they can plan their latest mission.

The rest of Black Widow #12 sees our intrepid heroes infiltrate their target. While Natasha, Clint, and Yelena keep all eyes on them, Lucy and Anya attempt to infiltrate the festivities in a bit more clandestine manner in the hopes of discovering what lies at the heart of this seemingly innocent social event. And what would a good infiltration operation be without some poorly timed emotional drama between former lovers, am I right?

With so much emotional baggage being carried by some of this party’s members, it only makes sense for some old feelings to get rehashed out on the dance floor. Thompson delivers this exchange with all the skills I would expect of her. Surround this heavier interaction with witty banter from the rest of the misfits in the group, and Black Widow #12 delivers a wonderful mix of serious and silly.

While I enjoyed Thompson’s writing, it is the art that steals the show in this issue. Casagrande returns to the book after a one-month absence and has seen fit to bring the full weight of her significant talents to work throughout this story. Each page delivers its visuals so well that it convinces you the art can’t get better than this, only to have you flip the page to discover you were wrong. From the heartwrenching opening flashback to the inspired Gala outfit designs that could see our heroes fitting ain’t even the biggest Marvel parties, to the trademark double-page combat splash panel, Casagrande spends the entire issue one-upping herself.

Adding more emotional depth to Casagrande’s lines is a beautiful selection of colors by Bellaire. This is especially true for the color palette utilized while our heroes are on the dance floor at the Gala. While it isn’t what I would’ve expected, the colors manage to balance the emotions and pomp of the sequence nicely.

Rounding out our look at this book is Petit’s letters. The lettering brings the story to the reader in a smooth and easy-to-follow layout that never gets in the way of the gorgeous art.

When all is said and done, Black Widow #12 gets this book’s newest adventure off to a great start. I look forward to seeing what twists await our heroes in the issues to come.

Black Widow #12 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Black Widow #12
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Black Widow #12 gets this book’s newest adventure off to a great start. I look forward to seeing what twists await our heroes in the issues to come.