Black Widow #9 (Marvel)

CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 4/5 – An Effective Yet Subtle Crossover With The Punisher.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Crossovers are sometimes detrimental to the reader by making them feel like they have to read something that they may have no desire to read in order to get the whole story. In this month’s Black Widow number nine, the title crosses over with the Punisher, but does so in a completely reader friendly way by not allowing the crossover to stall or hinder Black Widow’s own story. If you happen to read both titles you get a richer story, if not, you can still enjoy each book on it’s own without feeling lost, or that you’ve missed something important. Writer Nathan Edmonson and artist Phil Noto continue their chronicling of Black Widow’s attempt to take down a mysterious organization known as Chaos which leads her into a confrontation with not only the Punisher, but also a long time Captain America villain.  The guest appearances provide the sense of a deeper threat that the Chaos organization poses as Black Widow looks for clues of their origin.

Phil Noto’s art continues to impress with his work on this series as he’s been consistently great since issue one. Noto’s sleek and simple line is perfect for a character like Black Widow, and he’s always drawn women especially well. His Black Widow is lithe and realistic, keeping her in the classic black costume. His action scenes in particular stand out as he’s come up with some clever ways to show movement and sounds with an even thinner line than what he normally uses. It all comes together in a beautiful package that  has been consistent for nine straight issues which sadly isn’t very common with today’s top artists.

Black Widow has had some surprise guest stars over the course of the series including Daredevil, Winter Soldier and now here with the Punisher, but they’ve always served to advance the story and showcase the character of Black Widow, more than feeling like a guest star there to just bump sales. This series continues to be one of Marvel’s stronger titles based on the solid consistency in both the art and writing, and this issue proves it yet again. If you haven’t been reading Black Widow and are reading the Punisher, this is the perfect opportunity to give this book a shot. But even if you’re not, this book continues to be a title you should be reading and this issue proves yet again just why that is.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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