I decided to read the new issue this morning since Nathan Edmondson, the writer, will be in town this weekend for the Asheville Comic Expo. The issue is good and includes another Marvel hero, Hawkeye. Are we surprised that Natasha has also been romantically involved with Hawkeye? No, this seems to be her modus operandi.
There is a parallel storyline that switches back and forth. In the present, Natasha’s friend and lawyer Isaiah has been kidnapped by someone from Natasha’s past. The parallel story provides the details about what happened in the past and establishes the connection to the current situation. It works well, and I like the way the artist employs different color schemes to differentiate between the two strands.
I am looking forward to the expo this weekend. I plan on attending with my daughter, who is also excited. I’m sure I will be leaving with yet more stuff to read, because that’s my modus operandi.
The two previous issues of the Black Widow series each included an appearance by another Marvel hero, and this one continues the streak with the inclusion of the Punisher. I get a sense that the writers are weaving together a story that will ultimately connect others in the Marvel universe. That works for me. It is like a bonus feature.
In this installment, Natasha continues her search for the mysterious organization, Chaos. She locates a vessel off the coast of Costa Rica that is being used as a transmitting station by Chaos. It is there that she encounters the Punisher who aides her in overcoming the Chaos henchmen. Unfortunately, the vessel is destroyed and Natasha is left with unanswered questions.
The reader is also left with unanswered questions, which make you want to get the next issue and find out what happens (great way to ensure you meet your sales projections). I have to say, I am enjoying the complexity of this storyline. It seems that there are a lot of strands that are all leading somewhere.
Well, seems like Natasha Romanov has had many relationships with other superheroes. In issue #7, we had the appearance of Daredevil with whom she was previously intimate. In this issue, we have an appearance by Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Their paths cross briefly on Natasha’s mission and he helps her combat a well-armed gang who is after the same thing she is. During their short time together, it is made clear that Bucky still has strong feelings toward her, but Natasha’s memory of their relationship has been erased. I thought it was an interesting twist, since usually it is Natasha who is keeping secrets and now we have the past hidden from her.
I don’t have much more to say about this issue. It was good and I enjoyed it, but there was nothing in there that warrants elaborating on. I will say it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m looking forward to issue #9 so I can see how this plays out.
I liked this issue a lot. First off, it’s set in San Francisco, which is such a cool city and I have some great memories from there. Secondly, the issue includes an appearance by Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. It is revealed that Daredevil and Natasha once had a very intimate relationship, but in typical Black Widow fashion, the details of the relationship and their split remain hidden. Lastly, the writing, artwork, and storyline are all very good and consistent with the comic series.
There is a great quote from the end of this issue that has me thinking a lot about current world events.
It’s more difficult to distinguish the good from the bad every day—and she needs people that she can trust. Because the world is full of people she can’t.
Reading this, I couldn’t help thinking about how divisive the world is nowadays and how with the plethora of information available it becomes difficult to get a clear view of a situation. We have the Russia/Ukraine conflict, Israel and Hamas, Republicans and Democrats, the list goes on. I can scan Yahoo news and read articles from different sources demonizing each side of every conflict. How can one feel certain about which side is right or wrong anymore? The lines seem to become more and more indistinguishable. For me, I try to educate myself as much as possible, to practice critical thinking, and not take anything for granted. History had demonstrated that there are always at least two sides to every story. I find it best to reserve judgment and keep an open mind.
Thanks for stopping by and keep reading.
In issue #5, Natasha is captured by Damon Dran. In this issue, she escapes and captures Dran, handing him over to S.H.I.E.L.D. While in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, Dran is assassinated by a Chaos operative. As he is carrying out the assassination, the operative says “Chaos rains, Mr. Dran.” I found this to be a clever double-entendre, implying that chaos reigns. I personally ascribe to the theory that order is constantly striving to move toward the chaotic state. Because it requires so much energy to maintain order, it just seems logical based upon the idea of entropy that order would tend toward disorder. Anyway, let me back away from that rabbit hole.
The theme of this issue, and the subtitle, is “Paranoia.” Throughout the issue, the idea of how paranoia affects covert operatives is explored. Natasha accurately acknowledges that the state of being alone fuels paranoid thoughts. This ultimately leads to the fear of trusting another person. Trust can be scary under ordinary circumstances, but in the clandestine world of spies it becomes dangerous, too.
But who can I trust? Because I don’t know if I can do this by myself… It takes so much effort to get close to someone. To navigate those finely woven threads of doubt and trust. But sometimes… sometimes you need someone else.
I’ve found that the ability to trust comes after one gains a sense of self-confidence. We need relationships with others in order to share what is going on inside. Isolation is not a healthy state of being.
Thanks for stopping by, and keep reading!
In this issue, Natasha does battle with Molot Boga and defeats him. But that does not mean the assignment is over. She plunges deeper into the mystery and comes face to face with the person who was directing Molot, someone from Natasha’s past named Damon Dran. We do not find out much about this person, only that he was considered “indestructible” but he fears “the force of Chaos.” I know, it sounds like Maxwell Smart needs to be on the case. But, I’m willing to overlook that association and see where the writer is going with this, because the story is good.
Early in the issue, there is a rumination about the relationship between power, politics, and information that I found interesting.
In politics, power is influence. In espionage, power is information. Intel… He who has the information has control… The more control the information offers—the more it is worth.
I’ve been watching “House of Cards” on Netflix and I can see the connection between politics, information, and power explored in that program. I’ve always felt that knowledge is power (hate to sound cliché, but…). Still, power is like a drug. It is highly addictive. I’ve seen many people succumb to the temptation of power.
Well, that’s all I have to share about this installment. I have Issue #6, so I’ll read it and share my thoughts with you soon. Cheers!!
Ha ha! Well, I spoke too soon. In my review of Issue #3, I mentioned a pattern that each issue was a stand-alone assignment. Not the case anymore. This is the first of what I suspect will be several issues all tied in to the same assignment.
Natasha is called in by S.H.I.E.L.D. to track someone capture someone named Molot Boga, or “Hammer of God.” Reminds me of a Led Zeppelin song, and the Malleus Maleficarum. Anyway, this guy is a psycho monk who is killing “sinners” under the direction of an unseen person. There is a lot of mystery and unanswered questions, so this is going to be a short post. I will say that I liked it and I am intrigued about what will unfold in the subsequent installments.
There is a cool quote in the comic that is worth including here:
But the truth about intelligence gathering? The devil is in the details. So you can’t miss a single detail or—you might miss the devil himself…
Details are important. I know this from my years working as a technical writer. But even more important is balance. If you focus only on details, you fail to see the big picture; and if you only look at the big picture, you miss the important details. As with most things in life, balance is the key.