Black Widow 1 (November 2004)

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I’ve read this Black Widow series before, but it’s been so long I forgot Bill Sienkiewicz does the art. I remembered it was good, but I didn’t remember why it’s good. So it’s a nice surprise.

Richard K. Morgan doesn’t have any Marvel Universe stuff here. It’s just a retired spy story so far—Natasha keeps trying to get out (moving to Monument Valley to rock climb, what’s more American than that?), and they keep pulling her back in.

It appears the bad guys are some Blackwater stand-in. Or something. With ex-Soviets along for the ride.

The issue gets Natasha from retirement to being on the run; along the way she acquires a sidekick and plays superhero for a scene. But it’s a really tough scene. The book’s only a Marvel Knights title, but mean-spirited enough it could’ve been a MAX.

Natasha’s ruthless (appropriately) and vicious (appropriately).

CREDITS

Right to a Life, Part One; writer, Richard K. Morgan; artist, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Dan Brown; letterer, Cory Petit; editor, Jennifer Lee; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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