Writer: Peter David
Artist: C.F. Villa
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: February 19th, 2020
Thunderbolt Ross is after the Black Widow and is looking for Councilwoman Hawley’s aid. Will looking back at Natasha’s “greatest” hits do the trick? How will this tie into the upcoming flick? Let’s jump into MARVEL’S BLACK WIDOW PRELUDE #2 by Peter David and find out!
The issue begins where we left off, with General Ross still trying to garner the help of the World Security Council by proving to Councilwoman Hawley that the Avengers, and in particular Natasha Romanoff, do more harm than good. If you were expecting a new story, you’re in for some disappointment. Issue two repeats the first’s shtick of retelling plot points involving Nat from the MCU. It worked well once, and still does as a refresher, but feels cheap a second time.
This time we get scenes from The Avengers, Age of Ultron, Winter Soldier, and Civil War. It’s neat to see them rendered in comic form, but C.F. Villa’s art is pretty inconsistent this go-around, and once again the lines in these scenes are ripped from the movies verbatim. Peter David does okay with the Ross/Hawley stuff, and at one point hints that Hawley knows a little too much, but that goes nowhere. It would have been a cool twist if Hawley was actually Natasha in disguise, but nope. Maybe it’s in the movie.
Which leads to the biggest flaw of the book— the ending. It’s abrupt and doesn’t explain why Ross has such a hard-on for catching Black Widow. Maybe he’s into leather. Of course the creators are limited by what they can and can’t do here, but throw us a freakin’ bone. The Ross/Hawley interaction was a great device for recapping Natasha’s adventures, but for it to end how it does is kind of a slap in the face. You might as well have just put out one issue with the MCU scenes and called it a day.
MARVEL’S BLACK WIDOW PRELUDE #2 is a carbon copy of issue #1. Presumably refreshing moviegoers with Natasha’s exploits in the MCU worked the first time around, but simply doing it again and not progressing the original content or giving it a satisfying conclusion feels like a missed opportunity. As hamstrung as the creators may have been by being tied into the upcoming film, MARVEL’S BLACK WIDOW PRELUDE #2 still could have been better.