Writer: Ralph Macchio
Artist: Simone Buonfantino
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 28, 2020
With the Black Widow movie delayed, many books that Marvel had to coincide with its release are slowly hitting the shelf. Black Widow: Widow’s Sting #1 is one of those, and if you are looking for a traditional Black Widow story, Ralph Macchio might be your man. Does traditional mean good, though? Let’s find out…
I am enjoying the current Kelly Thompson Black Widow solo series. Still, that book is missing the undercover, ass-kicking action that Natasha is known for, and that’s where Ralph Macchio jumps in to fill the void. The problem, though, is that this story is more generic than I’d hoped. Sure there are action scenes, but the insistence on using the Widow’s Sting because it’s in the title becomes eye-rolling, and the set up for the main villain is so over-the-top that you wonder why he doesn’t just wish all of his troubles away from the get-go.
With little setup, Natasha arrives at the estate of Maggia Crime Boss, Silvio Manfredi, takes out some guards, and then impersonates the second in command of another crime family. Why did she have to take out the guards if SHIELD had set up her alibi already? Manfredi might be suspicious of her right away, but I think that will increase when they start finding knocked out guards!
There is a quick mention of another agent who disappeared a month ago as Manfredi calls all the other families to dinner. There isn’t much eating, though, as Manfredi declares he is now head of the Maggia, and if the other families don’t like it, they will have to deal with the Wand of Watoomb. It’s a badass relic that Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange (among others) have used in the past, and Manfredi demonstrates its power, which he claims is limitless. Of course, Black Widow has to get it, and of course, Manfredi puts it away for safekeeping.
What follows are a bunch of generic traps that Black Widow usually just blasts with her Widow’s Sting and then a couple of fights, the last with a cybernetic-suited up Manfredi. The big twist is that a masked woman at Manfredi’s side ends up being the missing SHIELD agent, and Natasha and her beat down the bad guy together. In the end, Black Widow gets the Wand and promises the agent she will be back to normal in no time.
This was a generic and forgettable issue of Black Widow. I understand wanting some books on the shelf with a movie coming out, but surely they can be better than this. The art was good enough, but every bit of the story was a snoozefest. Fans clamoring for Black Widow can indeed find some old trades and issues better than this. Seriously, you won’t even have to look that hard!
Black Widow: Widow’s Sting #1 wants to feel like a classic, traditional Black Widow story, but it only succeeds at being bland, generic, and forgettable. It looks good, but there is no reason to buy this with so many actual classic stories available on the Marvel Unlimited app and the comic store shelf.