Waid and Samnee are no strangers to collaborating on a major Marvel comic book character. Their Eisner Award-winning run on “Daredevil” was a fan favorite that took a series that is usually known for being dark and gritty and made it surprisingly bright and fun. Waid and Samnee could have tried the same thing with the Black Widow, a character also known for working best in the shadows. They didn’t. Instead their “Black Widow” series remains true to the character’s at times cold and lethal ways.
The title of “Black Widow’s” first volume (which collects issues 1-6), “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted,” by itself sounds like a great possible addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In that volume, the Black Widow is on the run from both those who would try to use the secrets of her dark pre-Avengers past as leverage and from her former S.H.I.E.L.D. allies, whom she’s forced to fight on more than one occasion.
We’re also given a look into the Black Widow’s training as a child to become an assassin, which gives this series some of its darkest moments.
The Weeping Lion, a new masked villain with a complex and creative secret origin and whose brawn is only outmatched by wits that enable him to always stay one step ahead of the Black Widow, is also introduced.
In the most recent issue of “Black Widow,” December’s issue No. 9, former Captain America sidekick Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, makes an appearance. The issue hints at a previous romance between the Black Widow and the Winter Soldier (himself once a Russian spy while being mind-controlled), while the two take on a threat from Black Widow’s past.
The issue is a fun reminder that the Black Widow and Winter Soldier already have a history on-screen together in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” the Black Widow tells Captain America that the Winter Soldier has been assassinating political figures for 50 years and even put a bullet through her to get to someone she was protecting. The pair have already exchanged punches in the last two Captain America movies (“The Winter Soldier” and “Civil War”). Waid and Samnee’s current story line even places a Nick Fury connection between the two. Who wouldn’t want to see Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier in a Black Widow movie? The pieces are there to put such a film together.
Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson is set to become the first actress to lead a female superhero movie for Marvel Studios when she stars in the titular role of “Captain Marvel,” which will arrive in theaters in 2019. If Captain Marvel is successful and can encourage future Marvel Studios films with heroine leads, the pages of her Marvel comic book have provided the Black Widow with more than enough source material to get a movie franchise started.