Marvel’s Avengers: Black Widow #1 review – The enemy inside

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The relationship between Natasha Romanova and one of the major villains featured in Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers video game is explored in Marvel’s Avengers: Black Widow #1.

The final issue of the five-issue prequel series based on Square Enix’s upcoming video game featuring the hottest superhero team on the planet, Marvel’s Avengers: Black Widow #1 focuses on the only Avenger who pretty much only relies on her natural abilities to fight the world’s biggest threats but who also can hang with the most powerful villains and heroes in the universe. The idea behind this prequel comic book series was to lead into the launch of Marvel’s Avenger’s in April. The game was pushed back to September, but the comics continued to release.

Marvel’s Avengers: Black Widow #1 delves into a time when Black Widow, who was formerly a Russian Agent, had just recently turned into an American asset that would also be trained to become a valued member of Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agency. There’s a lot of mistrust between Widow and the established agents, but she forms a bond with one Tony Masters who seems to treat her as an equal. Though if you know who Tony Masters is, who I won’t spoil here, you can probably guess where the story goes.

The comic starts off a little silly, with Widow completely dominating other agents in a training session. One agent apparently gets so frustrated he literally wants to shoot her with a sonic cannon until Fury stops him. But otherwise, Black Widow #1 is arguably what all the other comics should have been.

The previous comic in the series, Captain America #1 had a potential lead-in to the game but Black Widow #1 is the only comic in this entire series that actually establishes a clear timeline. It makes a link between a major villain featured in the game and one of the Avengers. And the end leads up directly to right before the game will presumably start. That’s what every issue of this series needed to either do independently or combine to lead up to it and Marvel’s Avengers: Black Widow #1 is the only comic in this whole run that successfully does this. Why didn’t any of the others?

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Black Widow #1 unfortunately also seems to be the comic that suffers most from recent delays. This comic, the video game and the Black Widow movie — which also all feature another major character in all three  three products that is not Nick Fury — would have all released in fairly short order making for some pretty good crossover goodwill. Now with the Marvel’s Avengers game and Black Widow movie delayedwe just have the comic as this random stand-alone thing. They series could’ve greatly benefited from crossover promotion.

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We are now at an end with the Marvel’s Avengers prequel comics and the results are honestly a very mixed bag. The worst part being that near the end of the series, there was actually some potential shown.

Both Captain America #1 and Black Widow #1 showed that with a little better release structure and the right formula these comics could’ve actually been pretty interesting and worthwhile. It’s just too bad the three previous comics featuring Iron Man, Thor and Hulk were such an absolute waste that these last two suffer as a result.

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Now we just have to wait until the game actually releases to see if it can do a better job establishing these characters with an original take. Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers is currently due out September 1 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia.