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Home is where the hurt is! And the Black Widow has plenty of that. She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her--and it's as merciless Home is where the hurt is! And the Black Widow has plenty of that. She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her--and it's as merciless as its name. Outmatched by the brute force of this powerful new villain, Natasha discovers a deadly globe-spanning plot. It's a race against time, and the Widow has nowhere to turn for answers. The trail of blood and destruction will test her strength and cunning--but it may also test her faith. Collecting: Black Widow 1-6 & material from All-New Marvel Now!.Point One


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Home is where the hurt is! And the Black Widow has plenty of that. She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her--and it's as merciless Home is where the hurt is! And the Black Widow has plenty of that. She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her--and it's as merciless as its name. Outmatched by the brute force of this powerful new villain, Natasha discovers a deadly globe-spanning plot. It's a race against time, and the Widow has nowhere to turn for answers. The trail of blood and destruction will test her strength and cunning--but it may also test her faith. Collecting: Black Widow 1-6 & material from All-New Marvel Now!.Point One

30 review for Black Widow, Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars Not quite good enough to give it a full 4 stars, but I liked it. I wanted to love this so much more than I did, though. And it's good. Really. I just didn't connect with Natasha like I wanted to. I thought she was going to be all BANG! in your face...badass. Or something. But? Well, she wasn't especially witty, or cool, or WhateverTheFuck I assumed she would be. Anyway, I was a bit underwhelmed, but I think that may be my fault. Just because it wasn't what I wanted, doesn't mean it's bad 3.5 stars Not quite good enough to give it a full 4 stars, but I liked it. I wanted to love this so much more than I did, though. And it's good. Really. I just didn't connect with Natasha like I wanted to. I thought she was going to be all BANG! in your face...badass. Or something. But? Well, she wasn't especially witty, or cool, or WhateverTheFuck I assumed she would be. Anyway, I was a bit underwhelmed, but I think that may be my fault. Just because it wasn't what I wanted, doesn't mean it's bad. Black Widow has this side job thingy going...when she isn't working for the Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D., I guess. She kills bad people for money, and then uses that money to support the families that she has wronged in the past. Ish? Luckily, she's hired a killer lawyer to manage her affairs. She won't let anybody (including a stray cat) get close to her because that's how you DIE in the biz. Whew! That was a really new and different take on assassins/spies! Blah, blah, blah some bad guys attack the government. Blah, blah, blah, cute cameo by Hawkeye! The End. That's kind of the whole thing in a nutshell. If I'd gone into it with remotely realistic expectations, I think I would have loved it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Really good start but it could be better I read this on its single issues but I am choosing this edition to make a better overall review of the whole storyarc. This edition contains the comic book issues from #1 to #6 of "All-New Marvel Now! - Black Widow". Creative Team Writer: Nathan Edmonson Illustrator: Phil Noto MY HISTORY WITH HER I am not unfamiliarized with the Black Widow and certainly I wasn't interested about her just because she got into the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, t Really good start but it could be better I read this on its single issues but I am choosing this edition to make a better overall review of the whole storyarc. This edition contains the comic book issues from #1 to #6 of "All-New Marvel Now! - Black Widow". Creative Team Writer: Nathan Edmonson Illustrator: Phil Noto MY HISTORY WITH HER I am not unfamiliarized with the Black Widow and certainly I wasn't interested about her just because she got into the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that it's no rare that many readers decided to give a chance to her until then. I was already a fan of the character since several years. If I have to pick a moment and reason that I became interested on the character, I think that I have pick her participation when I read The Ultimates Vols. 1 & 2; but it's not hard to understand that I was going to like the character since I was already fan of espionage material like James Bond and also similar characters such as Danger Girl. So, I think that it was just natural that I was going to become a fan of the comic book character. I was real lucky that a very good friend of mine, she was able to help me to get my first miniseries (on its single issues) of Black Widow (Vol. 3 2004) where it was about Yelena Belova (the other "Black Widow") so that's when I wanted to read the initial miniseries where that character was introduced to Natalia Romanova (the original and current "Black Widow"), so again my friend helped me and she was able to find the earlier mini-series (on its single issues too!) centered on the character: Black Widow (Vol. 1, 1999) and Black Widow (Vol. 2, 2001) that they came out before I decided to "track" her solo appearances in comic books. Also, thank to my friend, she helped to get the single issues of Black Widow: The Things that they say about her (2006). And when a local store here established a regular offering of comic books, I was able to get (on its single issues too): Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2010), Black Widow (Vol. 4 (2010–2011) and Marvel's the Avengers: Black Widow Strikes (2012). And so, it wasn't odd that I was going to pick this current series too. But again, I like that I was already fan of the character way before of her massive media boom thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. FROM RUSSIA WITH REDEMPTION No one will ever know my full story. This particular ongoing comic book series started with Natalia Romanova (The Black Widow) presenting what she does whenever she isn't in a covert-up mission from SHIELD or assembling with The Avengers. Her lawyer, Isaiah, is her intermediary to select paid jobs where she can obtain the means to keep financed her web of safe houses around the world (along with paying politics and military to look the other way and not questioning those safe houses) but also the reason of these missions is looking for redemption for all the very, VERY bad things that she did before of becoming a "heroine". So, it's evidently that while some of her missions imply to kill people, it's vital to kill only bad people or at least the worst of two evils involved. There is a moment that you will realize that Isaiah must have an "interesting past" such as Natalia's but if she is aware of that past, it's still uncertain yet. Her jobs in the first three issues showed how good she is but also how human she is. She is good at what she does, but hardly she is perfect and she is capable of making mistakes such as anybody else. DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD One benefit of government work? Frequent flyer miles. On the other three issues of the first story arc is introduced a formal mission from SHIELD that started as a "boring" job of setting "bugs" in an embassy but that explosively soon enough evolutioned in a hunting for a powerful and insane mercenary and finding out who is his boss. When the comic book series is centered on her personal paid jobs I think that it worked wonderfully, however when the story turned out to an official mission from SHIELD, became a double-edged sword since there are moments (precisely a moment) where it's illogical why she isn't asking for back-up from SHIELD or even calling help from The Avengers to avoid a potential disaster that she only has two hours to arrive there and instead of playing the "lonely wolf" role, she should realize that things were getting out of her game play (in fact she even mentioned that she was a spy, not an open field shooter), so one understands the importance to give the "feeling" that the comic book title is about her, but when that character lives in a big comic book universe where she even has strong ties with super-hero teams and para-military organizations, it's odd to justify that she doesn't ask for support in certain key moments to avoid the losing of human lives. Other things about the "second part" of the storyarc is that while the comic book title started with stand-alone jobs on each issue, the title turned out to a more complex storyarc but while she got some answers, she hardly scratched the surface of the "big mystery" here, so you "finished" the first story arc lacking of a sense of closure. Still, it was a really good reading and the beautiful artwork of Phil Noto was a real treat to the eye.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Two and a half stars rounded down. I really wanted to like this series. Black Widow, a character who’s been around since the sixties, deserves a stellar treatment, sadly it won’t be this one. When a stray cat becomes the metaphor, focal point and leitmotif for Natasha’s need to remain aloof from people, you know the writer is biting off a little more than he can chew from the thematic pie. Black Widow is trying to distance herself from her past, yet she uses her skills as an assassin to set up a tr Two and a half stars rounded down. I really wanted to like this series. Black Widow, a character who’s been around since the sixties, deserves a stellar treatment, sadly it won’t be this one. When a stray cat becomes the metaphor, focal point and leitmotif for Natasha’s need to remain aloof from people, you know the writer is biting off a little more than he can chew from the thematic pie. Black Widow is trying to distance herself from her past, yet she uses her skills as an assassin to set up a trust fund for some of those that have been victims from her past work. She’ll only take “work” that involves taking out somebody who’s evil, but that line can be moved or altered to fit the sometimes fluid circumstances. How convenient for the writer, how confusing and disappointing for the reader. Black Widow also works with her pals at S.H.I.E.L.D.; however, the pay and benefits package there leaves a lot to be desired even though the work is far more interesting than taking out the evil chump of the month. The art is really the only selling point for this volume, but even I don’t read comics just for the art. Note: This is the second mediocre Black Widow title that I've read this week. Come on, Marvel! Do right by this character!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chantaal

    Dear Marvel, Make a movie already. Love, Everyone

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    Not sure why I am supposed to care about any of this. A slick fictional world that is defined by aestheticized violence and has absolutely nothing in common with the world I know; a cool and stylish heroine without any kind of comprehensible psychology; a bunch of underdeveloped, dehistoricized, random espionage and "anti-terrorism" jobs; a Russian killer-monk with a childhood trauma and a huge bazooka. I'm afraid this does not add up to anything for me. Not sure why I am supposed to care about any of this. A slick fictional world that is defined by aestheticized violence and has absolutely nothing in common with the world I know; a cool and stylish heroine without any kind of comprehensible psychology; a bunch of underdeveloped, dehistoricized, random espionage and "anti-terrorism" jobs; a Russian killer-monk with a childhood trauma and a huge bazooka. I'm afraid this does not add up to anything for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Black Widow is my favorite character in the Avengers and in the MCU right now, so I wanted to venture into the comics and learn more about her. She has a long and rich history, so I figured I'd jump into a more recent run. Sadly, I was disappointed with this volume. Black Widow in this run is struggling with a lot. She feels depressed, and unlike the character I was used to from the MCU. One of the things I love about Black Widow is that she embraces the darker sides of her past, and is a surviv Black Widow is my favorite character in the Avengers and in the MCU right now, so I wanted to venture into the comics and learn more about her. She has a long and rich history, so I figured I'd jump into a more recent run. Sadly, I was disappointed with this volume. Black Widow in this run is struggling with a lot. She feels depressed, and unlike the character I was used to from the MCU. One of the things I love about Black Widow is that she embraces the darker sides of her past, and is a survivor above all else. I really didn't get that from the Natasha in this book. So while I wanted to love it, I had a very hard time connecting to it. The art was pretty, but it wasn't enough to motivate me to continue with this series. I found the story pretty slow, and not compelling. I do want to continue on my quest to get to know Black Widow in the comic universe, so if anyone has recommendations for an easy place to jump in with her, let me know! This review was originally posted on Thoughts on Tomes

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Black Widow’s inevitable series has arrived and thank Thor it’s good! Actually, I’m not surprised – a female spy story seems highly likely to succeed. Look at Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet for a series that could easily be Black Widow in her 40s/50s – that comic RULES! The TV show Archer, the Bourne/Mission Impossible movies, and of course Bond - replace the dudes with a hot redhead? Come on. A Black Widow espionage comic in the Marvel Universe was always going to be a surefire hit. Nata Black Widow’s inevitable series has arrived and thank Thor it’s good! Actually, I’m not surprised – a female spy story seems highly likely to succeed. Look at Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet for a series that could easily be Black Widow in her 40s/50s – that comic RULES! The TV show Archer, the Bourne/Mission Impossible movies, and of course Bond - replace the dudes with a hot redhead? Come on. A Black Widow espionage comic in the Marvel Universe was always going to be a surefire hit. Natasha’s atoning for her villainous past by accepting mercenary missions, in between avenging the world, and wiring her fees to the families of her former victims. It’s all part of Marvel’s weird but wonderful experiment in turning all of their characters into heroes! Loki, Magneto, Black Widow – even Thanos will probably get re-cast as a loveable rogue soon! The format for the first half of the book is short, done-in-one missions set in colourful parts of the globe – Shanghai, Dubai, Argentina – before writer Nathan Edmondson switches to a longer story arc. A mad Russian monk (are there any other kind?) is doing naughty things with a bazooka and Natasha’s gotta stop him! Like a lot of solitary, brooding characters with dark pasts (Batman for instance), Natasha learns to trust others and make friends – aww, see what I mean about the villain makeover? Love her yet? No?! Quick, give her an adorable cat!! Edmondson seems to be the go-to guy for non-powered superheroes. He wrote the New 52 Grifter series (terrible), and is now doing this and the re-launched Punisher series at Marvel (both much better), and he does good work in this book. Natasha may be cold but the action is interesting and fast-paced enough to overlook her minimal character-development. I do wish he’d stop mentioning “webs” and “threads” all the time though – I get it, black widow is a type of spider, stop alluding to it all the time! Phil Noto’s art is gorgeous! It’s really hard to describe because it’s kind of impressionistic and watercolour-y from a distance but look closer and you’ll see sharp lines that hold all of the images together. It’s so pretty and unique - I’ve read a lot of Marvel comics and haven’t seen another art style quite like it. Edmondson’s writing is decent, rarely rising above average, but Noto’s art is way up there in quality. Do you love the Mission Impossible movies but hate the alien-loving midget with the scary teeth and wish the lead were someone else, like a redheaded former Russian spy? Black Widow is for you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    3.75* Yay for enjoying my first ever Marvel comic! I wasn't sure at first as the plot was somewhat haphazard and slightly confusing but I definitely got into it more throughout each issue. The art work was gorgeous. It's so different from art styles I've come across and I utterly loved it. I will say, as of right now, I prefer movie Black Widow as I don't think there was a lot to comic Black Widow. I've always be so intrigued by her as she's in so many of the marvel movies but we still know next 3.75* Yay for enjoying my first ever Marvel comic! I wasn't sure at first as the plot was somewhat haphazard and slightly confusing but I definitely got into it more throughout each issue. The art work was gorgeous. It's so different from art styles I've come across and I utterly loved it. I will say, as of right now, I prefer movie Black Widow as I don't think there was a lot to comic Black Widow. I've always be so intrigued by her as she's in so many of the marvel movies but we still know next to nothing about her. After reading this, I still feel as though I know nothing about her, especially her past, which was slightly disappointing but I'm hoping the more I read, things will fall into place. I didn't really know what to expect with a Marvel comic but I'm really looking forward to reading more!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ashley DiNorcia

    3.5 I liked this...but it didn't wow me. Really enjoyed the art, and the story definitely picked up towards the end but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. This isn't the MCU sassy and badass Scar-Jo version, but more of a bummed, lonely and guilty version..which is fine I suppose. Perhaps I'm biased as I really love MCU Black Widow (cough, give her a movie, cough) I already own the second volume so we'll see where it goes from here. 3.5 I liked this...but it didn't wow me. Really enjoyed the art, and the story definitely picked up towards the end but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. This isn't the MCU sassy and badass Scar-Jo version, but more of a bummed, lonely and guilty version..which is fine I suppose. Perhaps I'm biased as I really love MCU Black Widow (cough, give her a movie, cough) I already own the second volume so we'll see where it goes from here.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    This was just overwhelmingly... not bad. There are no glaring problems to be had, and some good things. But nothing great, either. I really have no complaints with the characterization of Natasha. Good thing, because this is very much a solo book, and because her internal monologue dominates. See, Natasha (this version, at least) is more of the strong, silent type, with an active mind. Reading her thoughts on espionage, on her own life, on her current job, are all quite interesting. And I think t This was just overwhelmingly... not bad. There are no glaring problems to be had, and some good things. But nothing great, either. I really have no complaints with the characterization of Natasha. Good thing, because this is very much a solo book, and because her internal monologue dominates. See, Natasha (this version, at least) is more of the strong, silent type, with an active mind. Reading her thoughts on espionage, on her own life, on her current job, are all quite interesting. And I think the concept of her as a person working towards a redemption that she doesn't really believe she can ever earn, or deserve, is something that works. But don't get the wrong impression, she's anything but humorless, and it's those touches of humor that keep the book from getting weighed down. I like the art. It's fairly realistic, but has softer lines and a sort of watercolor feel. Most of the colors are subdued, except Natasha's hair. It's a pleasure to look at in general, and there's a complete and total lack of objectification of the main character. Awesome! And there's a fantastic Hawkeye cameo, made all the better by Natasha's clear lack of amusement with his antics. Best part of the book? Maybe so. The big problem, really, is with the threats that have been assigned to her. She's better than this, and it shows. While it is kind of cool to see her breeze through her foes, but it feels too easy. She's slumming it. It makes the book lose the dramatic tension that it needs. It occurs to me that if I'd read the individual issues as they came out, I might not have even noticed. But I read this in trade, and I did notice. So overall, very much not bad. There's definite promise. Natasha is handled well, the action is good, the art is beautiful. She needs a better, more credible threat. Something that will give a sense of danger. That's all this good-but-not-great book needs to be a winner.

  11. 4 out of 5

    kristen ♡

    ⠀⠀༄ ─┈┈ 𖤐₊˚⠀ 3 / 5 stars ⊹☽ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ black widow vol 1: the finely woven thread + by nathan endmondson + (2014) ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❣︎⠀my thoughts on this book: ⠀── i really enjoyed: 𖤐༄ the artwork. ⠀⠀⠀⠀the artwork in this comic is probably one of my favorites i have ever seen. it’s so dainty yet impactful without being too much. it’s very much a natasha aesthetic. 𖤐༄ maria hill. ⠀⠀⠀⠀seeing maria in anything makes it worthwhile. i remember when the first avengers movie came out and allll the girls in my class want ⠀⠀༄ ─┈┈ 𖤐₊˚⠀ 3 / 5 stars ⊹☽ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ black widow vol 1: the finely woven thread + by nathan endmondson + (2014) ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❣︎⠀my thoughts on this book: ⠀── i really enjoyed: 𖤐༄ the artwork. ⠀⠀⠀⠀the artwork in this comic is probably one of my favorites i have ever seen. it’s so dainty yet impactful without being too much. it’s very much a natasha aesthetic. 𖤐༄ maria hill. ⠀⠀⠀⠀seeing maria in anything makes it worthwhile. i remember when the first avengers movie came out and allll the girls in my class wanted to be black widow; i wanted to be maria hill ( of course i still love black widow ). it’s nice to see her and natasha have a bond 𖤐༄ the cat.. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ADORABLE little side story that has a nice little touch with the theme of this comic. ⠀── i didn’t enjoy: 𖤐༄ the plot. ⠀⠀⠀⠀the plot overall felt a little uneven with me? i know it all tied together but at the same time it felt like each issue was something different. it read very lackluster. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ in conclusion: ⠀⠀⠀⠀as being one of the the few black widow comics i have read, it was enjoyable. i wish the plot was a little more tied together than bouncing around but i guess that suits natasha. the writing felt very natasha and i did enjoy the mystery she left in this volume. it just isn’t memorable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Espionage, danger, conflict, violence, alone. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I especially loved the internal monologues, and the insight they gave to the character. My favourite thing about this volume was how there was a clear definition between Black Widow and Natasha Romanoff, not only through the art but also through the writing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Yeaaaaah. This was pretty cool. I think a lot of it was to do with the art. The writing was good too. The first few issues are close to standalone, and see Natasha on missions doing her spy stuff. When the series gets a little further along, they start to connect more. It's pretty accessible for new readers (besides the Hawkeye cameo, that's more of a joke for people who have read Fractions Hawkeye). But like I said, the best thing about it is the art. It's gorgeous. Simple and elegant and easy Yeaaaaah. This was pretty cool. I think a lot of it was to do with the art. The writing was good too. The first few issues are close to standalone, and see Natasha on missions doing her spy stuff. When the series gets a little further along, they start to connect more. It's pretty accessible for new readers (besides the Hawkeye cameo, that's more of a joke for people who have read Fractions Hawkeye). But like I said, the best thing about it is the art. It's gorgeous. Simple and elegant and easy to follow. And no fill in artists, which is pretty cool. It is sometimes annoying when you get a volume and half of the book will have really good art and then they'll get in a fill in artist who just isn't as good.

  14. 4 out of 5

    bee ❤︎

    three stars ∗ ah i love natalia. i’ve been meaning to read more about her bc i love the mcu version of her, and i absolutely adored the comic version!! she’s so kick ass and amazing. i love this little russian spy!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Artwork was pretty good and I loved seeing (view spoiler)[Maria Hill (hide spoiler)] in there but what should have been an interesting storyline was dull for me instead. Natasha herself was on point but she deserved better material, imho. and also (view spoiler)[Why not call in the Avengers to help? Makes no sense (hide spoiler)] I did like her lawyer though... he seems like an intriguing guy. Will I read next volume? Probably not. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br Artwork was pretty good and I loved seeing (view spoiler)[Maria Hill (hide spoiler)] in there but what should have been an interesting storyline was dull for me instead. Natasha herself was on point but she deserved better material, imho. and also (view spoiler)[Why not call in the Avengers to help? Makes no sense (hide spoiler)] I did like her lawyer though... he seems like an intriguing guy. Will I read next volume? Probably not.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    Natasha Romanoff is trying to atone for her past as an assassin. Natasha takes mercenary jobs and donates any profits she'd receive to charities. I like the idea of the series more than I liked The Finely Woven Thread. The Black Widow just doesn't bring much personality to offset the massively overused trope of a one person army. It is funny when I think that this is how an assassin like Black Widow runs a charity. She takes on special jobs that only someone like her could do and which she ethical Natasha Romanoff is trying to atone for her past as an assassin. Natasha takes mercenary jobs and donates any profits she'd receive to charities. I like the idea of the series more than I liked The Finely Woven Thread. The Black Widow just doesn't bring much personality to offset the massively overused trope of a one person army. It is funny when I think that this is how an assassin like Black Widow runs a charity. She takes on special jobs that only someone like her could do and which she ethically agrees with. I realize they are bringing Natasha to life, but she's a better background character than she is a star. The Finely Woven Thread was just OK.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: This was...okay. I really loved the art (bumped this to 4 stars), but comparing Black Widow to say Hawkeye, Hawkeye has way more personality. UPDATE: Rounding down to 3 stars, because I can barely remember the "story" when I was talking to a coworker about this comic. Art is still gorgeous though. Bullet Review: This was...okay. I really loved the art (bumped this to 4 stars), but comparing Black Widow to say Hawkeye, Hawkeye has way more personality. UPDATE: Rounding down to 3 stars, because I can barely remember the "story" when I was talking to a coworker about this comic. Art is still gorgeous though.

  18. 4 out of 5

    emily

    AHH. Darn it. Okay. This really wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be. Here's the thing. I love Black Widow. I love Natasha Romanov. But the way I fell in love with her is through various Marvel movies (you know, all the ones she's been in yet never starred). So maybe it's a little weird going from Scarlet Johansson's wonderful, badass interpretation of Black Widow on screen to this illustrated version I just read. Maybe that was a road block between loving Comic!Widow as much as I love M AHH. Darn it. Okay. This really wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be. Here's the thing. I love Black Widow. I love Natasha Romanov. But the way I fell in love with her is through various Marvel movies (you know, all the ones she's been in yet never starred). So maybe it's a little weird going from Scarlet Johansson's wonderful, badass interpretation of Black Widow on screen to this illustrated version I just read. Maybe that was a road block between loving Comic!Widow as much as I love Movie!Widow that I wasn't expecting. Regardless of what happened in this comic, I still love Black Widow. Always and forever. And the art in this was beautiful . Like, actually stunning. I would love to be able to buy prints of Noto's work because it really is gorgeous art. They have a very different style from anyone else I've seen illustrate Marvel comics so far. But...here's the thing. As much as I love Natasha Romanov, and as much as the comic itself was aesthetically pleasing..the plot? Eh. Or, were there 2 plots? 3? Or was it all one plot that was supposed to work together and then just really...didn't? The first couple issues were interesting, seeming to set up a certain storyline with Black Widow and a bad guy who got away. I figured this would mean he would appear again, yes? ...No. Not mentioned again. A new storyline starts up and it's basically built up around the fact that Natasha and S.H.E.I.L.D. know absolutely nothing about this new bad guy. Nothing. They know nothing. This actually goes on for 3 issues. I think this was meant to seem introspective, with a lot of inner dialogue from Natasha trying to explain what it's like to be a spy and showing what happens when a spy has different amounts of intel. But I just don't think it really worked. It made Natasha look like a bad spy, which we all know she's not. She's a great spy, that's the point of her whole character, yeah? But there were just so many literal "I don't know"s within the last few issues that it was tiring. And boring. I want my spies to know stuff. Now is the second volume going to start off with them still not knowing anything? This is not what I expected from a Black Widow comic and not really what I wanted. I don't want a plot where the characters don't know what's going on because if they don't know, then the readers sure as hell don't know. I want a comic with my favorite female superhero to be exciting, I want her to be ahead of the game, I want it to be action packed in a way that makes sense. Will I be buying and reading Volume 2? Yes, duh, I love Black Widow and I'm a sucker for Marvel comics. I want to see where this goes, and I want to have hope that Volume 2 will be better than Volume 1. Is there a chance that Volume 1 is a lot better than I'm making it seem because I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth out yesterday and I'm currently grumpy, tired, and full of pain meds that aren't working? Absolutely.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    Black Widow is definitely going up my list of kickbutt heroines to die for. Her backstory is tragic and conflicted, and it informs the choices she makes. Black Widow is trying to make up for the red in her ledger when she worked as a KGB agent. She takes missions so she can send money to the families of people she hurt back in the day. And she navigates the spider's web of the world she inhabits, where black and white doesn't exist. Phil Noto has such a distinctive art style. It is very retro, an Black Widow is definitely going up my list of kickbutt heroines to die for. Her backstory is tragic and conflicted, and it informs the choices she makes. Black Widow is trying to make up for the red in her ledger when she worked as a KGB agent. She takes missions so she can send money to the families of people she hurt back in the day. And she navigates the spider's web of the world she inhabits, where black and white doesn't exist. Phil Noto has such a distinctive art style. It is very retro, and his color palette is muted. But it works. The action is rendered so excellently, and with this storyline, that's an absolute must. The writing is excellent as well. Storylines are twisted without being convoluted or incomprehensible, very much an asset with the graphic novel format, where there isn't a lot of room for long descriptions or narratives. Together Noto and Edmonson make an excellent team. The Spider motif is conveyed excellently without being too blatant. If I had one quibble, I wasn't sure about the Cyrillic. It doesn't seem to translate very well. I admit I am a novice to Russian, but from what I know I'm not sure about it being accurate. I can't say there's anything I didn't like about this volume. I am hooked and find this to be one of the stronger Marvel NOW titles I've read. If I had to recruit a team of kickbutt artists, Black Widow would definitely be on my list! Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)

    3.5 stars (A review for the entire series and more can be found on my blog!) This was recommended to me as a good starting point in the Black Widow comics. I could follow the storyline easily and I enjoyed this first book in the series. Only I maybe expected a bit more, knowing Natasha from the movies. The art was good but I wasn't the biggest fan of it. I liked the cameos and ohhh the cat already has a place in my heart! 3.5 stars (A review for the entire series and more can be found on my blog!) This was recommended to me as a good starting point in the Black Widow comics. I could follow the storyline easily and I enjoyed this first book in the series. Only I maybe expected a bit more, knowing Natasha from the movies. The art was good but I wasn't the biggest fan of it. I liked the cameos and ohhh the cat already has a place in my heart!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    4.5 stars A great combination of outstanding writing and simply beautiful artwork. Edmondson successfully portrays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow not only as a premiere spy, but also as a fully developed character with thoughts and motivations that captivated me throughout this first volume. This also seems to be a good jumping-in point for this character. I've been more and more disgruntled with DC Comics' offerings across the board, and have decided to make the switch to Marvel for the indefinite 4.5 stars A great combination of outstanding writing and simply beautiful artwork. Edmondson successfully portrays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow not only as a premiere spy, but also as a fully developed character with thoughts and motivations that captivated me throughout this first volume. This also seems to be a good jumping-in point for this character. I've been more and more disgruntled with DC Comics' offerings across the board, and have decided to make the switch to Marvel for the indefinite time being. I'm glad I started with this one. I'm a fan of strong characters with flaws, fears, or vulnerabilities, and this first volume has delivered this in spades. I especially like the side stories with her Brooklyn neighbors and the very insistent cat. It was also great seeing the interaction with S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives and a few almost-hidden cameos. On to the next volume!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mely

    I keep being lured into reading the current Black Widow series by its wonderful art, even though I know it's not going to make me happy. The problem is, Nathan Edmondson's Natasha Romanoff is not my Natasha Romanoff. Edmondson's Natasha Romanoff is full of man-pain. She is isolated by guilt for her checkered past. She is so terrified of vulnerability that a major subplot of the first arc of the series is focused on whether or not she can bring herself to admit she has inadvertantly adopted a stra I keep being lured into reading the current Black Widow series by its wonderful art, even though I know it's not going to make me happy. The problem is, Nathan Edmondson's Natasha Romanoff is not my Natasha Romanoff. Edmondson's Natasha Romanoff is full of man-pain. She is isolated by guilt for her checkered past. She is so terrified of vulnerability that a major subplot of the first arc of the series is focused on whether or not she can bring herself to admit she has inadvertantly adopted a stray cat. She is a great spy because of her physical skills with guns and hand-to-hand fighting. (She also is incompetent at basic research, but this is clearly because of Edmondson's ineptness with plotting rather than intended as a character trait.) And ... all of that is so not Natasha. Most of my knowledge of pre-21st century Marvel comics is secondhand; my introduction to Natasha came through the MCU. Nevertheless, I have read a range of comics featuring Natasha. My formative comics Natasha is Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuña's Name of the Rose, but I've read versions by Warren Ellis, Kelly Sue de Connick, and Greg Rucka where she's the lead character, and by Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, and Jonathan Hickman where she's a significant supporting or ensemble character. All of these versions depict a Natasha Romanoff who is conscious she can never make amends to the people she hurt, but that she can do a lot of good now. She may not tell any single person all her secrets, but she has strong and warm connections to many people, from lovers to friends and colleagues to younger heroes she mentors. She is determined to save others from her own tragedies. (Her attempts to build a relationship with the second Black Widow, Yelena Belova, are particularly notable.) She is an excellent fighter, but her greatest asset is understanding and out-thinking people. She can be brutally efficient and has clashed with the more rigid ethics of Captain America, particularly when it comes to defensibility of killing, but violence is not her first resort. The greatest difference I see between comics Natasha and MCU Natasha is that comics Natasha already knows who she is behind all the masks. Edmondson has taken this complicated character and turned her into a standard male action hero. And I like seeing women in action hero roles, I like seeing women given the narrative beats they're usually denied, but this isn't a new character. This is a character with a history. Reading Edmondson's version is like looking at an oil painting that someone has retraced in magic marker. But, okay, let's wipe away my preconceptions. Let's pretend I've never heard of Natasha Romanoff before. Let's look at the story Edmondson wants to tell, rather than the story I want to read. He's not very good at telling it. The twists in the plots frequently rely on Natasha failing to do basic research into her own assignments, or failing to have basic background knowledge of the environments she enters. In the third issue, for example, she is hired to rescue a man who, the client claims, is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. He is innocent of those crimes. What Natasha doesn't realize until the end is that he's a famous war criminal. (Ironically, after she kills him, her internal monologue is: A good operative knows his environment. His home. He knows which creatures are docile--and which are dangerous. By this metric, Natasha is a terrible operative. It doesn't seem to be an irony that Edmondson is aware of.) And it's a pity, because Phil Noto's art is lovely, very cleanly composed, and entirely without the objectification that mars so much superhero art. His action scenes -- so often an excuse for T&A with superheroines -- are all about the athleticism and the efficiency. His Natasha wears practical clothes, and generally fairly loosely fit ones. It greatly benefits the series that Noto is the sole artist on it; many otherwise excellent series with distinctive visual styles (Hawkeye) have been handicapped by switch-offs in artists. Noto's pastel-wash coloring is an unusual and striking choice for a spy series: its murkiness coming not from dark colors but from a washed-out over-exposure. Even the occasional striking red is a little too orange to be blood-red, super-saturated against the pastels, but still not quite saturated enough. (Image from Black Widow #1) I cannot praise the art for this series enough. I just wish I could praise the writing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lono

    Nathan Edmondson has probably created my favorite “version” of Natasha Romanov with Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread. The espionage angle really appealed to me. I have always enjoyed stories about clever spooks and deadly assassins and Nate definitely put aspects of both types into this one. Natasha comes across as a no nonsense, professional that is focused on whatever the job at hand is. She won’t allow herself to have a life outside of the mission and keeps most people at arms-length in o Nathan Edmondson has probably created my favorite “version” of Natasha Romanov with Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread. The espionage angle really appealed to me. I have always enjoyed stories about clever spooks and deadly assassins and Nate definitely put aspects of both types into this one. Natasha comes across as a no nonsense, professional that is focused on whatever the job at hand is. She won’t allow herself to have a life outside of the mission and keeps most people at arms-length in order to do so. I think Edmondson does a good job at showing what life for someone like Natasha might really be like. How being unable to put down roots, have lasting relationships, or allowing anyone else to get to know you would effect a person. It’s all part of her self-inflicted penance for past sins. She sort of reminds me of Ennis’s Punisher in that regard. It's similar to Frank’s strict, single-minded focus on the mission and allowing himself little else. Natasha’s reaction to Hawkeye’s brief cameo is evidence of this. But it’s not all Natasha sitting around sad-faced, feeling bad about shit she did years ago. She gets to kick a lot of ass. A ton of action in this one kiddies. She has a lot to make up for and wastes no time getting to work. Mercenaries, terrorists, hit-men and other assorted baddies make up her checklist of targets. There are no really recognizable “super villains” in this one. Didn’t bother me. I think Nathan did a good job in adding little unexpected twists to his stories in this collection. Just enough to make each a touch more unique. Edmondson uses his shorter stories creatively to show off just how cunning an operative Natasha can be in a variety of situations. Nate also starts to build his supporting cast with this volume. The introductions of Maria Hill (the Shield Director), Isaiah (the lawyer), Ana (the neighbor), and Liho (the cat) all speak to the fact that Edmondson might be settling in for the long haul with this title and has some plans as to where this is all going. I especially like Isaiah and how he takes care of the “usual” business while Natasha was away. And I typically don’t like lawyers very much. Phil Noto’s got a style all his own. One of a short list of super-talented artists you can pick out from across the room. He provides all the beautiful cover to cover artwork for this one and man, he doesn’t disappoint. He draws Natasha like the hottie she is, but doesn’t have to resort to cheesecake or gratuitous titties to do it. Not that there is anything wrong with gratuitous titties. It’s just a nice change of pace to have a heroine that actually looks and dresses like she not gonna be swinging from a pole after saving the day. But Phil, please feel free to throw in a thong once in a while to mix it up down the road. If you like spies, assassins, and beautifully drawn, fun-sized stories with a bunch of action, The Finely Woven Thread is a pretty easy recommend. If you’re looking for the Avengers to drop by, A-list supervillains, or epic length stories, you may be a little underwhelmed. This was a buddy read with a couple of my Shallow Comic Reading pals and I think we were all pretty close in our feelings about this one. Check out their reviews here ( Kat's review, Sesana's review , Sam's review , and for good measure Joe's review) . Get this review and more at:

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    ***Pink Taco Buddy Read with the Shallow Readers! Female Lead this time: Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff*** I really liked this! It was my first Black Widow, and I found Natasha totally refreshing as a woman AND a super hero. I want more Romanoff. The story lines were great, and they totally played into Black Widow's past, her issues, and her moral dilemmas. She's such a badass but she isn't opposed to realizing when she fucks up. Also, I know that she's obviously worked with people in the pas ***Pink Taco Buddy Read with the Shallow Readers! Female Lead this time: Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff*** I really liked this! It was my first Black Widow, and I found Natasha totally refreshing as a woman AND a super hero. I want more Romanoff. The story lines were great, and they totally played into Black Widow's past, her issues, and her moral dilemmas. She's such a badass but she isn't opposed to realizing when she fucks up. Also, I know that she's obviously worked with people in the past, but it's awesome to see her working by herself, making everything ultimately work in her favor. She is amazing, in every way. The artwork baffled me at first. It wasn't bad, just WEIRD. Close ups had red outlines for faces instead of red, and everyone had this kind of.... blurriness to them almost. But as I read, the more it grew on me. And let me just say, Natasha was gorgeous in EVERY frame she appeared in, especially her close ups. I appreciated a lot of little things, and they're what helped make this rating so high. Things like the web getting larger and more complete at the end of three chapters. The black cat, who eventually wormed its way into Natasha's heart and home. The fact that Isaiah constantly said I'm not in it for the money but listen girl, we need some money. It was just a great volume. Let's get some more.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    the art alone is worth five stars but although the story is good, this isn't a very cohesive take on the Black Widow. We know she's not well off, has a rather shady lawyer, and doesn't care when Clint Barton is hit by a car. Her missions, though, are rather random and although Edmondson ties it together at the end, it doesn't make sense. There's dialog and lots of inner monologue, but characters pop up and the casual reader, like me, doesn't know who they are. Still, this is a good book. I hope f the art alone is worth five stars but although the story is good, this isn't a very cohesive take on the Black Widow. We know she's not well off, has a rather shady lawyer, and doesn't care when Clint Barton is hit by a car. Her missions, though, are rather random and although Edmondson ties it together at the end, it doesn't make sense. There's dialog and lots of inner monologue, but characters pop up and the casual reader, like me, doesn't know who they are. Still, this is a good book. I hope future volumes tighten up the story narrative. Noto's art is reason enough to check this one out.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Reminding me a little of an episode of TV's Dragnet with its terseness, The Finely Woven Thread was a good if workmanlike product showing our titular antiheroine globe-trotting on a handful of lethal but non-Avenger-related assignments. Barring a jocular line maybe once an issue and only the briefest glimpse of her (almost non-existent) private life, the volume is otherwise all business / all the time. Natasha Romanoff gets first-person narration of sorts but it wouldn't cause the late Raymond C Reminding me a little of an episode of TV's Dragnet with its terseness, The Finely Woven Thread was a good if workmanlike product showing our titular antiheroine globe-trotting on a handful of lethal but non-Avenger-related assignments. Barring a jocular line maybe once an issue and only the briefest glimpse of her (almost non-existent) private life, the volume is otherwise all business / all the time. Natasha Romanoff gets first-person narration of sorts but it wouldn't cause the late Raymond Chandler to lose any sleep. Still, I think her series has potential.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Max Lau • Maxxesbooktopia

    I adore the art work and the effort put into this story but I thought the flow of the story was incoherent and confusing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    William Thomas

    Black Widow, breakout character of the Marvel cinematic universe, gets her own book a few years too late. But, better late than never, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. Marvel didn't think this one through long enough to make this book count. Edmondson is a B lister who writes this book like every other he's ever touched and even the art can't save this book. Maybe instead of trying to mimic Fraction's "Hawkeye", he should have been more worried about how to make Widow work on its own. I will give him on Black Widow, breakout character of the Marvel cinematic universe, gets her own book a few years too late. But, better late than never, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. Marvel didn't think this one through long enough to make this book count. Edmondson is a B lister who writes this book like every other he's ever touched and even the art can't save this book. Maybe instead of trying to mimic Fraction's "Hawkeye", he should have been more worried about how to make Widow work on its own. I will give him one big plus though- no major Marvel U guest stars to speak of. It's just Natasha. So why does the book fall flat on its face? Numerous reasons, but most glaring is that there is too much happening here for us to really grab onto any one thing. In the first book there are 2 random missions that don't have any meaning or weight on the grand scale, and it continues in that vein for all 6 issues. There is no gravitas, and each book is pretty self-contained so that there really is no need to read on if you're not feeling it. It just doesn't draw the reader in, because like Natasha, Edmondson seems intent on keeping is all out. His attempts at poignancy fail as he doesn't really grasp just what they're supposed to mean. And if the writer can't make those moments matter, he loses us in the pithy execution. The internal monologue should be the best part of the book, but instead reads like someone who is unaware of themselves, their own motivations, and their own situations, their own history. It feels like Edmondson has no situational awareness here, no understanding of the character or her motivations, and is hard pressed to make us feel as if any of those things matter. A serious disappointment on all fronts, and even in the art department, as a serious lack of complimentary colors here (seriously, she's a redhead, use some f$&&ing blue, already) make everything feel washed out. The sense of style, gorgeous as it may be (taking hints from Ashley Wood and Fiona Staples early work) can't work without an understanding of color. And that's really where it fails. Stylistically gorgeous, but mistakes abound. Writing: C- Art: B

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    It shouldn’t really be surprising that this comic features a lot of Black Widow being kickass. There’s quite a casual tone to it, though, with some of the things she says, which made me feel a bit like it was trying to be Black Widow a la Hawkeye. A comment like “Pro tip (often learned too late): don’t argue with crazy”… I don’t know, it seems more like smartass Hawkeye than Widow. Not that she couldn’t imitate whoever she needs to, to fit in, but… that’s her mental commentary? Doesn’t feel righ It shouldn’t really be surprising that this comic features a lot of Black Widow being kickass. There’s quite a casual tone to it, though, with some of the things she says, which made me feel a bit like it was trying to be Black Widow a la Hawkeye. A comment like “Pro tip (often learned too late): don’t argue with crazy”… I don’t know, it seems more like smartass Hawkeye than Widow. Not that she couldn’t imitate whoever she needs to, to fit in, but… that’s her mental commentary? Doesn’t feel right. It’s fun watching Widow be kickass and all, but it did feel a little lacking in that the overarching plot is the same one as every other Black Widow comic I’ve read: Natasha wants to atone for her past sins. Natasha can’t let anyone close. Natasha is a predator. Etc. It wouldn’t be true to the character to drop that, but there are plenty of people who can put a fresh spin on an old story, or bring new motivations and conflicts to an old character. (Steve Rogers facing off against Bucky Barnes in Brubaker’s Winter Soldier is a good example, but Widow facing off against people from her past has been done, and done.) The art looks gorgeous, though the constant muted red palette is again… something that feels typical. I enjoyed reading this, but it didn’t bring me anything new. It’s a good place to start to build something, and there does seem to be an ongoing plot as of the last couple of issues collected in this TPB, but… I don’t want to be able to predict Natasha Romanoff.

  30. 4 out of 5

    A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

    *Book source ~ Library From Goodreads: She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her--and it's as merciless as its name. Outmatched by the brute force of this powerful new villain, Natasha discovers a deadly globe-spanning plot. It's a race against time, and the *Book source ~ Library From Goodreads: She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her--and it's as merciless as its name. Outmatched by the brute force of this powerful new villain, Natasha discovers a deadly globe-spanning plot. It's a race against time, and the Widow has nowhere to turn for answers. The trail of blood and destruction will test her strength and cunning--but it may also test her faith. I’m not enamored by the artwork and the storyline is just meh. Black Widow spends most of this graphic novel screwing up and then saying she needs to pay better attention. Over and over again. Boring. And how many times does it need to be mentioned that she feels she must atone for her past sins? Too damn many. Repetition is not your friend. I got it the first time. I’m definitely not interested in continuing this series.

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