Black Widow #5 // Review
A red-headed super-spy is out to halt a deadly child porn operation in one of the most totally eco places in the Marvel Universe. Armed with enough strategy to give her the upper hand, Black Widow is ready to kick some ass in the final issue of her current mini-series as in a tale well-told by Jen and Sylvia Soska with art by Flaviano with colors by Veronica Gandini. The Soskas have done a remarkably good job of carving an emotionally engaging, little corner of the Marvel Universe with a series that meets a satisfying end in this fifth issue.
There has been a critical shake-up in a live internet child-porn video operation, but that’s not going to stop those with money from trying to keep it going. Black Widow is well aware of this as she closes-in on ending the operation in one final confrontation that will test her resolve. Given the opportunity, she will have to dive into some very seedy company to face the nucleus of a potentially interminable operation that preys on kids. The resolution is waiting at the end of the issue, but not everything can be solved by defeating monsters.
The Soska sisters have a bit of an awkwardly-framed conclusion to work through this issue. The final confrontation is primarily a conversational one. In the broader scope of the series, it’s a satisfying ending, but as an individual issue, it’s all drama. Nevertheless, the Soskas are dealing with an all-too-real subject behind the pages of the series and the conflict at the center of it all is remarkably compelling entirely on its own, so the concluding chapter holds up on its own even if the physical action in the pages is almost painfully brief.
It takes a hell of a lot of work to etch subtlety into the grim determination drawn across the face of Black Widow. Flaviano does an impressive job of giving personality to the Black Widow’s relentless desire to avenge the innocent. The world of perversion that the heroine is sunken into is given some genuine menace at the end of the series. Gandini’s colors provide the climactic action depth without overpowering Flaviano’s often heavy inking. Art, ink, and color all come together quite vividly in a final page that could have easily felt a bit over-dramatic. The Soskas trusted Flaviano with a powerful closing moment, and they delivered without making it feel too over-rendered. It’s a potent culmination moment for the story.
Bolstered by Flaviano’s art, Jen and Sylvia Soska have sculpted a neat, little corner of the Marvel Universe that would be great fun to dive into again. Just as the story feels like it’s wrapping up, there’s the full realization that the story is ending. There’s a kind of satisfaction in that, but there’s a strong desire for more with Jen, Sylvia, Flaviano, and the badass red-headed Russian super-spy. With any luck, the Soskas will return to another mini-series at some point soon.