|BLACK WIDOW No. 5, April 2021|
This disconcerting sense that an Avenger may well kill if provoked strongly enough is additionally heightened by Hawkeye shooting the Weeping Lion straight through the head whilst the criminal is foolishly trying to set his sniper rifle’s sights upon the world famous archer. Perhaps somewhat disappointingly, this debatably defining moment loses some of its gravitas when it is later revealed by Yelena Belova that the crime-lord simply “lost his eye”, but it is the thought that counts, especially when Clint Barton later willingly sets off an explosive arrow within a warehouse crammed full of hapless Hydra goons.
Romanoff’s sister-in-arms, Clone 3, also makes a lasting impact within Thompson’s finale for “The Ties That Bind” story-arc, when she literally smacks a distraught Natasha to her senses one moment and then lays down a serious beating upon the Viper in the next. Indeed, Belova’s battle against an absolute horde of Madame Hydra’s seriously outfought henchmen is one of the highlights of this comic, and the notion of her subsequently accompanying the titular character as a partner-against-crime in future instalments will doubtless have proved an irresistible hook for many readers.
Pulling all this book’s numerous punches together into a visual treat for the eyes, is Elena Casagrande and her marvellous ability to interject the savage violence which Thompson’s narrative demands with some superbly endearing moments, such as when the Black Widow briefly cuddles her dead son’s toy duck. However, the Italian artist’s finest moment within this twenty-page periodical has to be her double splash of Hawkeye watching from a high roof rafter as both Romanoff and Yelena dispatch numerous goons with a variety of kicks, missiles and bullets.
|The regular cover art of "BLACK WIDOW" #5 by Adam Hughes|