A wrap up of some of the comic book trades I found time for over the past couple of months. All MARVEL, all ladies, all fantastic.
Black Widow, Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread, written by Nathan Edmondson and illustrated by Phil Noto
You’ve seen Black Widow as an Avenger and even an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. But on her own time she searches for atonement for her past as a KGB assassin – in ways of which those teams just wouldn’t approve. The Black Widow goes undercover in Russia, but from its cold streets, the Hand of God reaches out to crush her…and it is as merciless as its name implies. Outmatched by the brute force of a powerful new villain, Natasha faces her deadliest test, and discovers a deadly plot unfolding that spans the entire globe.
A series I’ve wanted to read for a while now based purely on the gorgeous watercolour-esque artwork. I’m not the biggest fan of Black Widow, but my experience with her is purely from the Cinematic Universe. This particular Black Widow is a Black Widow I can get behind though. Each issue saw new, exotic locations, and this, combined with the colour palette, gave me Bourne film flashbacks in the best possible way. If it’s Natasha’s back story you’re after, you might have to look elsewhere, but if you’re after action and intrigue with an intelligent and totally kickass heroine then give this one a go.
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York!
Definitely aimed at a younger demographic, I found Ms Marvel to be just as enjoyable as Black Widow, if for completely different reasons. I’s younger and fun in a more cartoony way. There is a considerable focus on identity and culture and this often overshadows the whole “superhero” aspect of the comic. I liked the characters, though, and being written for a younger audience means that the creators can take things a little over the top and it somehow works. Highly recommend.
Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by David López
Hero! Pilot! Avenger! Captain Marvel, Earth’s Mightiest Hero with an attitude to match, is back and launching headfirst into an all-new ongoing adventure! As Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, comes to a crossroads with a new life and new romance, she makes a dramatic decision that will alter the course of her life – and the entire Marvel Universe – in the months to come. But as Carol takes on a mission to return an alien girl to her homeworld, she lands in the middle of an uprising against the Galactic Alliance! Investigating the forced resettlement of Rocket Girl’s people, Carol discovers that she has a history with the man behind the plot. But when the bad guy tries to blackmail Carol and turn the Avengers against her, it’s payback time! Guest-starring the Guardians of the Galaxy!
I really, really love Carol Danvers as a character but I haven’t found a Captain Marvel comic that can keep up with her. I feel like there is so much potential in both the character and her backstory but everything I’ve read falls totally flat. I’m also a Guardians of the Galaxy fan, so their appearance improved things, but that’s not what you want from a completely different character’s story! If anyone has a Captain Marvel recommendation I am all ears.