Friday, 8 July 2016

Black Widow: Kiss or Kill Review (Duane Swierczynski, Manuel García)


Black Widow’s been working a US Senator and now he’s dead. His journalist son goes hunting for answers – except Natasha’s been framed! Black Widow goes after “Black Widow” in Kiss or Kill! 

I wonder why it’s taken Marvel so long to make a Black Widow movie given the popularity of Bond and Mission: Impossible. This story has political intrigue, espionage, assassination, conspiracies, fast-moving action set in exotic locations, sexy ladies, ‘splosions, even characters wearing elaborate plastic skin costumes – it basically IS Mission: Impossible and Bond with a female protagonist! And while it reads like a Black Widow story, it also has just enough superhero pizzazz to remind you you’re reading a Marvel comic. 

At three issues, Kiss or Kill is a very short story arc even by comics collections standards so Marvel tack on an unrelated Black Widow/Iron Man comic at the end to beef up the page count. Tony Stark decides to get into the spy game for reasons, undergoes elaborate facial surgeries (also just like Mission: Impossible!) only to mess up and get bailed out by Natasha. And of course, this being Marvel, time-travel gets worked in somehow too! It’s not a great comic and reads like the filler it is. 

Manuel Garcia’s art, like Duane Swierczynski’s script, is neither bad nor great. Black Widow: Kiss or Kill is an enjoyable enough read but like most action romps its story is very shallow and ultimately not that memorable.

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