Black Widow & the Marvel Girls #1 (of 4)

Paul Tobin & Salva Espin

This is pretty much throw-away material.  Clunky writing and dialogue, second-rate art:  Marvel wasn't exactly looking to sell a masterpiece with this one.  I'm sure the only reason a project like this even exists is because Black Widow will be appearing in Iron Man 2, and Marvel wants to capitalize on that with as much of a backlist as possible.  Well, hopefully they will collect some of Greg Rucka's mini-series featuring the character again because this is going to turn away any potential new readers.  And I mean running-away-screaming turn away new readers.  Tobin uses little imagination when it comes to using Black Widow in this book.  Unlike Paul Cornell, who is writing the other Black Widow mini-series running currently, Black Widow: Deadly Origin, which actually incorporates some good ideas, it seems like Tobin didn't know what he was doing when he took this on, beginning with a cringe-worthy opening scene where Black Widow infiltrates some compound, to the flashback scenes of her training in the red room.  It's predictable, lazy and awkward through and through.  The only other "Marvel girl" in this debut issue of the series is Enchantress, who plays with the Russian spy during her training.  She's pretty much a non-presence who has that generic excuse of an immortal being "bored" as her motivation.  Assuming that another female character (or two) in the Marvel Universe is going to appear in every other issue of this series, hopefully better care is given to make their appearance more of an event.  But if this first issue is any indication, this series is just insulting, from that name (I'd like to see a Hercules & the Marvel Boys comic. Maybe that won't make this "girl power" image they're trying to portray here seem so lame and desperate.) to the execution of a half-baked script.


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