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Black Widow, Vol. 1: Homecoming Paperback – May 11, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (May 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785114939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785114932
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on May 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Over the years Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, has shown up time and again, often working with The Avengers and Daredevil. Despite the efforts of more recent Widow scribes such as Jim Starlin, Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka and Bendis, she's long been a laughingstock character -- little more than a sex object, "the bike of the Marvel Universe." But now novelist Richard Morgan (ALTERED CARBON; WOKEN FURIES; etc.) has teamed up with artist Bill Sienkiewicz (ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN) and utterly outdone all previous incarnations of this superspy. While keeping to established continuity, Morgan has updated the Widow, making her a much more human, respectable character, and the book much less misogynstic than it often has been. He's scripted a tight, mean, intelligent and topical comic book, aimed at adults rather than adolescent boys, that any fan of espionage fiction, superhero comics or plain ol' good storytelling should enjoy. Anyone picking up this book looking for exaggerated female bodies in kinky poses will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a very fine comic book, look no further. Do yourself a favor, even if you don't think you care for this particular character, and pick up this book. The Black Widow finally has her fangs.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on December 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
The old favorite is Marvel Comics, which I devoured during my formative years. The new favorite is Richard K. Morgan, whose work I've been reading ever since he published his first novel, _Altered Carbon_.

The combination is terrific. Natasha Romanova (the Black Widow) has always been a comparatively minor character in the Marvel lineup, and her treatment hasn't always been consistent. Here she finally gets the focused treatment she deserves.

Frank Miller and Alan Moore pretty much spoiled me for other comic-book writers (oops, "graphic novelists"), so it takes a lot to please me. Morgan isn't quite Miller, but his handling of Black Widow is at least in the same ballpark as Miller's run on _Daredevil_ and comparable in flavor to Miller's _Batman: The Dark Knight Returns_. The quality isn't quite there -- most notably because Morgan has a tendency to make his protagonist spout militant-feminist cliches a little too often -- but the approach is similar.

The story here is most definitely told on Morgan's own turf. I won't spoil anything for you, but be prepared for some revelations about Natasha's backstory that will satisfy both Marvel fans and readers of Morgan's noir SF. (Marvel readers may be pleased to know that Nick Fury is around as well -- and although Daredevil isn't, you'll at least spot Matt Murdock's name on Natasha's cellphone. Other readers have objected to the treatment of the relationship between Nick and Natasha, but I don't share their objections.) And yes, Morgan has cranked Natasha's brutality up several notches. I think that's a good thing all around, but your mileage may vary -- at least if you prefer your Cold War-era spies warm and cuddly.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a previous reviewer mentioned, the Black Widow has been one of the lesser known and mishandled characters in the Marvel Universe. In the hands of novelist Richard K. Morgan, he has taken to the character back to the roots of her origin, focusing more on action, espionage, and story rather than exploiting a sexy drawing for adolescent boys to slobber over. The story concerns Natasha being thrown back into the spy game (as if she ever really left) after an assassination attempt on her life. Soon, along with her male sidekick, she's kicking butt and taking names, all the while unraveling a conspiracy which evolves into the best Black Widow story Marvel has ever published. This TPB's only flaw is that it wears a bit thin towards the end, but the art by the great Bill Sienkiewicz is worth giving this a look at alone. All in all, if you've been looking for a mature and action packed mainstream comic, give this a look.
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Format: Paperback
This is pretty much Marvel's Bourne conspiracy, only it's a feminist and no-superhero book.
It's pulp and crime and spy story.
Who's killing sleeper Russian agents in the USA? Who's killing them if they come home? Does the Red Room, the secret training center that produced the Black Widow(s), still exist?
Is Natalya "Natasha" Romanov really who she thinks she is? Who does she think she is: A strong independent woman or somebody else's puppet? The Black Widow, former classical dancer and Russian super spy, or just another victim?
The book is nicely written, with a few ingenuities (or rather, some excessively simplified characterisation and plot points, especially in regard to the not-so-hidden feminist stance takem in the book) but overcomes them well enough to tell a compelling story, which makes great use of the talents of artists Bill Sienkiewicz and Goran Parlov. The book would be worth the cover price for the art alone.
And to quench the fires of eventual critics: Nothing against feminism, I just don't like books in which characters overtly preach, especially to the converted! I am certainly not ignorant of the constraints and discrimination still imposed on women in our society. Nonetheless, preaching attitude aside, the book presents a lot of valid points and Natasha is one very credible self-conscious and strong female character.
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