[a page from Black Widow: Last Days]

Black Widow: Last Days is the third and final graphic novel of the Nathan Edmondson/Phil Noto series. I was caught by surprise – Black Widow is incredibly popular and I really enjoyed the first volume. Every time I was at a bookstore or a comic book store, I could never find the 2nd volume, so I had no idea the third volume had come out. The things sacrificed to crossover events.

I still don’t have A Tightly Tangled Web, which makes enjoying this volume a little harder. The art is still stellar. Natasha is an intoxicating blend of extreme competency, determination, pragmatism, and ruthlessness. Last Days mostly wraps up an overarching storyline against an unpredictable organization and while Black Widow is impressive, it wasn’t because of the story. This is partly due to not having prior context and possibly a printing error since some pages were missing dialogue. Not having dialogue made some of Natasha’s actions appear more merciless, which may not have been a bad thing. But the story resolves itself perhaps too neatly.

However, the last two issues provide a wonderful coda to this version of Natasha Romanov. It begins with Black Widow knowing she cannot save everyone but trying to save as many as possible before taking us to her past. Particularly, her first mission in Cuba. To witness the first of her sins against the last of her actions before Secret Wars, it’s a testament to the complexity of Natasha.