The Eisner Award-winning team of writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee wrapped up its incredible Daredevil run last year, but the two creators didn’t wait too long to reunite for another project together. Joined by fellow Daredevil collaborators Matthew Wilson (colorist) and Joe Caramagna (letterer), Waid and Samnee are bringing their comics expertise to Black Widow, giving Marvel’s premier female superspy a considerable profile boost just in time for her appearance in Captain America: Civil War. The two shared a “storyteller” credit on their previous title, but Samnee’s expanded role in the writing process is emphasized by his co-writer credit on Black Widow, firmly establishing that he’s doing more than just bringing Waid’s ideas to the page.
Based on this thrilling preview of next week’s Black Widow #1, Natasha Romanova is in very good hands with this new team. There’s not much in the way of dialogue, and the storytelling is driven by the visuals, which show the title character making a dramatic escape from a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier floating high above New York City. There are so many great touches in the artwork: The use of red to highlight action beats and keep the reader’s eye focused on Natasha; the downward slope of panels creating a rolling effect for Natasha’s tiny bomb; the fearless determination and intensity in Natasha’s eyes as she comes barreling out of an explosion in the side of the helicarrier.
That last bit is especially notable, and the creators fake out the reader by making it look like Natasha is jumping out of the side of a building. They set an expectation that is shattered by the two-page spread showing an extreme long shot of the massive helicarrier above the city skyline and a tiny Natasha plummeting beneath it, ending the book’s opening action sequence with a bold image showcasing the heroine’s badass superspy skills. The bar has been set high for the rest of the book, but given this team’s track record, it will probably get raised higher as the creators are pulled further into Black Widow’s web.