In Review: Black Widow – The Ties that Bind (Collected)

Black Widow - The Ties that Bind sees the deadly assassin in a happy relationship, and with a son . . . But all isn't as it seems, and
Black Widow - The Ties that Bind

Synopsis: Black Widow – The Ties that Bind sees the deadly assassin in a happy relationship, and with a son . . . But all isn’t as it seems, and so the story unfolds . . . Consequently, Black Widow must protect her newfound family and try to find out what’s really going on.

 

Story

Black Widow – The Ties that Bind relies on a “big plot device”. So, whilst most of the action takes place within an artificially constructed world, it’s what’s going on in reality that’s most interesting. Essentially, Black Widow is trapped in a matrix, which means what’s happening to her is all being controlled. The result is that she must find who is behind things, and a way to fight back. Along the way, we see many of the Black Widow comic-world characters. Also, helping Black Widow is her trusty best friend, and fellow Avenger, Hawkeye, as well as Bucky Barnes. The story does work, but it’s not entirely original. Although, it’s still quite well executed.

What works really well is the character development of the main character. That was perhaps the strongest aspect. Certainly, it meant that we saw her troubled past again play a central role in proceedings. The basic premise of the character is further explored, in a good mix of drama and action. Ultimately, Black Widow’s past and future merge, so, sacrifices must be made for the greater good.

Artwork

Some really great work, in this series. For example, the cover makes very effective use of colour. Black, white and red are used to create a simple, strong central image. The cover for the trade paperback uses the cover art from volume one of the comic. As per usual, variant covers are included, too, which is always nice. Unsurprisingly, the usual high standard expected from Marvel Comics.

Once things get going the artwork really helps tell the story. There are lots of close-ups of faces, specifically Black Widow’s. Given her character arc in this series, that really matters. The wonderful illustrations of micro-expressions help express emotion, powerfully. As always, the fight scenes are brilliantly drawn, and gets the action to jump off the page. A fine job done, by the artists responsible.

Value for Money and Overall (for Trade Paperback)

 

Definitely worth the money (I spent £10 on mine) and not a disappointment. Whilst the central device used for the story setup isn’t a new one, that doesn’t matter too much. The device works well because the story is more focused on the effects of the device, on the central character. Part of what made the story interesting was the inclusion of Yelena Belova, as you weren’t sure what side she might have been on. For those fans of the upcoming Black Widow (2021) film, this is a good precursor. Although, it’s not a tie-in in the strictest sense of things. What it is is a good standalone series, and a well-written and nicely drawn one, too. It’s well worth a read and leaves things open too. Hopefully, we’ll see more from a character that Scarlett Johansson has made a firm fan favourite for Marvel.

9.1
In Review: Black Widow - The Ties that Bind
  • Covers
    9.1
  • Story
    8.8
  • Artwork
    9.1
  • Value for Money and Overall
    9.2
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