Black Widow #5 is an intense and thrilling issue, one that portrays Natasha Romanoff as the human she is, with raw emotions spilling out of the pages. Meanwhile, the artwork does an excellent job of portraying that tension, and all the fights surrounding it.

Endings and Beginnings in BLACK WIDOW #5

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BLACK WIDOW #5, available now from Marvel Comics, concludes the first plot arc of the series, ‘The Ties That Bind.’ In doing so, it brings both an ending and a beginning to Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow.

What a different life she could have had.

The latest run of Black Widow has been getting a lot of ink and attention – and with good reason. Her narrative has always had so much potential, and now it has become truly groundbreaking. Her story has changed in unexpected ways, reacting to the risks that have been written into her world.

To put it simply, it has been fascinating to see this different version of Natasha. Even now, when she’s back to a state fans are more familiar with, she’s still changed. She will likely always be changed, thanks to what she has already gone through.

Black Widow #5 is an issue that we’ve all been waiting for, thanks heavily to the way the previous issue wrapped up. To say that it’s been a tense month would be a bit of an understatement, and now it’s time to see how it all plays out.

Meanwhile, back in the present, where her worst nightmare has just occurred.

The Writing

Over the course of five issues, Kelly Thompson has taken Natasha’s life and turned it upside down. She’s done so in brilliant fashion, creating a storyline that most of us will remember for a long time to come. That includes the character affected, of that I have no doubt.

Black Widow #5 is an emotionally tense read, as Black Widow seeks to find a balance between her new life and her old one. She’s dealing with grief so raw and new she can barely contain it, yet she has little choice on the matter.

It’s safe to say that this is quite possibly the most human we’ve seen her, at least in quite some time. But don’t worry, there’s also plenty of action to be had – after all, there is still a hunt going on, even if Black Widow really could use the time to absorb all of what she’s been through.

There’s a lot to love about this issue, frankly. The fact that it openly discusses the elephant in the room cannot be ignored, nor can we ignore how clever the ending itself is. Throw in that raw pain, and how human Natasha comes off, and it makes for a memorable conclusion to this arc.

Side note: bonus points for the inclusion of an adorable black cat (Logan), and the confirmation that he is fine. So fear not animal lovers of the comic book world!

She’s present, and ready to fight – but that doesn’t mean she’s happy about any of this.

The Art

As it turns out, both the writing and artwork for Black Widow #5 are evocative and memorable. Given how the previous few issues have been, that is also not a surprise. It is however highly appreciated.

Visually, there’s so much going on within these pages. From flashbacks to what could have been, and everything in between. Including what is real: a raging fire and battle surrounding everyone. It’s just one of many dramatic scenes, providing tension and vibrance all in one go.

Elena Casagrande and Rafael de Latorre did a brilliant job of portraying all of this, and so much more. Black Widow’s series have always had a sense of style. Especially when it comes to combat, and that shines through beautifully here.

Jordie Bellaire’s colors are exquisite, and they truly are a sight to behold. They adapt flawlessly to the setting. Becoming muted during night battles, and as vibrant as the fire they represent in other cases. The end result is a visually stunning masterpiece.

Finally, VC’s Cory Petit letters are exactly what this issue needed. The details are just one of the ways in which the lettering stands out, creating a sense of cohesion to go with all the organized chaos.

Black Widow always knows what she has to do.


Black Widow #5 marks the conclusion of the series first plot arc, and it is impressively done. Personally, I’m thrilled that the series doesn’t end here. As I am not emotionally prepared to let it go. And can’t wait to see what Natasha gets up to next. Especially with this creative team at the helm.

Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book fan. She loves comics - possibly too much, and will happily talk your ear off about everything she's reading. Though picking a favorite is a bit harder. She reads a little bit of everything and is always open to trying a new series.