It shouldn’t really be surprising that this comic features a lot of Black Widow being kickass. There’s quite a casual tone to it, though, with some of the things she says, which made me feel a bit like it was trying to be Black Widow a la Hawkeye. A comment like “Pro tip (often learned too late): don’t argue with crazy”… I don’t know, it seems more like smartass Hawkeye than Widow. Not that she couldn’t imitate whoever she needs to, to fit in, but… that’s her mental commentary? Doesn’t feel right.
It’s fun watching Widow be kickass and all, but it did feel a little lacking in that the overarching plot is the same one as every other Black Widow comic I’ve read: Natasha wants to atone for her past sins. Natasha can’t let anyone close. Natasha is a predator. Etc. It wouldn’t be true to the character to drop that, but there are plenty of people who can put a fresh spin on an old story, or bring new motivations and conflicts to an old character. (Steve Rogers facing off against Bucky Barnes in Brubaker’s Winter Soldier is a good example, but Widow facing off against people from her past has been done, and done.)
The art looks gorgeous, though the constant muted red palette is again… something that feels typical. I enjoyed reading this, but it didn’t bring me anything new. It’s a good place to start to build something, and there does seem to be an ongoing plot as of the last couple of issues collected in this TPB, but… I don’t want to be able to predict Natasha Romanoff.