I didn't get every book I intended to from the last 3 weeks. Deadpool #13 and Detective Comics #934 were far more expensive than I was willing to accept. Maybe next time (although I've seen scans of Detective Comics, and can't decide whether it's going to be for me or not.) Better to deal with the comics I have than the ones I don't, right?
Black Widow #4, by Mark Waid (writer), Chris Samnee (writer/artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I like the two birds watching the whole thing. Don't know why.
Natasha doesn't die of her wound, because she's saved by an old friend. Said old friend also tells her who is behind the little kid that stabbed her, where to find them, and hooks her up with some equipment. Which Natasha says is really old, but we didn't really see her use any of it, so I don't know what it was. She retrieves the file she was after, because the head of this new training program was waiting for her and gave it to her. Maya wants to kill Natasha, as a "prove myself" thing, but is advised to do it when Natasha is 100%. So Natasha has what she needs, but her comes that one SHIELD agent. Is he the Weeping Lion? Probably.
Things are starting to gain momentum, though I'm surprised by how many old friends Natasha has, given the mortality rate for espionage. But every time you turn around (or every time she gets a new series), there's another friend, still alive. And another enemy. The situation with her and Maya is going to be ugly, considering the very attitudes Natasha took to keep herself alive in the Red Room, are what helped her make an enemy of Maya in the first place.
The panels Samnee did of Natasha breaking in, set within a larger panel of a maze, was obviously some good work. I notice that when Natasha retrieved the file and went to the spot to drop it off, she started wearing some sort of eyeliner. Either that or she's really tired. Does it subtly alter her face, so people might not recognize her as readily, or is she just more relaxed now? I also like how Wilson colors the outfit Natasha uses for the break-in. The interplay between black and red in this series seems like something I need to look into more, when I get a chance. The red tends to be intense, but sometimes, even when a character is standing in a spotlight of it, if they're wearing black it doesn't seem to be affected. Anyway, I'm enjoying the book more the farther in we get with it.
Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat #7, by Kate Leth (writer), Brittney L. Williams (artist), Megan Wilson (color artist), Clayton Cowles (letterer) - I can't quite parse Jessica's expression there. It looks slightly weary to me. I'd be more befuddled, wondering how Patsy got into the Blonde Phantom's wardrobe, but whatever.
Jessica offers to help Patsy by going to visit Hedy (who of course owns some stupid froo-froo dog) and see if she can find anything they might be able to use to block Hedy's attempt to discredit Patsy. She also convinces Patsy to do a book signing at Tom's store, which is painful enough for Patsy she compares it to being dead. She and Jess try breaking into Hedy's apartment, and get caught. Smooth. Patsy finally blows her top, but sadly, does not kick Hedy in the teeth. Right about then, She-Hulk discovers Patsy's mom was doped up out of her mind on morphine when she signed the rights over to Hedy, so the contract is void. Well then, all's well that ends well, until next month when the book has to deal with Bendis killing or making comatose a member of the cast.
I admit I expected Patsy and Hedy to have some heart-to-heart, and Hedy would reconsider, and they'd mend fences, because Patsy's been making friends with enemies some of the time in this book. But no, I don't see that happening after how this ended. Which actually bums me out a little, I liked how they were portrayed as actual friends by Steve Engelhart when Patsy first came back to life.
I laughed at Luke Cage's reaction to reading the (I'm guessing) fan-comic of him and Iron Fist as a romantic couple. C'mon Luke, do you not spend any time on the Internet? Right, he has a kid, meaning he has no free time. Never mind. Huh, I just noticed Squirrel Girl came to the celebration at the end of the issue. Will Marvel do a crossover between those two books, or at least a team-up? C'mon, they had Squirrel Girl team up with X-23, sorry, Wolverine.
Williams uses the bit where she's goes a bit more exaggerated with character expressions judiciously, which I appreciate. It makes it more effective. Like the panel of Hedy being huffy and put off after Jess leaves at the end of her first visit. It's different enough from her regular style to catch the eye, but still recognizable. And I laughed at her drawing herself getting to meet Patsy. I wonder if that bit where she says she loves how mean Patsy and Hedy were is reminiscent of something she experienced at a convention (being complimented on something kind of awful), or something else.
Also, there's two panels in this issue where the character is placed in front of a solid black background. One is when Patsy mentions that her mother tried to make a deal with a demon to steal Patsy's body, and the other is when Hedy, having heard this, reacts with a blithe, 'Is that all?' The two panels are pages apart, but revolve are the same selfish (possibly drug-induced) act, one framing it as the fairly hurtful thing it is, and the other completely dismissing it. It's like two ends of a conversation the characters weren't even necessarily having with each other at that specific point in time.
I continue to greatly enjoy this book, and hope that it continues for a long time