So hey, comic books, I bought some, let's talk about one. I figured I'd start with the one Marvel book I got not tying into the current Big Event at the month. We'll get to the two that are Friday. Or Monday, if I decide to go with the stuff from other publishers on Friday. I don't know, I'm making this up as I go along.
Black Widow #5, by Chris Samnee (writer/artist), Mark Waid (writer), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - That's a cool cover. I don't have anything substantive to say about it, I just like all the different elements. And they're actually relevant to the story, it's not just a cool pin-up, though it works that way as well.
Natasha awaits the Weeping Lion's courier, but is visited instead by SHIELD agent Elder, who pretends to be the guy she's waiting for. And Natasha pretends she buys it, while trying to get them someplace safe. This doesn't work, as Elder gets shot. Natasha tries to get him to safety by car, that doesn't work either, and two of the Lion's agents use Elder as leverage to get the files. Natasha relents, so Elder blows himself and the goons up. And the files, which means she can't complete her task, so the Lion's going to release whatever it was he had on her, which involves Iron Man.
I have no idea who the guy seated at the table the Lion is working for or with is. Surprised Waid and Samnee shuffled Agent Elder off the table so quickly. Of course, I was thinking he actually was the Weeping Lion, and either he was a traitor to SHIELD, or this whole thing was some cockamamie scheme SHIELD cooked up to get this information while not appearing to have done so. It would have explained how they had so many gunmen at a supposedly secret SHIELD cemetery.
I think the Lion should have the tear track on his mask that he does on the cover. Which yeah, he's supposed to be actually crying because he's sad about killing people or something, but screw it. Add something unique to his otherwise boring-ass ski mask look. You're supposed to be a big wheel, show some visual flair. I do like that Samnee and Wilson keep practically all of the Lion's peoples' faces obscured, at least partially. Not just the Lion, with his mask, or the guy at the table. Even the goons and the people keeping an eye on Natasha. Either they wear ski masks, or their faces are in shadow, or not even in panel. If they're really going with the idea this guy has eyes and ears everywhere, it plays to that. They're an anonymous, faceless army. Also liked the concerned look on Natasha's face as she starts to apologize to Elder for him getting shot. Most of the issue, she looks to be scowling, or maybe just concentrating on what's going on around them, but she does care. She was taking steps to try and protect this guy, it just hadn't worked as she hoped.
It seems like Wilson used shades of orange a lot this issue for things connected to the Lion. The lighting for the sniper in his room, some of the background lighting wherever it is the Lion's hanging out. Wilson uses it repeatedly when the Lion is reacting badly to something, like the panel with his clenched fist, or the one where he hears the bad news some poor dope delivered. The scenes when the SUV with the armed goons arrives are done with largely orange tints. Most of the other panels during that sequence are mostly blacks and cold blues in the background, but then there are those noticeable orange backgrounds. A contrast between the threat to Natasha and Elder outside, versus the threat to her from Elder inside the car?
I could have done without Natasha's dig at Hawkeye when asked if she had what she'd been sent to retrieve. I did not expect Mark Waid to jump in on the, 'Clint Barton is an incompetent fuck-up' bandwagon. Took me right out of the story because it bugged me so much. It's still bugging me a little, obviously.