Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood Episode 1, “Blackout Protocol”

The serial reviews have returned! This time out, I am diving into the world of serialised Marvel universe fiction, and I jumped at the opportunity to read a standalone story about Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow. I mean, come on. She was the coolest Avenger (barring, perhaps, Steve Rogers) in the MCU – but I always wanted to know more about her, and the volume of comics/graphic novel material out there was always intimidatingly dense to me. But this? Bitesize chunks of story I can take my time over and review one episode at a time? Bring it on, I’m ready.

Let’s discuss Bad Blood.

NOTE: These reviews will contain spoilers for the story/episode being reviewed.


Art by Jamie McKelvie


I will not go off on an MCU tangent. I will not.

I really will try my best not to, because I finally have one of the things I always wanted from it, here in reading form, at my fingertips – and so far, I’m really into it.

When it comes to neat, clean (businesslike?) prose, I tend to find any lack of poetic description either hit or miss. Here, it’s a hit. We’re introduced to Natasha Romanoff in her element, in full Black Widow mode – flowery prose has no business here. There’s a crispness to the delivery of information, and the setting of each scene, that is spot-on for this character. This is the Natasha Romanoff I came for, and I’m happy she’s here.

I hope to get more in touch with her emotions as the story goes on, but that’s for later reviews. Right now, as far as first impressions go? I’m sold.

Another benefit of that no-frills delivery is the impact of what happens AFTER Natasha pulls off her mission, in this case to shut down and capture a dangerous biosmuggler known as Jean-Paul Viscose, AKA The Shark* (yes, his handle is physically apt, and yes, he gave me chills AND HE’S ONLY IN ONE SCENE).

Something goes wrong with Natasha after her mission (we’re not enlightened as to what, other than extreme exhaustion and dizziness) and she finds herself being kidnapped – though she manages to escape, despite being injected with something, presumably to keep her under control? Again, we don’t know. Yet.


Augh. I was not ready to have this many questions so soon!

But I’m glad I picked this up. I’ve missed my girl, and the way she cracks heads.

Speaking of characters I love, don’t think for a second that I missed the appearance of a certain Soldier in that cover image, or in the synopsis…

OK, I’m going to keep reading. I MUST KNOW THINGS.


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