We’re at the end of books with the “Marvel Graphic Novel” cornerbox on the cover, and into the beginning of one-shot comics (which will mostly feature Punisher, Spider-Man, or Ghost Rider). But we’re also in the ’90s, so…This is violent. And it’s somewhat fitting that Jim Starlin, who wrote Marvel’s first Graphic Novel, writes the final one as well.

Black Widow avengers the murder of an old telepath friend from her days as a Soviet spy. She uncovers a string of grisly murders and takes down the killer with help from Daredevil.

The whole thing gets kind of “Chainsaw Massacre”-ish when the heroes are captured and Widow id chained to a wall and forced to kiss her captor. Heavy on salacious content, light on anything that matters. Overall, Jim Starlin’s superlative ability to write and the unique style of artist Joe Chiodo elevate the material through solid execution.

The art is influenced by Bill Sienkiewicz, only with a taste of Jessica Rabbit. Which works for the inevitable bondage scenes that help move from a “normal” story to a “graphic” one.


  1. I agree. It should take more than “salacious content” to qualify a story as a Marvel Graphic Novel. I was not even aware that there hadn’t been a Marvel Graphic Novel published in thirty years! Holy asleep at the switch! However, I am only going to complain so far about a story which gives us the Black Widow in a B&D situation. ( check out her face in the above scene-she’s clearly not hating it TOO much ) I figure her KGB training enables her to endure levels of punishment that would break most men in minutes, if that long. This was published in 1993, that period of time when my attention was being forced away from comics, so I missed this one the first time around. I’ll have to look for it in the back-Graphic Novel bins. By the way, I hate this version of the Black Widow’s outfit almost as much as I hate the last few years of ‘M*A*S*H’! And that’s a serious hate! It’s just too generic! ( the Widow’s gray bodysuit, not the last few years of ‘M*A*S*H’ ) Of course, I was hopelessly spoiled by the Widow’s original ensemble- you know, the deal with the cape, facemask, and fishnets! Tony likes it, too! ( see ‘Iron Man’#315 ) Word up!


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