Marvel has made it a tradition to release prelude comics to compliment their upcoming MCU films. These comics are released to either recap a story that’s already been told or to fill in the gaps in between certain films to add an extra layer of the story for the overall film or a specific character(s). With Black Widow on the horizon, we have the very first issue to the Black Widow prelude comic and it does everything I just mentioned.
It recaps Natasha Romanoff’s introduction into the MCU in Iron Man 2, while recapping Widow’s story arc and key moments throughout the MCU in films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. The story is told from the perspective of General Ross and Councilwoman Hawley. As a refresher for Captain America: Civil War, we know that Black Widow initially starts the “Civil War” on Team Stark, then “betrays” Team Stark and aids Captain America in his escape from Germany in order to stop Baron Zemo from awakening additional Winter Soldiers from their cryosleep.
This part of the story reveals that General Ross is hunting Black Widow down, while Councilwoman Hawley is looking to stop Ross from hunting Widow down. Due to Widow saving her life during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
This is followed up by a direct reference to a part of Black Widow’s past which was revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier after Fury’s assassination.
As I mentioned above these prelude comics are just refreshers to events that have already happened within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while sprinkling some new details. While I just recapped the recap, having the recap in the comic told through the lens of General Ross, we get more clarity as to why General Ross is in the Black Widow film, and where in the MCU timeline this film actually takes place.
As for the artwork, it was a hit or miss throughout the entire issue. Pages and panels featuring the airport battle from Captain America: Civil War were amazing to look at, especially from a different perspective and a different medium. While some pages just don’t look as clear as others, we do have some amazingly illustrated panels and pages, including this amazing shot of Black Widow in costume overlooking New York City.
Overall it’s still a solid first issue to get readers and moviegoers up to speed with Black Widow’s story in the MCU. I’m personally expecting some more insight on events like Budapest and that one mission with Nick Fury which earned her her spot in S.H.I.E.L.D., thus eventually making her an Avenger.
Black Widow Prelude #2 hits comic book shop in February.