When the Widowmaker project was first announced I was giddy with delight. Hawkeye & Mockingbird was off to a great start as was the newly minted Black Widow series. These two books were going to cross over with one another and focus on the spy tactics and espionage that has always been deeply rooted into the Marvel mythology. This series establishes that there is a group or individual who has their eye set on eliminating particular spies from the world for whatever motive they may have.
Picking up directly following the conclusion of Hawkeye & Mockingbird #6, Widowmaker starts off in ferocious fashion and doesn’t slow down until it reaches its climactic ending. If you’ve been reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird (and you should be) you already know that despite the fact that our down-on-their-luck-at-love couple have decided to go their separate ways a pleading Steve Rogers convinces Clint that he may be the only one to save Bobbi from the impending threat that presents itself within the confines of this four issue mini-series.
After reading the first issue twice it is hard to not be impressed with what writer Jim McCann has built up thus far. A thoroughly engaging espionage tale with brisk pacing and a sense of urgency coupled with some well thought out character interactions make for one heck of a ride! It was especially nice to see McCann offer up a continuation to the dysfunctional goodness he set forth in the Hawkeye & Mockingbird series within the parameters of this limited series. This includes the inclusion of Dominic Fortune and the W.C.A. agents, though they are off panel accomplices. Of course, having Black Widow as a major player certainly presents some extra tension into the mix since not only do you have the situation at hand that the characters have to concern themselves with but the fact that Clint has been involved romantically with both ladies.
The foursome track down a set of leads that are ultimately revealed to be leaked by mysterious sources with the intent of getting them all into the same place which results in the revelation that a Japanese black ops organization known as the Dark Ocean Society are the culprits in this rash series of assassinations on the above mentioned dignitaries. However, before our band of spies can act they are attacked by the Crimson Dynamo led Supreme Soviets team who believe that the heroes are not only the ones responsible for all the killing but that Hawkeye is the leader of the organization. After a rather quick and one-sided confrontation which sees our heroes taken out with relative ease the reasoning behind the Supreme Soviets rationale is revealed.
Jim McCann is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers in comics due to the fact that he approaches everything from a fan boy standpoint and pays homage to the characters and what has transpired before in their respective histories. You can tell by reading his books that he embraces this and builds upon instead of trying to force something into the fold. He knows how to compose believable dialogue for his characters to partake in and situations to place them in. The end result is a story that has a life of its own and is a believable and rewarding experience for the reader. Plus it does not hurt one bit that he has such an accomplished art staff helmed by the amazing David Lopez to back him up. Gorgeous art is done by all taking part in the book from the brilliant pencils to the rich coloring.
I loved this issue and hope that it turns out upon completion as well as it has started off. Hopefully, it will also raise enough eyebrows and garner enough attention to enable McCann and crew the opportunity to continue working with these characters in the future.
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