“Widowmaker” has been an interesting spy series, but not a great one, sadly. There are aspects to like, sure, but it’s not overall a glorious team up between the “Hawkeye and Mockingbird” team and the “Black Widow” camp. It’s a fine tale, nothing special though this issue stands out as possibly the best so far. A shame so many will not have stuck it out to get here.
When you send Clint Barton into a Japanese brothel, you’ve got yourself a good comic. When he’s there to get information and instead gets a cat house full of ninja ladies, you’ve got a sequence that’s just down and out fun no matter how you cut it. This melee offers both violence and laughs while still moving the narrative slightly forward. You get the feeling McCann is having fun writing this part.
The characters have split up, which gives them good individual group dynamics. Mockingbird and Dominic Fortune work well together doing their thing, as do Hawkeye and Black Widow. This feels like a fun, almost camp, spy romp that wants to offer you thrills while serving side dishes of thrizzles. It’s more fun than it is tense and this works to the benefit of the comic.
This crossover miniseries certainly isn’t picking up sales to save the original titles, which is a mild shame. Having the third issue be the most enjoyable so far is a greater shame because so many will not have stuck it out to discover this. “Widowmaker” isn’t something everyone must read but hopefully it will find its intended audience one way or another.
“Widowmaker” is a series that feels so inconsistent, and that’s probably due to the swapping creative teams. It’s just a shame the better writer didn’t get the better artist. McCann, who writes the tone on this title pitch perfectly, is saddled with the Lópezes, who lay out pages well and get the story across, but render some of the ugliest hot spies ever to come out of Marvel pages. I don’t want impossibly busty pin ups but I expect these ladies to not look like hollowed out, wall-eyed, schoolmarms. At least Dominic Fortune still looks pretty damn charming.
If you’re expecting terse spy fiction then this comic will fall flat for you. It’s just not a hard boiled read. But if you’re after some fun globe-trotting action that’s as willing to drop cultural references as leather clad ninja masters to their knees, then you’ll be well served. “Widowmaker” is good fun, especially with McCann’s scripts, and you certainly get locations for your money, as well as a final sequence reveal of Ronin’s identity that calls back to an old character.