With Black Widow #15 we are at the end of Kelly Thompson’s run on the series. This latest volume of Black Widow ending was announced with the release of the final issue. As many know, Thompson’s Black Widow series has been one of my favorite titles that Marvel has been publishing since the first issue released. So I am very sad to learn that with the release of Black Widow #15 we are at the final issue of this creative run. That said, I am going to enjoy what Thompson and company have in store for the final issue of Black Widow. Let’s find out how this series concludes.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, and Rafael R. Pimentel
Colorists: Jordie Bellaire
With only one arm Black Widow struggles to keep up with the Living Blade. Hawkeye appears and saves Black Widow with a timely exploding arrow.
In another part of the building Marigold (Lucy Nguyen) uses her powers to save The Twins while Spider-Girl takes out the gang after them.
In a hallway Starfish (whose real name is Will) uses their regenerative powers to reattach Black Widow’s arm back on to her. Craig then says he has something specific to show Black Widow.
Meanwhile, Winter Soldier gets to the roof to stop The Host from escaping. As Winter Soldier fights off her security The Twins show up and immediately toss The Host off the building.
Elsewhere, Craig brings Black Widow and Hawkeye to a lab where the Apogee has been experimented on by The Host. Black Widow decides to release the Apogee while ordering Craig to make sure Apogee’s blood is destroyed so it can’t be used by others.
Black Widow then finds an injured White Widow fighting the Living Blade. Black Widow immediately steps in to take on the Living Blade while White Widow patches herself up. Black Widow is able to use her Living Blade’s tired and injured state to defeat him. With her allies gathered behind her Black Widow offers to spare Living Blade’s life, like he did for her years ago.
Later, Bucky and Natasha share a tender moment showing the concern they have for each other. Yelena, Anya, Clint, and Lucy interrupt to talk about getting some fancy food since they didn’t get to enjoy the banquet.
Later, Natasha, Bucky, Yelena, Anya, Clint, and Lucy enjoy eating dinner together. Natasha reflects on how she may never stop grieve losing Stevie and James but the life she has now with the people around her is beautiful. End of series.
Whether intended to be the finale of the series or not Black Widow #15 does a great job acting as the end of this chapter in Natasha Romanoff’s life. Natasha has been through so much as she learned what it meant to have a family. Kelly Thompson and company use that concept of family to reexamine what Natasha’s life in and out of being Black Widow means.
Right from the beginning we continue the high stakes of this arc with Black Widow in a desperate fight with the Living Blade. Throughout Black Widow #15 Thompson does a great job continuing to build Living Blade as an extremely formidable foe. If it wasn’t for the surprise explosive arrow that Hawkeye hit Living Blade with he would still be hard to stop. Living Blade still being able to power through the injuries from the explosion to injure Yelena Belova spoke to his skills.
Building up Living Blade in such a way made how Natasha was able to finally overcome her rival just as impressive. The entire final fight you could see she was fighting on another level after seeing how injured Yelena was. The open area was also a big advantage for Natasha as she was able to maximize her agility-based combat to overcome Living Blade. Natasha showing Living Blade the same courtesy that he showed her before was a nice way to have their rivalry get a clean slate. The next time these two clash there will be no holding back for either one.
The rest of Black Widow #15 was a great extension of how there was a family aspect to the storytelling. You see that with the concern that Natasha, Bucky, Yelena, Anya, Clint, and Lucy all have for one another. Even as they are dealing with their own situation in order to stop the Host they are aware of one another. This made the ending with Natasha realizing that she has built a family she cares about a much stronger narrative hook to end this series on.
While Natasha was the star there was a lot of good character moments in this issue. We saw how Bucky, Yelena, Anya, Clint, and Lucy all held their own in their respective things they were doing. It all pushed the narrative of how The Web organization that Natasha and Yelena is something that can be built on long-term if Thompson or another creative team works on a future Black Widow series.
The only weak spot of Black Widow #15 was the one-note villain that the Host was. Especially in comparison to how well developed the Living Blade was, the Host was just a generic villain. You never felt anything for the villain that made her death come across as small compared to everything else going on, especially the surprise development with the Apogee.
As Black Widow #15 was the final issues of the series it was appropriate that Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, Rafael R. Pimentel, and Jordie Bellaire all worked on this issue. Seeing them work together showcased how they all nailed the consistent art style that was established for this series. They all had a style that flowed together with one another so there was no break in the momentum of the story. Both the action and character moments flowed well together that highlighted how Black Widow had some of the best artwork of any comic book series throughout its run.
Black Widow #15 is a strong close to one of the best series that Marvel has been published. Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, Rafael R. Pimentel, and Jordie Bellaire were a phenomenal creative team. They can all be proud of the magic they created with this series. If you have not read this volume of Black Widow I highly recommend checking out the trade collections immediately. It is truly special and I hope we see this creative team work together again in the future.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10