Comic Book Review Round-Up For Week Of 2/23/22

This was another big week in the world of comic books. The month of February certainly ended with a number of big titles coming out, especially when it comes to my pull list. Black Widow #14, Dark Ages #5, and Detective Comics #1054 in particular provide us with major chapters in each of the storylines running in those respective titles. How did these comic books turn out? Let’s find out.

In case you missed them reviews with full spoiler synopsis for Amazing Spider-Man #90, Captain Marvel #36, and Robin #11 are live on the website.


Creative Team

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Elena Casagrande

Inker: Elisabetta D’Amico

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10


Every month that we get a new issue of Black Widow I am left impressed with how great of a balance there is with the writing and artwork. Black Widow #14 was another example of that. There are many times in this issue that Kelly Thompson steps back to have Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, Jordie Bellaire to tell the story of “Die by the Blade” that elevates everything going on.

This is a particularly strong choice with how Thompson and Casagrande are building the Living Blade up to be Black Widow’s deadliest threat yet. It takes all of Black Widow’s focus just to hold off the Living Blade every time they clash there is very little time to think. This creates so much great tension that you are left even more invested in the middle parts of Black Widow #14 where we get the bulk of the plot progression.

And while Black Widow and Living Blade are the focus Thompson makes sure that Yelena Belova, Bucky Barnes, Anya Corazon, and Lucy Nguyen are playing an active role in the story. Through the scenes with these characters we see how much trust everyone has in Natasha that she can handle her side of things. This helps to build out the strength of this Black Widow series not just with Natasha as the lead character but also the supporting cast being positioned to play important roles in the story as well.

Overall, Black Widow #14 is yet another example of why this is the best comic book that Marvel is currently publishing. Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, Jordie Bellaire knock it out of the park with create the maximum amount of tension through the various action sequences and character interactions. If you aren’t reading this series already I highly recommend fixing that because you really are missing out on something special.


Creative Team

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Iban Coello

Colorist: Brian Reber

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10


Dark Ages #5 is a great example of controlled escalation. Even though there is now only one issue left in the Dark Ages story it doesn’t feel like we are rushing to that end. Tom Taylor and Iban Coello are very much in control of this story as they are building the narrative around Apocalypse being the greatest threat possible. Taking this approach with the big bad of an event is very much welcome. It furthers the point that Apocalypse isn’t just going into this without a plan. He very much expect the heroes to eventually get to him. It was all part of his plan as he is close to becoming the God he has dreamed of.

On the heroes side of things, Taylor does a very good job giving weight to Nick Fury’s death in the previous issue while bringing down everyone’s mood. Our heroes mourn the death and are able to quickly rally as they know there is a bigger picture with Apocalypse plot that Nick Fury would want them to continue to focus on. This helps in emphasizing we are dealing with much versions of Spider-Man, Storm, Wolverine, Deadpool, and other heroes compared to their main Marvel Universe counterparts.

This also made how they were able to come together to take on the fusion of the Venom and Carnage symbiote that took control of Miles Morales so well done. Iban Coello made Venom-Carnage a terrifying threat that you understood why it took all our heroes to defeat. This helped to make the ending with Taylor having Miles Morales reveal Apocalypse plan a great way to build the final issue of Dark Ages to be the biggest yet.


Creative Team

Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg

Artists: Max Raynor and Fernando Blanco

Colorists: Luis Guerrero and Jordie Bellaire

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10


The longer that the Shadow of the Bat story has gone on the more the flashforward that opened this weekly event has held it back. It is definitely a feeling I got while reading Detective Comics #1054 as we are now extremely close to that opening flashforward to the Shadow of the Bat. You just don’t feel the danger level of what is going on in the pages of this issue.

While that certainly brings the suspense in the main story of Detective Comics #1054 down what Mariko Tamaki continues to excel at is writing the Batman Family. Once again Nightwing, Batwoman, the Batgirls, and Oracle aren’t simply reacting as things happen. They are active participants in the story as they make sure they can respond the best they can as Gotham City tetters on chaos erupting once again. Even if that chaos is inevitable it is refreshing to see how even when Psycho Pirate and the Party Crashers enter as wild cards in this story the Batman Family are ready to respond. It all furthers the greater narrative that the city isn’t just Batman’s to protect.

I’ll also give credit to Matthew Rosenberg and Fernando Blanco for actually doing a good job at using Azrael Batman in their flashback back-up story. While I am not a fan of Azrael the way the character’s time period as Batman was used here was well done. It got over how brutal of a Batman that Azrael is compared to Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Jace Fox. Azrael’s brutality helped to further the complex tragic narrative of the kid we are following in this back-up story.

With those positives in mind I am still invested in the overall Shadow of the Bat story. Tamaki continues to show she knows how to write the Batman Family extremely well.But it would certainly benefit this weekly event to get into fresh post-flashforward content as soon as possible. Because if not than the remaining parts of the Shadow of the Bat event will suffer as Detective Comics #1054 did this week.