This week the Daredevil team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee set their sights on Black Widow, and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers kick off their new ongoing series!
Black Widow #1 (Marvel Comics)
After leaving their mark on Daredevil, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee now turn their sights on Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. By now you know how good Waid and Samnee are together, so I’ll save you the “peanut butter and chocolate creative team” speech. But I will say that it looks like they’ll be spinning the same magic they worked on Matt Murdock with Natasha.
I’d give you a brief synopsis of the issue’s plot, but honestly, it’s just a giant chase scene. Black Widow has taken something from S.H.I.E.L.D. and they want it back. Mark Waid drops us right into the action, and barely gives us anything to go on. All we know is that S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming after Natasha, and she’s not going down without a fight.
However, as brief as this issue may seem, that lack of dialogue just means that there’s more room for Chris Samnee to shine, and man, does he shine. I’ve probably said this about his art before, but hot damn, this might be the best thing he’s done. The entire issue plays to his strengths as an artist, and he depicts Black Widow’s graceful and deadly moves so well you’ll swear that the panels are moving on their own.
I was a HUGE fan of Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto’s previous run on Black Widow before this relaunch, and I’m glad that she’s in good hands with this series as well. I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of lighter stuff in Waid and Samnee’s run on Daredevil, but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that so far in this run. Instead what we do have is another badass Black Widow book, and with Waid and Samnee behind it, it’s sure to be a hit.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 (Boom! Studios)
Fresh off a surprisingly sold out special 0 issue, Boom! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers finally gets a proper start with Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya’s #1. While it’s not the action packed debut that you’re probably expecting, the new ongoing series does feature some interesting character depth, something that, let’s face it, the 90’s phenomenon never really got into.
This opening issue kicks off what writer Kyle Higgins has described as “Green Ranger Year One”. There’s a big focus on Tommy, who has just recently joined the team after turning against Rita Repulsa. However, Higgins’ drops numerous hints throughout the issue that imply that Tommy’s not quite as together as he’s letting his teammates believe. Yes, Boom! Studios’ Power Rangers focuses on the core group that you still love; however, the timeline has been bumped up so they’re operating in modern times. That means Bulk and Skull have a YouTube channel dedicated to the Power Rangers, and Jason, Zach, Kimberly, and the rest of the Rangers use cell phones and have the Internet. But surprisingly, this isn’t a distraction. In fact, it’s used really well.
On the art side of things, Hendry Prasetya continues the stellar work he showcased in the 0 issue. This guy has seemingly come out of nowhere and delivered some awesome art with Power Rangers. Prasetya’s teenage Rangers all look very similar to their live action counterparts, but he’s able to keep his own style at the same time. He even has awesome depictions of some of the goofier monsters in Rita’s castle.
It’s clear from this issue that Higgins and Prasetya are having a blast on this book, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I do. Sure, it’s scratching that nostalgia itch, but at the same time, Boom could’ve just put anyone on this book and cashed in on the nostalgia craze. The fact that they put this much effort into Power Rangers and got this creative team is a pretty great sign of what’s to come with this series.