Comic Spotlight: What I’m Reading

Right now there are two titles that I’m currently picking up from Marvel,  Mockingbird and Black Widow.  Each book has very different female leads and are entertaining for different reasons, read more and find out why.  I’d also recommend Wayward by Jim Zub and Monstress by Marjorie Liu.  I picked up the trade of the first few issues of Wayward at FanX and I’ve been following Monstress since it came out, though I’m a few issues behind right now.

Mockingbird

Writer: Chelsea Cain, Artist: Kate Niemczyk, Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

So, this book is awesome not only because it brings attention to one of Marvel’s less known leading ladies, but because a good portion of the creating team is female.  That probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but you would be surprised how many female led books don’t have a single lady creator on them.

Mockingbird stays true to the Bobbi Morse as a character, while giving her a playful and sarcastic edge.  She’s been through a lot, she’s nearly died, but she is taking a lot of that in stride in this comic and continues to be committed to being the superhero-spy we know and love.  The stories so far are witty, entertaining and also fairly poignant.  Issue #3 has Bobbi addressing a hostage situation, where a teenage girl has her friends in a bubble.  It talks about issues like the fact that we can’t talk about tampons publicly, despite the fact that half of the human race has periods, but in a funny and topical way that I hardly communicate here.  Mockingbird reminds me a bit of Fraction/Aja’s run on Hawkeye, because it is a solo story about a C-list character, but it’s very human and clever.  If you are a fan of DeConnick’s Captain Marvel, I think Mockingbird will hit a sweet spot for you.

Black Widow

Writers: Chris Samnee and Mark Waid, Artist: Chris Samnee, Colorist: Mark Wilson

I loved Samnee’s art when he previously drew Bucky and Natasha together in Captain Americ and Bucky, so though I miss Noto’s art, Samnee brings a great style to Black Widow.  The first two issues set the scene and add a bit of mystery to Natasha’s storyline, but it is the third issue that the story starts to dig deeper.  Natasha returns to the Red Room and to Russian, which of course is full of memories for the former Soviet spy.  There are nods to Natasha’s past as a ballerina, specifically, as she fights and falls, which are always a nice touch.  Samnee also packs a lot of action into the panels of this story, showing Natasha’s familiar fighting style, where she often weaves her body around her opponents.  Capturing such things can be very tricky in comics, but it is done very well here.

Though the story takes a few issues to get going, once it does, it delves into Natasha’s past in a deep way, as the present has started to echo history.  If they make a Black Widow movie, this would be a great kind of narrative to have it follow.

 

 

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