Black Widow: Secrets of a Super-Spy (2020) – Melanie Scott

Don’t despair Marvel fans, just because the new Black Widow film had to be delayed due to the pandemic, doesn’t mean you can’t learn all there is to know about her in the new Black Widow: Secrets of a Super-Spy now available from DK Canada.

This one is a great read, and author Melanie Scott has done something a little different in her approach. Instead of referencing specific issues to chronicle Natalia (known as Natasha) Romanova, which is something she leaves to the fantastic art taken from decades worth of comics, Scott distils everything into a comprehensive character history that reads more like a biography, or some stolen file from the Red Room where she received her training.

Scott combines storylines, arcs, encounters, betrayals, assignments, and assignations into one intensely researched and documented history. Engaging the reader with every turn of the page, artwork leaps alongside secrets and information about what shaped this enduring character, how she started off as a villain, and slowly transcended her training for good.

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We are giving a techno-spy-thriller that is layered, and nuanced, and Scott is quick to point out Widow’s weaknesses, and foibles as well as her strengths, all of which make Natasha a character to root for even with all the blood on her hands.

It’s a long running tale of redemption, as she tries to clear the red from her ledger. This makes her an empathetic character, or at least she became that. She’s a bad-ass, a seductress, and knows how to achieve her mission, no matter the cost, and when she brings those traits to the side of the good, she is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Character-wise, Natasha has come a long way since her first appearance back in the day. Since then she’s become as much a recognisable symbol of the Marvel Universe as any other character, and she’s one that readers can identify with. This is something that author, Scott, recognises, and consequently doesn’t try to hide any of Natasha’s darker past, making her more human by showing her, faults and all.

It’s a great read, and if you don’t have access to the entire Marvel comics library, this book will definitely give you all the what’t the what on the history of this fascinating woman. Even if you do have all the comics, to have Black Widow’s history at your fingertips (index included) this is a wonderful document – and perfect for Marvel fans of any age.

Dk Books has a history of delivering fantastic books, and their association with Marvel Entertainment has a proven track record. Consequently, Black Widow: Secrets of a Super-Spy is a worthy addition to the Marvel/DK Books library, and is available now.

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