Natasha’s search for Isaiah brings her and X-23 to Macau, where the always duplicitous Tori Raven fills them in on the kidnapping plot. Rashid and his henchmen await in the penthouse suite of the casino where the issue opens, in true spy genre fashion, as Natasha and Laura battle their way to the top floor. If it’s action, intrigue and exotic locales you’re after, Edmondson and Noto deliver the goods in Black Widow #11.
The kidnapping plot deepens in this issue as Rashid and Tori make their respective returns, teasing information about Chaos, the nefarious group behind Natasha’s recent troubles. As always, there’s more to this rescue mission than meets the eye, with Natasha, Isaiah, and the other players serving as cogs in the larger machinations of the overall arc. Edmondson successfully ties up this leg of the story with Isaiah’s daring rescue and leaves the future shrouded in appropriate mystery, through well-crafted exchanges and ample foreshadowing. This issue offers a satisfying conclusion to Natasha’s present predicament, with plenty of action and adventure to show for it, but closes with the promise of more intrigue as Tori is revealed as an operative of Chaos.
Black Widow #11 has a lot going for it. Natasha and Laura prove a very formidable team as they cut through waves of henchmen, carried by their fun and engaging dynamic. Laura is the muscle with anger management problems and Natasha is the brains behind the operation, and their styles and personalities complement each other well. Such a team-up in the hands of a less conscientious writer would be cheesy, but the strength of Edmondson’s characterizations and dialogue make for some great chemistry throughout. Isaiah is even given the opportunity to pull his weight, and I hope to see him take a more active role in this arc moving forward.
The action-heavy issue is impeccably paced, with gorgeous action compliments of Noto, moving from sequence to sequence with a great sense of energy and momentum. Not only is Noto’s artwork is as beautiful as ever, but so is the rest of the production, continuing to prove just how in-synch this creative team really is. The synergy between script, art and lettering never fails to impress, with every panel and dialogue bubble working together to keep the story moving at an exciting pace.