While I was out at Target the other day completing some Sideshow Spooktacular foolishness, I finally picked up Black Widow Forever Red. I had been wanting to pick the book up for awhile but never got around to it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it but if I’m being honest, I’d probably give the book just 3 out of 5 stars. It’s not horrible by any means, but I think it fell a little flat? Maybe my expectations were too high? I almost feel like I might have enjoyed the story a little more if it featured random/new characters and not Black Widow. Here’s the summary from Amazon:
Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.
Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.
When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams. . . .
As we all know, Natasha has a very complicated past, and this book just adds to it. Are we going to see of any of what happened in the novel mentioned in the comics? If I remember correctly, the new character of Red Widow will be popping up (or has?) in a comic. Which I think is great! I’m all for new characters, especially female, but what about everything else? *SPOILERS* Are we going to see the fact that Natasha had a brother pop up anymore? Or the fact that she had her memory wiped again? And I know this next gripe is really lame but Clint Barton wasn’t mentioned once (unless I missed it) yet every other Avenger (and even Barnes) was. These two characters are BFFs, you mean to tell me he wouldn’t pop up or send a card or something after everything that happened? And I think the only reason it did stand out was because everyone else was name dropped. I just felt it was…odd. Is it just me though? Did anyone else find it weird?
As far as the story itself goes, the book was an easy read. I finished it in about two days (really, just a few hours but over the course of two days) and didn’t have any issues following the story. Like I said, I think if you replaced Black Widow with Random Jane Doe I might have enjoyed it a bit more. I think anytime you take a character that already has a strong history and mess with it, things can well, get messy. I do hope we see more from Ava/Red Widow. I think she could be a very nice addition to the world of Marvel. As long as they do enough to make her stand out from the Black Widow.
Have you read the book? What did you think?