Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood is published by Serial Box, written by L.L. McKinney, Lindsay Smith, Margaret Dunlap, Miki Kendall, and Taylor Stevens, and narrated by Sarah Natochenny. In the new 14-episode series, someone has stolen the Black Widow’s blood. Now she must find them before it’s too late. As Natasha Romanoff follows the trail across the globe, she discovers she wasn’t the only target. Whoever is responsible stole Bucky Barnes’ blood, too. And one thing is certain: anyone who wants the blood of the Widow and the Winter Soldier needs to be taken down, and fast.
Despite a tangled web of shared history stretching back to their Red Room days, Barnes and Romanoff must join forces, confronting the demons of their past as they race to protect their future. A single drop of blood could be all it takes to save the world—or destroy it.
Coming off their previous Marvel superhero offering Thor: Metal Gods, Serial Box is approaching another Marvel staple. Even though Black Widow falls about as far from Thor as a character can, this current tale still feels like it is in good hands. With only the first two episodes available to me, the web of conspiracy one would expect to surround a super-spy has already begun to form. And conspiracy tales are something Serial Box has shown it can deliver on. Their previous release of Orphan Black: The Next Chapter did a phenomenal job of navigating the many layers of intrigue such tales can become consumed by.
While the establishment of the story is well-executed, the initial chapters of Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Bloodalso do a good job establishing Natasha’s character. As the story opens, Natasha is shown in all her confidence, doing the work that has made her a legend and shows her in all her glory. This is a stark contradiction to the Romanov we see after she is ambushed.
With her personal strength momentarily shattered, she has to look for help to unravel what has happened to her. But she isn’t in the mood for just anyone who happens to be qualified for the job. She needs someone who will be particularly respectful of her concerns and what her attack may mean for others. I gotta admit, I didn’t see who she turns to coming, but I really like it.
Serial Box’s handling of Marvel’s large stable of characters was impressive in Thor: Metal Gods and it looks like they will be getting creative again in Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood. With The Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes) already confirmed for the story, I’m really hoping some of Marvel’s other spymasters will get a chance to take center stage.
The only area I’m thus far not sold on for Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Bloodis in the narration. Now, to be fair, I only got to listen to a minute and a half of audio. That being said, what was there felt a little stiff. While I suspect that Natochenny was trying to project Natasha’s generally no-nonsense attitude and analytical mind, it came across a bit too monotone for my liking. Hopefully, though, this is just an issue with the snippet I got to listen to.
With stakes both personal and public already being brought to bear in its narrative, I can’t help but be hopeful for the finished product. Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood will hopefully turn what Serial Box began with Thor and make it into a trend. With weekly episodes beginning this week, there isn’t much of a wait left until Black Widow fans get to start finding out if Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood will do its titular character justice.