Covering Issues #1-6
Despite her close association with the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., Natasha comes across as a loner and seems to prefer to only interact when she needs to. Some of this might be the clichéd use of being an enigmatic super-spy, but there is more to it than that. She feels very deeply for people and would rather not get involved, so as not to be hurt by the encounter. Often coming across as cold and heartless, Natasha spends her entire life focusing on making things better for those she has wronged in some fashion or another, especially when she was working for the bad guys. Most of her private missions are made to supplant her income, and to take care of past debts, but there seems to be nothing that can completely overcome the cost of her soul.
The one thing that really sticks out for me is how easily Natasha is able to be fooled by others in this series. This is supposed to be one of the best espionage agents in the world, a woman who can look at someone and instantly tell if they’re lying simply by the way they stand, but throughout the issues she’s found herself surprised (at least initially) by certain people. She’s only human, of course, and everyone makes mistakes—including gods named Thor—but the idea that she falls for problems time and again brings down the enjoyment of the title. There are a few times when she allows herself to be captured, so as to attain better intelligence and to get inside, but not every time has been as such. It just surprises me.
Throughout the issues, a new threat makes its presence known, a well-informed and mysterious group that uses middlemen and cut-outs, so as not to get directly involved. Seeing as how Natasha has resources outside of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, she’s been asked to look further into the situation, knowing that it will probably bring about yet more death and destruction in her life. I’m hoping that the future will show us more of the enigmatic group and help to flesh out more of Natasha’s background and feelings on the situation. She may be a super-spy to which others aspire, but she still has her own story to tell, and this series needs to focus a bit more on it and not the James Bond/Jason Bourne-type of combat/espionage that makes her a former KGB Black Widow operative.