Out of all the Marvel’s Avengers prequel comics, it was Black Widow that I enjoyed the most. While it is still constrained by the limitations of the one-shot format this issue packs quite a bit in. Interestingly, this issue serves dual purposes as you can reasonably read it as a pseudo-prequel to the upcoming Black Widow movie. While it is not a one-to-one match for how the movie appears to be shaping up, the main villain is probably new to many movie-goers and this serves as an introduction.

The main plot has Black Widow as a brand new SHIELD agent whom no one trusts yet partnering up with a man who will eventually be a major The Avengers villain. The difference here versus, say, Marvel’s Avengers Hulk, is that it organically reveals more about Natasha to us as well as the antagonist. The book also plays with your expectations a bit, and that gives it an edge. It’s nothing ground-breaking, true, but it does at least elevate it above its brethren.

Out of the five prequel comics to the Marvel’s Avengers video game tie-in, Black Widow is the easiest to recommend. Veteran comic fans will find an enjoyable set of action pieces with nice, clean art. Newcomers will get a better look into Natasha’s history — as well as that of a key The Avengers villain — in advance of her movie and the game. This one is worth checking out before the game’s release later this year.