Realm Review: Black Widow: Bad Blood Episode 1

A Tense Beginning in Black Widow: Bad Blood Episode 1

Black Widow: Bad Blood is the second Marvel series to launch on Serial Box (now Realm), and it is off to a dramatic start. Natasha Romanoff is getting the series she deserves here, as it is one full of action, espionage, and so much more.

As always, Natasha, aka Black Widow, is a highly talented character. Do you need intel collected discreetly and professionally? Natasha is your girl. All of this leads to the latest series of events for our heroine. Somebody is stealing the blood of heroes, including Natasha’s. Now it’s personal, and she’s on the hunt.

Like the rest of the Serial Box series, Black Widow: Bad Blood releases an episode each week (on Tuesdays) for us to dive into happily. The first episode of the series, ‘Blackout Protocol,’ was written by Lindsay Smith and Taylor Stevens. Meanwhile, the whole series (well, season) will be narrated by Sarah Natochenny (Ash in the English dub of Pokemon).

Black Widow makes the second series that Serial Box (now Realm) has produced for Marvel. If we’re lucky, it won’t be the last. Jessica Jones and Black Panther are also on the lineup, and ideally, we’ll be seeing more heroes get added with time as well.

The Story Begins

As with Thor: Metal GodsBlack Widow: Bad Blood is a direct reference to one of the critical components in the series. I know that seems obvious, but it’s actually refreshing to see such a strong connection between title and plot.

There’s a lot to love about this first episode of Black Widow. Natasha is given a voice in this story, with her abilities on full display. Some details could never be included in a comic series for the sake of practicality. There’s also so much that makes her feel real and human. It’s wonderfully done.

Lindsay Smith and Taylor Stevens did a brilliant job of capturing Black Widow’s perspective and voice. She feels like the character from the comics – but with a new twist. As any media transitions to a new platform, you’ll find changes. Some are better than others. Serial Box is showing us a new side of the characters we’ve come to love.

This series wasted no time in throwing into the thick of things. The events of the main plot quickly target Natasha, and while we don’t know how far down the rabbit hole things are going to go, we know that she’s going to be along for the ride.

Narration

As with any Serial Box series, you have two choices. You can read it, or you can listen to it. Technically, you actually have three choices, as you can also simply do both (that’s what I choose to do).

Black Widow: Bad Blood is narrated by Sarah Natochenny, and she really got into the character over the course of this single episode. The thriller and more dramatic elements really shone through with her reading. It made the world feel tense, even during the setup phase.

Meanwhile, there is a constant yet subtle element to contend with. The series included background sounds – things that reflect what is happening in the story itself. It’s a careful balance, but one that worked out well in this episode. Especially in the earliest part of the story, as it really set the tone.

Conclusion

Black Widow: Bad Blood was an intense start to Natasha Romanoff’s story. To be fair, I didn’t expect anything less from this character. Her dynamic personality and choice of the profession all but guaranteed that.

It is refreshing to see a series that is fully embracing the details that makeup Natasha’s life. I’m really looking forward to seeing how her character and the plot progress over the rest of this season.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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