Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are a few things in the Marvel multiverse that I'm forever salty about. Like the fact that Andrew Garfield isn't playing Spider-Man anymore, but he'll always be Spidey for me, and always my number-one storytelling inspiration. Or the fact that we were introduced to Alexei in Forever Red, only to see him get killed off after only one book. (Yeah, Margaret Stohl, I'm still never forgiving you for that.)
Or the fact that Stohl's Black Widow series is still the closest we've gotten to a Black Widow movie, and that's not even officially happening yet.
Especially after this book, that's the biggest cardinal Marvel sin of all.
Stohl outdoes herself stylishly in Red Vengeance, delivering another globetrotting Black Widow and Red Widow adventure that takes the fledgling world of Marvel YA to new, incredible heights. From Brazil to New York to Sicily and more, we're treated to some seriously insane spycraft hijinks, involving the usual elements of the genre, and also some not-so-usual ones, like Alexei's ghost appearing to Ava - which I liked because A) Alexei was my favorite character in Forever Red, and B) because his ghost is written quite similarly to the way I wrote that of Gwen Stacy in one of my many Amazing Spider-Man fanfics, which I appreciated considerably. Also, we get more of Dante's involvement in the story (to further make up for Alexei's death - seriously, I can't let that go, can I?), a nice Spider-Man reference ("with great power comes great responsibility") to reflect the character's inclusion in the MCU now, some seriously cool lightsaber-type weapons (maybe Stohl would be the first to write an official story where SHIELD discovers a portal to the world of Star Wars - that would make for the biggest mass geekgasm since The Avengers hit theaters!), a nice look at Captain Marvel before she even makes her MCU film debut, and what the prologue promises to be an ass-kicking Christmas like Marvel has never done before, not even in Iron Man 3.
Oh, and a cliffhanger that guarantees we're not done with Stohl's singularly amazing Black Widow series yet, not by a long shot.
Instead of shopping, this and a cup of coffee (to enhance my speed-reading superpower) made for a perfect Black Friday morning for me. Thanks again, Margaret Stohl, for being an author I can always count on to entertain like few others.
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