Marvel; June 1979
Cover by Rich Buckler and Bob McLeod
Title: “No Way to Treat a Lady”
Synopsis: Spider-Man saves an amnesiac Black Widow from a mugging, only to find S.H.I.E.L.D. gunning for her, too.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Steve Leialoha
Review: This is one of those delightful, unexpected treats that emerge from the back issue bins from time to time. This first issue of a four-part spy thriller is vintage Chris Claremont, all action and intrigue and guest stars galore. The story hits the ground running and never lets up, ending in a cliffhanger that’ll send readers scurrying for Marvel Team-Up #83. The art is also a treat: The unexpected team of Sal Buscema and Steve Leialoha work wonderfully together. Buscema’s pencils provide a solid foundation, while Leialoha’s inks add fluidity and warmth. All in all, this one’s a nice surprise.
Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.
Cool factor: The surprising blend of Sal Buscema and Steve Leialoha goes down smooth.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant and a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.
Character quotable: “This costume – it’s like a second skin. I feel – well, it’s almost … indecent.” – The Black Widow (and all it took was amnesia to figure that out!)
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