Dark Trinity: Tales of Suspense #102

The cover was a nice recovery from part #2 (Tales of Suspense #101). It just wasn’t my cup of tea. The first cover, by Marco Checchetto, was BADASS. Caught my eye the first time I saw an ad for the story arc. But this one, by Yasmine Putri, had some flair. I thought the woman in the middle was actually Yelena Belova, who the guys had captured wearing a red wig, at the end of part 2. But the way the book went, it seems to be Natasha. Either way, the detail from Putri is exceptional. She very visibly illustrated not only the love both share for Natasha and that she reciprocates, but that they both don’t entirely trust one another and want her for themselves. Which means that’s more than likely actually Natasha, not Belova.

All-around awesome cover. Now onto the content.

Really didn’t anticipate the ending of this issue. We’ll get to that a little later.

This needs to be said before we go there:

The first issue of Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier (Tales of Suspense #100) was OK, but first issues in a series are hard to knock out, so it’s understandable. Not like these two had been working hand-in-hand for 20 issues. And again, not a big fan of Hawkeye being the focal point.

The second issue was VERY good. Much more of what I was looking for, with the pair working together the entire issue and busting chops here and there. Winter Soldier narrating was a nice change of pace.

This issue, though. This issue was EXACTLY what I was hoping for when I first decided to buy in on this title. Absolutely perfect. One of the best Marvel single issues I’ve read in a while.

There was a limited amount of action, but I didn’t really notice that throughout. Probably because the plot is moved along well in the issue. Lack of action is usually something I notice at least halfway through.

The plot wasn’t the sole reason. The banter between these two complete opposites was the main reason — in addition to Winter Soldier being involved — that I gave this title a chance. It was in FULL effect this issue.

Whether it was Winter Soldier’s disgust with Hawkeye eating a prisoner’s food like a neanderthal or Barton complaining about Bucky’s greased up hair on multiple occasions, or the two of them talking about spreadsheets — something both admittedly know nothing about, they had me entertained on every page there wasn’t actual progress in the story.

As great as those were, the best line of them all was when Hawkeye told Winter Soldier he was the world’s second-most famous sidekick in the world, to ROBIN!

To which Bucky replied, “Who the $#%@ is Robin?” Had to read that back and forth a second time, could not believe my eyes!

All of this led up to the ending where we found out Hawkeye was in fact right — unless we’re dealing with a robot or some other tech that makes this woman look like Black Widow. Feels like I’ve been surprised by the endings of a few issues of late. This might’ve been the biggest surprise of all though.

I mean, no comic book character is ever TRULY dead. We all know this. But it just seemed like they’d be bringing Natasha back too quickly. From an outside perspective, if someone just found out Black Widow wasn’t dead anymore, they might feel it happened too quickly. But in reading these first few issues, writer Matthew Rosenburg had thrown me completely off her trail. (It could also be I trusted Bucky’s assessment over Barton’s.)

Next issue could go in any direction. Can’t which one Rosenburg decides to take!

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