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Review: Diary of the Black Widow

BlackWidowCoverAs children we are taught that evil has a certain look. The bad guy always wears black, witches are misshapen crones, and thieves are small wily creatures. We never look for the bad guy amongst our trusted friends and family. I’m reminded of a line from Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco, when the mobster Lefty in a state of paranoia scolds Donnie, “When they send for you, you go in alive, you come out dead, and it’s your best friend that does it.”

I, on the other hand, have learned that Evil is a looker. She has a beauty that rivals that of Helen of Troy. His blue eyes outshine those of Narcissus, and his rock hard countenance matches that of Adonis. Her weapons are sleek and beautiful. His blades are made of silver, with golden hilts. Her guns are well-crafted oiled machines of deadly recoil. True psychopaths are not dorky, vile, or sniveling beings. At their best they are fully functioning charismatic aristocrats at the top of the ruling class, with murderous powers of impunity; at their worst they are ordinary looking killers, hiding amongst us common folk. They can be the neighbor next door, or a favorite aunt or uncle.

Bret’s psychopathic Black Widow is such a person. She is extremely beautiful, and she’s known it since birth. She realizes at a very young age that she has the “powers of persuasion” that can help her in her “life’s work.” Showing a total disregard for laws and social mores, she guiltlessly dispatchers lovers for financial gain. Her innocent tale of woe is repeated, ad nauseum, to the point of absurdity—and if you think such a thing can never happen in the real world, then read Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City for an eye opening reality check.

The Black Widow’s diary continues its murderous autobiographical account, until finally someone does notice; and therein, lies the tale. Can the Black Widow continue to murder unabated, without fear of punishment? Bret’s dark and simple inks move the dark comedic story along, with uneasy satire. If you listen hard enough, you can almost hear the Addam’s Family finger-snapping theme song, as you read through the basic black and white funny pages. You’ll chuckle nervously with amazement at her surreptitious ability to kill, and then, suddenly, you’ll just stop. You’ll know why.

Story and Art: Bret M. Herholz Lettering: John Shaver Cover Colors: Rori Shapiro
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Alterna Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review