This comic was recommended by one of my pals, who wrote a very convincing review on her own blog you should consider reading, especially since she's way more knowledgeable in these things than I am.
I don't recall ever having read a comic with Black Widow/Natasha Romanov in it. The little bit I know about her has come from seeing The Avengers and listening to some of my buds talk about her other exploits every now and again. A fresh new comic with her as the main character was just what I needed to dive in, and best of all - this book doesn't demand knowledge of her or her back story in order to follow along. I loved this about Hawkeye, and I already love this about Black Widow.
We begin right in the middle of the action - Black Widow is out on a job, and we get to see her excellent work while also getting a look inside her head. This first issue is actually rather fast-paced and emphasizes the busy life she leads. When she isn't out doing work for the Avengers, she's focusing on a personal project -- atonement for her past. Though it sounds like a cliche, I liked the depth that we got to see in Natasha in just this introductory book because of the very specific conditions under which she's undertaken this task.
The good story and writing (by Nathan Edmonson) are highly complimented by the fantastic artwork by Phil Noto. Everything is soft, the colors are laid on without too, too much detail or anything to distract the eye from the flow of the panels. There's a hard line every now and again, used sparingly and just to bring your attention to a fierce expression. Though the colors are just as soft to match the lines, the textures and contours all shine, and I particularly love the work on Black Widow's face.
Obviously, I'm pleased to have picked Black Widow up. I didn't feel like I need to read up on the character in order to enjoy this, and it goes way beyond a simple origin story (i.e. a series of flashbacks and dramatic inner monologue). I'm interested in reading more and hope the series maintains the momentum this first book promises.