Marvel’s recent announcement to move forward with a Black Widow solo film has spurred interest in the character’s comic book history as fans speculate about what story will be adapted for the big screen. That news, combined with a competitively priced Kindle edition has rocketed Black Widow: The Name of the Rose to the top of Amazon’s best sellers graphic novel list. Though a popular member of the Avengers in the film universe, the Black Widow character has failed to maintain an ongoing series since her first appearance in the early 1960’s. The Marjorie Liu story with art by Daniel Acuña, launched in 2010, was Black Widow’s fourth attempt at a solo series for the character. The Name of the Rose contains the first five issue arc of the series that only lasted eight issues. The spy thriller follows Natasha Romanoff as she tracks down an unknown culprit behind a failed assassination attempt on her life.The most recent volume of Black Widow was launched in January of this year with art from Phil Noto and written by Nathan Edmondson. Fans of the new series that missed The Name of the Rose will find it also hits the sweet spot for gorgeously illustrated revenge spy thrillers.
The Amazon best sellers graphic novel list does not reflect direct market sales from comic shops or other vendors, but considering the appeal of digital comics for new readers, selling well on Amazon is a good sign that Black Widow has a growing fan-base. Amazon updates their best seller lists hourly; at the time of publication for this article Black Widow has fallen to sixteenth place, but remains the only graphic novel from Marvel in the top 20 best sellers. The next highest placed Marvel book sits at 31 and happens to be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers, another property seeing its film release soon.