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Marvel goes retro with Phil Noto Variants

Morning Geeks!
A couple days ago Biff Tannen posted an awesome cover of Black Window by superstar artist Phil Noto. I’ve always been a fan of Noto’s and really like long and lean features that he gives to his characters, it kind of reminds me of high-fashion illustrations. Anyway, it got me remembering that Marvel announced at NYCC this year that Noto would be providing a slew of retro-looking variant covers designed by Noto himself for February and this week we’ve been privy to a whole bunch of them. Check these babies out and sound off in the comments with your thoughts!

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Cover Of The Day 1/12/14

 

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While this isn’t a cover proper, it’s a promotional image for the upcoming All New Marvel Now Elektra series by artist Mike Del Mundo. When originally annouced the book was slated to be written by Zeb Wells but other commitments forced him to leave and he was replaced by Haden Blackman. Due out in March, it’s still too early to see if someone can actually write an interesting and engaging series that the character deserves. With art like this though I’m willing to give it benefit of the doubt.

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7 Reasons Not to Sleep with Daredevil

Being the significant other of a costumed hero is never easy, and examples of this are all around us in the comic world. Practically every hero in comics has faced some sort of tragedy, or at least a scare, regarding their romantic partner. Spider-Man famously witnessed/caused the death of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner infamously found his girlfriend stuffed into a refrigerator… hell, Lois Lane was used as bait on a regular basis in the Silver Age and I think that whole “Superman’s Girlfriend” thing greatly exaggerated.

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However, there is none with so disastrous a track record as Matthew Murdock, Esquire. In his 50 years on the stands, Daredevil has proven that although he may have lost his sight in a childhood accident, but he gained an uncanny amount of GAME. He wines ’em, he dines ’em, and he often attends their funerals. On the plus side, he always shows up stag to the cemetery, it’s terribly gauche to bring a date.  But, Ladies! Don’t fall for his charms, I beg you! Underneath this shiny veneer is a dark, dark man who destroys every relationship he enters.

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Evil Geeks Art Gallery – Greek Tragedy

It’s been some time since we last toured the extensive collection of the Brotherhood of Evil Geeks, hasn’t it?  Our featured opus today is a reproduction of a favorite comic moment among our crew. And, no, it hasn’t got anything to do with Peter Parker’s formative years, it’s the classic scene from Frank Miller’s unforgettable Daredevil run in which Elektra bites the big one.

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He gave her eleven inches and made it hurt.

And while it was a surprising and emotionally loaded moment that shook the comics world to its core, the a rt of Frank Miller is not for everyone.  It’s certainly not without its charm, but the way in which he rigidly conforms to the traditional conventions of human anatomy?  A true artist does not limit his or herself in such a way.  So, I approached the two finest artists that I (and mankind) know; Messrs Biff Tannen and Arthur Harkness.  I gave them each a plain brown envelope full of unmarked, non-sequential bills along with their newest assignment.  Three hours later, my manservant interrupted my Tae Bo lessons (Billy Blanks is my close friend and personal trainer) with two fresh pieces of art, still warm from the artists’ touch.

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Biff Tannen conveys an insanity in the expression on Bullseye’s face that simply could not have been restricted to actual dimension of a human face.  Miller’s attempt in showing the perverse elation in the killer’s eyes pales in comparison to the almost orgasmic joy in this perfected vision!

elektradeathtonyNow, Arthur Harkness’ rendition is, as usual, slightly more true to the source material. He does give the audience a sense that Bullseye’s murder of Elektra was not simply motivated by a desire to be the Kingpin’s top assassin, but in fact a misdirected hate crime, aimed at Macedonians yet inadvertently enacted upon a Greek.

So, I inserted the originals into the Collabotron’s mouth slot, poured in a quart of toner and two measures of rye and went to see a movie to kill some time.  I got back late, so I decided to crash and check the results in the morning.  Now, I suppose it was foolish to check the results at 9:00 AM sharp. The timing makes me unsure of the nature of my excitement… the raging erection I had may very well have been my usual “wake up call from the front desk”, or it may have been caused by this gorgeous sight….

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All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

Panel(s) Of The Day 4/18/13

Death looms large over our two panels of the day as we showcase some historic demises in Marvel history.

First up we have 1973’s Amazing Spider-Man issue #121 and the death of Peter Parker’s long time girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Kidnapped by the Green Goblin she is hurled off the Brooklyn Bridge and Spidey’s own attempt to save her inadvertently snaps her neck, instantly killing her. It’s darkly poetic in it’s own way and a pretty ballsy and badass move for the early 1970’s. The infamous panel has rightfully earned it’s ranking as a classic.

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Next we have the death of Elektra at the hands of Bullseye. Daredevil #181 marked a turning point in Frank Miller’s classic run, having only been introduced 13 issues earlier Elektra’s death was a genuine shock. She had replaced the psychopath, Bullseye as Kingpin’s chief assasin but this was something he couldn’t live down. In a beautifully choreographed battle the end result was him impaling her through the abdomen with her own weapon. It’s a grotesque scene (look a the sheer joy and exuberance on Bullseye face) but one that will forever stand out.  Elektra of course would go on to play a large role in the history of both Daredevil and Matt Murdock as Marvel decided to resurrect her years later but nothing would ever dampen the impact of this infamous panel.

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There you have it. Death is a part of life, but in comic books it’s rarely ever permanent.

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

Evil Geek Book Report – Thunderbolts #1

And the Marvel Now #1’s keep comin’ !

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Whoever is off to the right of this cover is pretty well fucked.

When Marvel relaunched most of their books under the Marvel Now! banner, I decided to look at it positively; as a jumping on point rather than a jumping on point. So I’ve been trying out each of the new books regardless of whether I really had any interest in them. This is one of the books I probably would have passed on otherwise, despite the fact that I’m a big fan of Steve Dillon’s art. It seemed like a forced team book trying to cash in with edgy anti-hero characters. But I suppose that’s in keeping with the Thunderbolts of the past: Originally they were villains looking to redeem themselves. Then in what was probably the most successful incarnation they were imprisoned super villains earning a pardon by working for the government.

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Still better than making license plates, I guess.

This time around, the Thunderbolts are being run by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who moonlights as the Red Hulk. His motives aren’t entirely clear yet, but he’s trotting around the globe recruiting for the team. First, we see him essentially blackmailing the Punisher into joining up, and the issue is framed by this scene. While Ross lays the plan out for Frank Castle, we see flashbacks to him snatching up the rest of the team. He finds Venom (now being worn for black ops work by Flash Thompson) in Somalia, Deadpool fighting mimes in France, a once-again alive Elektra fulfilling a contract in Afghanistan, and a fifth as-yet-unrevealed member is also glimpsed having fought the Hulk some time ago. Judging by the track records of those involved, Ross is getting ready to do some filthy dirty work. However, while all the characters have, in their own books, had a reputation for violence, they are very different people. I’s have to imagine that Flash Thompson’s conscience will eventually come into play, and hell hath no fury like a double-amputee in an alien symbiote scorned. The Punisher might be able to handle that, though… one time I saw him punch a polar bear.

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Now do you see why I like Dillon?

I enjoyed the first issue, but still have some doubts about the book. Daniel Way is hit or miss with me, with the majority of his hits being mini-series rather than his ongoing work. Also, I’m a big fan of Steve Dillon’s art (one of the few pieces of comic art I keep on my walls is a sketch of Herr Starr from Preacher that some friends sommissioned for me), and I love his fight scenes when it’s two dudes beating the hell out of one another, but I’m worried that a scene of Venom and the Hulk going hog wild might not work as well when drawn by Dillon as it might by a more dynamic artist.  Still, though… I’m interested in seeing how this plays out and I encourage them to prove me wrong about my concerns.

At ease, Geeks!

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

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