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!
Phil Noto’s cover to Black Widow #9 is a crossroads between menace and poise, which really could sum up Natasha as whole. It’s the calm before the storm. Turning the Punisher’s signature symbol into a throne of sorts perfectly puts across the feeling of what you’ll find inside this book.
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I’ve recently become fascinated by Phil Noto’s art. Not only is it strangely beautiful, but it also has a particular design atheistic that is very appealing to me. A lot of his work feels like it would be equally at home in a high end fashion magazine as well as a comic book. While his current day job sees him doing interior’s for Marvel’s Black Widow series with writer Nathan Edmonson here is a sampling of what else he’s done.
With 2014 upon us we’ve been seeing a slew of new series and new #1 issues partly due to Marvel’s idiotic business model of constantly relaunching series because of new creative teams or new directions of the character. I digress though because this has already been discussed so let’s take a look at 3 new series I read this week.
Black Widow #1
This book starts off in James Bond mode and giving us the end of another adventure in Russia where Black Widow’s saving someone’s life who has a hit on them. We follow Natasha back to America where we find out that in her personal time she’s been taking dangerous jobs in order to pay back the families of people she’s done wrong by. The writing and the art on this book are both solid. It’s a great encapsulation of a first issue; it gets the point across and sets things up pretty quickly. I know it’s hard to say, since it’s a #1, but strangely I’m just not feeling this. It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be which I was looking forward to, but for whatever reason it just didn’t sit well (Stan Sitwell?) with me.
2013 was a banner year for geekology, but with our sights toward 2014 there is a lot to be excited about between all the movies (SIN CITY 2!?!), video games, tv shows and etc on the horizon, but I’d like to focus on comic books in this article. More accurately, Biff comic books.
Superior Spider-Man (Marvel)
It’s been mentioned on the site before, but this is probably my favorite series of 2013. It’s energetic, interesting above all else refreshing. I know there’s a lot of nay sayers who refuse to read it based solely on principal, but dammit you don’t know what you’re missing out on (not to mention stubbornness is not an attractive quality) and honestly what do you have to lose? You know if you wait it out long enough the real Peter Parker will return. Just think of this series as a long interlude. Why not stick around for the ride?
Slott is my favorite kind of writer, it’s obvious that he’s planned story lines for years in advance and has the ability to subtly weave subplots through them that you always know are going to pay off. You don’t stay on a book as its author for that long if there isn’t something to it. With a book consistently being this good and being put out twice a month is heavenly. Things are heating up in 2014 with the beginning of the Goblin Nation story line that’s been building since the book debuted with some speculation that the series will wrap you shortly afterward. It’s been an exciting year for Spidey but 2014 seems to be starting off strong as well.