Cover of the Week 12/6 – The Black Beetle 4 by Francesco Francavilla

BBThe love I have for Francesco Francavilla runs firmly through this blog. The final issue of Black Beetle was not a disappointment and this cover feels like a 50’s Hitchcockian movie poster; a classic mystery thriller motif with a film noir superhero twist. Our protagonist is poised with gun in hand and the other holding his cape, with his face shows confusion and aggression but it is difficult to tell through the red googles. He stands in a giant sized shadow of Labyrinto which contains a part of the colour and design of his costume, and there is a big question mark within the shadow highlighting the cluelessness of the villain’s identity. It is not only positioned above Beetle’s head but also in the middle of the upper half of the cover, as a reference to the reader. The use of shadow light perspective implies that the antagonist is larger than Beetle, and that is why he stands gripped in fear, even though he is wielding the gun. Couple this notion with the amazingly apt colour palette, the reds and black of fear, violence and blood, we have a classic murder mystery cover. It is the added details Francavilla adds to his covers such as the fonts chosen for the lettering, the small Beetle symbol, the arc title, the issue numbering, that is all part of the style and theme of the book. The cover firmly represents the tone to expect upon turning the page. Though the detective superhero and film noir are established comic tropes, they have rarely been combined, and never brought to together with as much flair and panache as Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: