Cover of the Week 17/12 – Black Widow #13 by Phil Noto

Black Widow (2014-) 013-000This cover is an exemplary example of the art of Phil Noto. His Black Widow work has been astoundingly aesthetic and just a delight to look at. This page sets out the reason why he can produce such an emphatic and sinister looking Natasha Romanov. The first thing you notice is the blurring of red and black, because he almost refuses to ink his work, or provide definition around the characters. When it is used, it is for certain dynamism or emphasis as opposed to a standard tool. It works brilliantly here for a few reasons. In removing the delineating features it allows us to use the shading and light sources to really make the shapes out, this is certainly prevalent with respects to her jumpsuit. You can differentiate her shoulders, arms and chest from the glint of red shade delicately constructed. This is particularly beautiful around her hands as they clasp onto the two revolvers in her hands. The wrist armour she wears has taken on a red hue for a specific reason, to allow the blood and violence to be depicted. Note how it begins as a shading tool but then the red watercolour just drips down from her wrists. It is such as sinister look, particularly with the blood spots around her. This is all to purposeful and combines with her almost camouflaged expression that is almost veiled into her surrounds. Her hair has only a few coloured strokes in detail but the rest is depicted by the colours that fade away. The smoke rising from her guns insinuate that they have just been used and thus completes the image. The Widow is able to appear from the shadows, carry out her mission with clinical precision and disappear without a trace. Her face is the most detailed part of this cover, and it is the beautiful use of light on her cheeks that provides the definition and impresses her menacing glare. Her eyebrows are furrowed and enable her eyes to intimidate as she glares right at you. This is not an image to make you swoon but one that should make you scared of an assassin with malice in her sights.


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