Tags Matching: Black Widow

Black Widow Without Black Widow

So my last post featured classic Larry Stroman art from an important issue of an important series featuring important characters. As a result, the page cost 10k.

In contrast, I offer this page from the Black Widow graphic novel. It is not important. It also may or may not have any characters we care about in it. We can’t tell because all I can make out is feet and distant silhouettes. As a result, the page costs $50.

Larry for any income.

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Larry Has Me In His Web

It’s no secret that I think Larry Stroman is one of the unsung comic greats. I’d put him next to any forefather and firmly believe he’d crush any contemporary. I regularly scan Ebay for evidence that this (mostly) forgotten genius is still celebrated, if only by the educated few. So how did I miss this? Only 5hrs left on this beautiful Black Widow page. I believe it’s from “Spinning Doomsday’s Web” which was a Punisher/Black Widow team-up, but I could be wrong. Regardless, this is a beautiful page of original art by Larry. Pick this bad boy up NOW.

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Daredevil by Joe Q.

A great piece of original art by the current editor in chief of Marvel.

If this was a little bit closer to my price range (say, 1500 or so dollars less…) I’d really think about it because this is an iconic level piece of original art. Why do I qualify it as that, you ask?

1. Notable run by notable artist. Joe Quesada’s stint on Daredevil (part of which include Kevin Smith as the writer / sidekick?) was amongst his most defining.

2. Prominence. This is as splash as a splash page will get. Daredevil is front and center and is done exactly how I imagine Joe Q’s Daredevil looks when I close my eyes. Good use of shadow, smooth style and somehow a hyper-realist style with uber smooth lines. ┬áNot to be confused with the somewhat experimental style of his later Daredevil:Father miniseries.

3. Supporting character. Echo probably isn’t familiar to everyone who’s reading this, but she should be. One of the better Marvel characters in the past ten. Love the style here… oh ps, anyone catch the Black Widow in the background? There ya’ go…

Anyways, I could go on. This piece is crying for a frame and a true fan. Wish I had the cash grip for this right now…
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Iron Man 2: The Comic Noize Review.

Friday night. 10pm. Usually the absolute worst time to try to go a movie at New Roc City, because it’s guaranteed to be packed. And the more packed it is, the more people willing to talk through a movie will be there. And people LOVE to talk through the movies at the New Roc. I haven’t been to a movie there since 2008 that I haven’t ended up grinding my teeth through because some jerk won’t shut up. That’s the New York movie going experience for you I guess.

But I’m pleased to say that as of this past Friday’s 10pm showing of Iron Man 2, my streak has been broken.

Sadly, we weren’t able to get IMAX tickets as planned (maybe all the talkers were in there), but that was ok. I pretty much only like to see movies in IMAX that actively stimulate the visual palette. IM2 isn’t that kind of movie. What it IS a fun summertime superhero action movie, just like the first. Just slightly more convoluted. A lot of reviews are blaming that on the standard sequel trope of there being two villains (in IM2 it’s Sam Rockwell as arms dealer Justin Hammer and Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, a combination of Iron Man bad guys Whiplash and the Crimson Dynamo). To this I say nay.

Go back to the first movie. How many bad guys were there? I’ll tell you how many. Two. You had the head of the Ten Rings, and you had Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane. In fact, in many respects, both movies followed the same formula of lesser bad guy meets bigger bad guy. The difference in IM2 is that both it’s villains possess equal presence (as in command of the screen, not time on). Rockwell plays Hammer as a Bizarro Tony Stark, oozing desperation instead of charm and trying too hard at, well… everything (the self tanner covered palms… great touch). Rourke’s Vanko is far less extroverted; he’s a menacing, tattooed grunter with a thing for cockatoos, yet even with his lines being almost unintelligible, he commands the screen. No, it’s not the villains that clutter up the movie, it’s the plot.

Iron Man 2 just has a hair too much going on, plain and simple. You have Vanko trying to get revenge on Tony Stark because he feels Tony’s father stole his father’s work and ruined him, while Hammer just plain wants to replace Stark as the number one weapons guy for the Armed Forces. You have Tony dealing with his own daddy issues, as well as the fact that his suit is killing him via palladium poisoning. You have Garry Shandling as a pompous senator trying to get the Iron Man armor turned over to the government, and best friend Rhodey (Don Cheadle, a vast improvement over Terrance Howard) juggling his loyalties as a result. You have Tony and newly appointed CEO of Stark Industries Pepper’s relationship being put on the rocks because Tony doesn’t want to tell her that he’s going to die, plus his sultry new assistant isn’t all that she seems. You have Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury coming around to set up beats for the upcoming Avengers movie (and if you look closely towards the end, you’ll catch some images on a SHIELD tv monitor that show exactly when this sequel takes place in the growing Marvel movie-verse). All that plus several subdued cues from the classic “Demon In A Bottle” storyline… it all just adds up to a hair too much, and at times it drags the pacing down. That doesn’t mean it ever gets boring though.

Though they may feel few and far between, there are actually several great action sequences, including an awesome first go round for Iron Man (in a suit that pays homage to both the suitcase used to carry the armor in the comics and the Scarlet Centurion armor of the 80s) and a electrified whip wielding Vanko taking place smack in the middle of the Grand Prix, a mansion trashing brawl between a drunken Tony and a suit borrowing Rhodey, and a gymnastic smackdown of Hammer’s security guards from Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (and if anyone suffers from the clutter of the plot, it’s Johansson, who gets so little to do that she’s basically window dressing. Sultry, seductive window dressing.)

The final battle suffers from a little bit of generic action movie overkill, as Tony and Rhodey face down a large group of rampaging attack drones and a suited up Vanko, but it’s paced properly and shot so that you can tell what’s going on, and in this day and age that counts for a lot. And there are some touches of humor in there as well. In fact, in general it’s a pretty funny movie. As before, Robert Downey Jr’s performance keeps the tone light without ever sacrificing the stakes set up by the myriad of plots.

Was this as good a movie as the first? No. The first Iron Man was more stream lined in plot, and Downey’s performance added a freshness to it that the sequel lacks; this time we’re expecting it, and while we get it, it is clearly a continuation. Still, Iron Man 2 is exactly what the first one was: a fun, summer time superhero action movie, full of quips and explosions. And yes, there is an after credits Easter egg that made the audience break out in applause.

B+

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Iron Man 2.

As I’m sure most of you have seen by now, the newest Iron Man 2 trailer is out, and it is sweeeeeet~! And if you haven’t seen it yet, shame on you, and go watch it already.

It is in the spirit of that trailer that I present to you the following auctions. Since things first things go first, first off we have the first appearance of Iron Man himself:

That’s going to end at a nice price, oh yes. And then we have the first appearances of Whiplash and the Black Widow:

Fortunately the movie makers chose not to go with the characters original outfits. And while I think Mickey Rourke wouldn’t have had a problem looking like a cross between a rooster and a pirate, no one wants to see Scarlett Johansson dressed up like she’s going to a funeral. Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, meanwhile, I don’t think has ever even made it on the cover of an issue. But that’s ok, because his first appearance had this awesomeness as it’s face:

Namor makes almost any cover from this era awesome, mainly because he’s usually destroying everything in sight.

The first Iron Man movie introduced us to James Rhodes. So did Iron Man issue 118.

It was another 50 issues or so until Rhodey put on any Iron Man armor at all, and another 100+ issues later when he finally became War Machine. Which was basically Iron Man with really big guns. Personally, I never saw the appeal. Total 90s concept, but people really like Rhodey having his own suit so it’s stuck.

And then there was the comic nerd highlight of the whole entire trailer (and again, if you haven’t seen it, go see it before this so it doesn’t spoil the mark out moment)…

The Silver Centurion inspired armor at the end. Total late 80s Iron Man fan mark out moment. Obviously they didn’t completely ape the “robot with a red and silver bucket on for a head” look of the comics version, but it’s definitely the inspiration. Not to mention the twist on the old “Iron Man suit in the suitcase” deal. So cool.

Who’s psyched? I’m psyched.


Original Art.

This seller has a whole lot of original artwork up right now. Definitely worth checking out.

These are the two I’d choose to bid on, had I the money.

A 1983 Jack Kirby redesign(?) of every one’s favorite Darkseid flunky Desaad, and an awesome Bill Sienkiewicz Black Widow sketch.


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