Speaking of Phil Noto1, his new book Black Widow is definitely worth a look. He (and writer Nathan Edmondson) have created the all-too-rare female lead where her body is not the main focus of attention. She’s a ruthless, super capable super spy, and it’s all done without the need to show her in impossibly exploitative poses and scenes.
Of the books I’ve read recently only Fraction’s _Hawkeye_ and Gillen & McKelvie’s _Young Avengers_ can lay similar claim. Noto draws beautifully, particularly faces, his colours are gorgeous, and the use of drop focus and freeze frames is all great stuff. Meanwhile Edmondson makes Natasha herself the story, not her relationship to men. She’s running the show and the book is a breath of fresh air as a result.
Yes, over a _year_ later, which makes it a very tenuous ‘speaking of’, but better late than never? ↩︎