To what tactical function would a spy need her cleavage hanging out? Does it help a character who is an acrobat?
There is nothing inherently wrong with cleavage, but it needs to be based on either the characters personality or by what they do. I cannot stress this enough. It cannot just be cause the artist felt like drawing a zipper down.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see Phil Noto at the helm of a new Black Widow series. It doesn’t get much better than this. Hopefully Marvel won’t pull the plug on Widow like they did when Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuña were cranking out overlooked gems a few years ago…
The way I understand it is that Marjorie Liu left of her own accord; she’d gotten a job writing X-23 and had commitments to her novelist career as well. She was upfront about only being able to contribute one arc to Black Widow, and then of course Duane Swierczynski took over for one arc which dovetailed into an editorially mandated crossover with Hawkeye and Mockingbird in a last-ditch effort to save both series, which unfortunately failed. (What became Widowmaker #1-4 was originally solicited as Hawkeye and Mockingbird #7-8 and Black Widow #9-10.)
I’m not sure that switching creative teams after one arc, when a new book is just starting to solidify an audience, was a great move in retrospect. But it is what happened. Like you I’m very pleased Natasha is getting another shot.
My editors have done an amazing job finding the right creators — writers and artists who are talented, motivated and in love with these characters — to tell some fantastic stories. And I’m also thrilled to see female characters like Black Widow, She-Hulk, Elektra and the new Ms. Marvel step onto center-stage alongside Captain Marvel and the all-female X-Men team to provide an unprecedented number of ongoing series anchored by female leads. That’s six series featuring female leads, if you’re counting, and it just sort of happened.
Axel Alonso, Axel-in-Charge (x)
I am also thrilled Marvel is adding more female-fronted books to its line-up, but I’m going to go a bit further and give them credit for it. I don’t believe these books “just sort of happened”— I think creative teams pitched stories and editors approved, and looked for, and found stories about women, and decided to publish them. Marvel made them happen, is what I’m saying. I want to thank them for that.
There’s this curious way of branding, where diversity is concerned, that it must happen organically, not “forced”, that we must wait for stories about the rest of us to materialize from thin air, fully formed and artistically pure, free from any agenda. I understand the marketing logic that insists stories are stories first, about women second, or coincidentally. I understand because people are afraid of agendas. But no story really happens by coincidence. Hawkeye is a big hit, and it came about because editorial saw an opportunity for a real Hawkeye moment in the summer of 2012, and because they worked to find a great pitch for it, and because the creative team worked to tell a great story. It didn’t just happen, any more than the period not so long ago when Marvel wasn’t publishing any ongoing female leads just happened. And I wonder why there’s still this idea floating around that good stories about women must happen by coincidence and not be worked for, when we’re straight-up honest that the big honchos gather in a smokey retreat room to plan the Major Events the storytelling in the MU revolves around. That these narratives are crafted, made.
(Marvel made them happen, is what I’m saying. I want to thank them for that.)