Spiderman Noir by David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, Carmine di Giamendominico
I’ve been on a long term mission to read and review all of the Marvel Noir comic books. Most of them have been pretty lame, hence why it’s taking me over the long term despite all of them only being 4 issues long. Spiderman Noir, thank goodness, understands the assignment and takes advantage of being one of the rare Marvel books outside of canon.
I should have realized this one would have more potential since it’s written by David Hine. I hadn’t paid much attention to that name before but I sure will now. He also wrote the remarkable Daredevil: Redemption storyline which made me believe in Daredevil again.
Hine knows what a gift he was given with the opportunity to write a noir comic book. So much of Marvel is mandated to be tied in with other events or follow rules that make it impossible to take risks. Spiderman Noir takes the risks, it kills off popular characters, makes others corrupt, and doesn’t bow to the standard formula.
Placed during the great depression Peter Parker is trying to make a name for himself following in the footsteps of his aunt, the well known public voice of dissent, Aunt May. He gets involved in a case way over his pay grade and falls into some very dangerous traps.
For some reason he is also drawn as way older than he is said to be:
He talks of being about high school age and having his first job as a budding reporter for the Daily Bugle but here he looks to have already lead a pretty hard life.
Parker does become Spiderman in this story but it’s not really about that. It’s about him trying to fight injustice from the lowest rung of the ladder. It’s about him not understanding how to play the rigged game.
He attempts to form a mentorship relationship with my favorite reporter, Ben Urich. Unfortunately, in this version of New York, Urich is a heroine addict mess. Although he was once competent he has fallen from grace and won’t be of much help to Parker. In fact, no one will be. He’s in this one alone.
Parker faces his normal enemies such as the highly persistent J Jonah Jameson and the Goblin but they’re not playing to type here. This book is very much set in the past, away from modern technology, and shines a new light on their personalities.
Spiderman Noir is surprisingly dark and gritty, just like a noir should be. It takes chances and has real consequences. It’s violent and everything I was hoping for from these comic books. Thank you David Hine for doing it right.
5/5 spiders 🕷🕷🕷🕷🕷
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