Skip to main content

My review of Spider-Man Noir by Hine, Sapolsky and Di Giandomenico

I'll be honest, like with many comics over the years for me, it was the cover that drew me in [it is currently my screensaver on my home pc, great job Patrick Zircher]. That, and maybe also because I've been in a noir-ish mood. But this black-trench coat wearing, weapon-wielding Spidy throwback looked interesting enough to pursue.

The creative team was: writers David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky, art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, covers by Patrick Zircher, and edited by Alejandro Arbona. Fantastic job all around creating mood, tension, and dramatic desperation.

I did wait for the trade paperback on this one, and was pleasantly surprised when Marvel released the book in a 5 x 7ish trade, not quite manga sized, and yet not full-sized either. It was perfect for a mass transit ride, and it felt special in it's own mid-sized treatment.

I would have loved to see an introduction of some sort, telling me in detail how this project came together, and just who had the idea to set this exactly at the time period when it takes place [1933 by the way]. It is such a stylized book, a look into the specific creation would have been a nice addition.

Note: There is a cover gallery and development sketchbook in the back. Bonus!

Illustrations such as this splash page opener -- invigorating with movement and tension made for a perfect noir comic book experience.

And is that Spidy with a pistol? Why yes it is. This isn't your grandfather's Spider-Man. Actually it might be your great-grandfather's Spidy - as it takes place in the 1930s after World War I.

Spidy's Uncle Ben was a WW I veteran that tried to teach him about what it meant to be a hero before he passed. But this is a dark era, the Great Depression is here --Peter isn't the innocent kid that we know and love.

He blames the gangster - The Goblin - for the problems that the city and those close to him face. Peter confides in beat reporter, Ben Ulrick, a sorry cause yet an earnest character in this story.

It is the sad story of Ben, coupled with the reckless abandon of Peter, that bring the story to the amazing conclusion. I don't want to give too much away, but yes...Aunt May is a Socialist. Then...

...a jump from the window. The feel of this page fell somewhere between the old crime fighter we've come to know and a page from Sin City.

A daring escape from the cops who were probably on the take anyway. Evidence pointing in his direction, and a crime-fighting outfit comprised of a black trench coat, mask sown together by hand, and a pair of aviator goggles from the great war.

And a revolver of course -

I'm a fan of re-imaginings. Looking at iconic stories and characters, told in a different light, or in a different time. Such as an all-time favorite, Superman Red Son, the DC Elseworlds project supposing Big Blue crash landed in Communist Russia.

Or the 1980s film, Time After Time, in which Jack the Ripper, steals away to the future in a time machine.

Take an institution and re-imagine it in a new creative context. Sometimes it isn't done right, but when it is, it makes for some great reading or viewing.

I recommend Spider-Man Noir, if you're looking for a little something different, something darker from the red and blue crusader that you have always known. Maybe not for the youngster, but definitely for the definitive fan whose grown up with Spidy and wants to be challenged with a new concept.


logankstewart said…
This looks awesome. Thanks for the review.

Popular posts from this blog

Bloody Clever. My review of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

How else can I describe this novel from literary mash-up author sensation, Seth Grahame-Smith?
Bloody clever.

I had seen all the hubbub about his New York Times bestselling, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and knew that he was approaching things a bit differently. He was creating a hot new trend.

I made a request for a bound galley, through one of my trusted literary source connections and it arrived a few days later, in a package--just like how a bunch of secret diaries appear at the beginning of the novel, filled with secrets.

So there is my disclaimer: I was sent this book, via a publishing connection, for free. I intended to review it here from the get go.

I began reading ALVH with trepidation, knowing full-well that people were going to get axed. After all, that is how Abe developed that lean physique, splitting wood in the yard all the while teaching himself to read and write and building up that wicked smart mind. 

He was a force to be reckoned with. And with the same conviction he u…

A D&D Giveaway from @theFranconian archives

Every now and then even a bookish fellow like myself needs to make room on my shelves. And where I still have many of my original Dungeons & Dragons manuals and modules, I also still have some samples that had been sent to me while an acquiring editor at the ol' SFBC. 
This set of three: Monster Manual, Players Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, all version 3.5 have been sitting on my shelves for a number of years, untouched, if not a bit dusty. They are in excellent condition and I was planning to sell them but thought it would make for a better giveaway, or 3 giveaways, for any gamer who might have been looking for the 3.5 editions to add to their reference library.
The rules are simple, in the comments section simply retell a brief D&D encounter, adventure or battle, or simply share an image of a miniature that you painted, with a little background about it. Its that simple. Have fun with it. Only open to U.S. Residents. I'll choose 1 to 3 winners that are my fa…

The Art of Space by Ron Miller PLUS a giveaway

Do you remember the first science fiction bookcover art that really struck you? Can you recall a stylized film or television show that hooked you on science fiction? Maybe it was a comic book cover from the Silver Age. I recall Star Wars having something to do with it for me as a little boy. I was hooked  at the pure imagination of it. Other worlds, magnificent spaceships, aliens; all of it drew me in.

I was recently sent by the good folks at the Zenith Press, a copy of The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era from award-winning artist and best-selling author Ron Miller, and it is a collection that is out of this world.

Miller covers each era of space art, and how it was developed at the time with the resources, knowledge and vision of the artists of the day. He covers individual artists and movements from the decades, and brings to life over 350 incredible illustrations with informative discussion and background on each.