Spider-Man Noir: Not Your Mama's Spider-Man, But Maybe Your Great-Grandmama's

Spider-Man Noir was a four-issue miniseries back in 2008, when Marvel was doing a whole "noir-ification" of their line, including Wolverine Noir and Iron Man Noir. Marvel used to publish the individual series in cute little digest editions, but now it looks like they're doubling down and pairing stories together in 35-dollar5, 12-issue paperbacks, ie, Daredevil/Cage/Iron Man Noir,Wolverine & the X-Men Noir and Spider-Man/Punisher Noir (?).

Spider-Man Noir's getting a bit of love because of Dan Slott's super-spider-epic, Spider-Verse, but I'm waiting for the verdict out on that story before touching it. Spidey Noir got a second series, subtitled Eyes without a Face, but here's my opinion on the first series.

Check out how the cover for #4 obscures Osborn's face. What a diss! David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky take on Peter Parker in the Great Depression, 1933 to be specific. People are living on the streets while Norman Osborn, "The Goblin," runs a crime ring that has even the mayor in check. It's the Daily Bugle's job to document the suffering, and Peter Parker finds an apprenticeship there under Ben Urich to photograph it.

It's refreshing how different this is from the Marvel Universe proper. Peter Parker's an uppity kid with a big mouth and a grudge against The Goblin. In his first meeting with Osborn at The Black Cat speakeasy, he has thechutzpah to throw a drink in Osborn's face!

And Aunt May's a fireball in this series. After Spider-Man saves May by shooting down the Vulture on the verge of snapping her neck -- she doesn't thank him. She berates him for killing another person and demands his gun! It's a great explanation for why he chooses not to kill -- worthy, even.

I really enjoyed how this series defied the expectations in your typical Spider-Man story -- familiarity with Spider-Man only enhances the reading of his noirifcation.

The artist, Sapolsky was an otherwise new name to me, and I haven't heard of it since. Which is a shame, because while he's not a wildly impressive artist, he's certainly more than serviceable. Here's the surreal sequence in which Peter Parker is bitten by the spider:

Here's what his Spider-Sense looks like. It's kind of like a weird, ethereal spider hugging your face:

Here's a pretty neat sequence with Spider-Man getting to the Daily Bugle building.

Another place that the series defies expectations, is that Spider-Man is practicing his speech to scold J. Jonah Jameson -- only to find out that :choke: somebody's shot and killed J. Jonah Jameson! You don't get any Spidey-JJJ interaction in this series, which is another tally for the unexpected.

Here's another panel that kind of combines the previous two:

Lastly, check out these Spider-poses. How does he cling to that building piece through his bad-ass, but thick, gloves and boots?

One last note about his costume: Peter actually uses Uncle Ben's old aviator goggles back from the war, as a part of his ensemble. Isn't that cool?? UnlikeWolverine NoirSpider-Man Noir dresses to impress.

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