Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spider-Man: Noir - Review

The Web-Slinger takes on the Great Depression

Following the line of MARVEL NOIR books and series, Spider Man: Noir is a retelling of everyone's favorite neighborhood wall crawler in the year 1933. Having lost his Uncle Ben to The Goblin's gang, Peter Parker is given a new lease on life when he's bitten by the enchanted Spider of Fate, which gives him amazing powers and silk-like black webbing. He modify's his uncle's former aviator outfit and takes his trusty revolver to stalk the villains of the night as The Spider-Man!


The style and storytelling in this small hardcover volume, which collects all four issues of the series run, is very well presented. The pacing is well executed, the artwork has a painting and brush atmosphere that screams 1930's artwork, and the Spider-Man mythos takes on a more detective role. All of the big favorite characters are there, though some of their allegiances and origins are skewed for realistic purposes or for original storytelling effect. I won't ruin who the villains are and who can be trusted, but one thing that this story does give is Parker the ability to take vengeance for Ben's death directly, which was never something completely covered in the other books.

A big issue in the story is the use of a revolver by the web slinger, which becomes a big problem between The Spider-Man and Aunt May, who is a political activist in the Hoovervilles of New York City.

I picked this book up because it was half off at a booth at Emerald City Comic Con, but I'm glad I did, because I would have missed out on a wonderful retelling of a classic American mythos. This transfer to another era, especially the past, shows that these characters can be timeless, as long as their motif and ideals remain in tact.

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