by David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky and Carmine DiGiandomenico
I haven't been following contemporary comics too closely in recent years -- too many reboots of long-standing continuity to allow me to enjoy yet another rehashing of the same old origin story for favorite old characters. But, when I saw Spider-Man Noir, a small graphic novel, on the new books display recently, I was captured by its unique take on the Spider-Man mythos. Instead of simply retelling the story of how Peter Parker got bit by a radioactive spider, lost his Uncle Ben, and took up the life of a web-slinging vigilante in a contemporary setting, Spider-Man Noir throws the action back to the late 1920s/early 1930s era of prohibition, speak-easies, corrupt cops, and reporters out to make names for themselves. Peter's spider abilities are attributed to a mystic curse, and many of his familiar enemies (The Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, the Vulture, etc.) are given completely new spins. This multi-issue comic book was compiled into a smaller-than-usual trade graphic novel, with gorgeous illustrations. I loved how the artists managed to capture the visual essence of some of comicdom's most recognizeable characters, but cloaked them in early 20th century clothes and dialog. This title really makes me to read Marvel's other "Noir"-set storylines, but I do wish to complain about the size at which they reproduced this comic-book story. The pages are crammed with lots of details, and lots of lines of dialog, and reproducing it at a smaller-than-expected size makes it much harder to read. None-the-less, I really enjoyed this alternate-history title and recommend it, especially to longtime Spider-Man fans! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the other Marvel "Noir" comics/graphic-novels.]
[ Marvel's official Spider-Man Noir database page ] | [ Wikipedia page for the Marvel Noir saga ]
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