Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Super-Powered Comics: Spider-Man Noir #1

I got a chance to read Spider-Man Noir #1 from a friend and I was pleasantly surprised on the new take on the Marvel character. While I do think Marvel is trying to steal the thunder of their own Icon imprint’s Criminal, this book does a pretty decent job of finding its own path.

Noir’s Peter Parker is a very different character, as is his family. Ben and May Parker are both union rabble-rousers during the Depression. For their actions, Ben is murdered at the hands of the crime boss known as the Goblin.

Ben Urich, reporter for the Daily Bugle takes Peter under his wing as his assistant and potential photographer. We get a few tidbits, but how this will lead to the issue’s opening few pages, where the black-clad Spider-Man escapes from the police at the offices of the (maybe) dead J. Jonah Jameson is anyone’s guess.

Despite its cliffhanger opening and ending, David Hine’s writing and Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art bring to life the period with a level of excellence rarely seen nowadays. The real shame is that Marvel through a $4 price tag on the entire business, which makes dollar counting folks like me wary to buy anything new. But Spider-Man Noir at least comes close to giving you your money’s worth. Recommended.

I will try to be back with a review of X-Men Noir #1 just as soon as I get a chance to read it.

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