Review: Your Next Great Pulp Adventure Begins In ‘Spider-Man Noir #1’

by James Ferguson

Private eye Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) gets his toughest case yet when a woman is murdered at the Black Cat Club. He’s about to get out of his friendly neighborhood for an Indiana Jones-like adventure that will take him around the world. Spider-Man Noir becomes a globetrotter in this new series.

There’s something quintessentially cool about Spider-Man Noir, so I’m glad to see the character back in his own mini-series again, especially with artwork from Juan Ferreyra, one of my favorite artists working today. He brings all the pulp flavor of this world to the surface in the best possible way. Ferreyra creates some beautiful scenes in this debut issue that play up this time period, setting, and tone. It’s reminiscent of some classic film noir too.
Although this is a full color comic, you might not realize it at first. Everything begins in black and white and then gets a healthy dose of grey. It’s a very drab palette that works well here in this corner of the Marvel Universe. Other colors are used selectively, but not in the manner of Sin City. They pop up to accentuate a scene or add a bit more emphasis on a certain element.

Writer Margaret Stohl outlines a great detective story in Spider-Man Noir #1. I absolutely love how the character’s internal narration flows. It’s like something out of classic pulp detective novels from the likes of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. While this is a different version of Peter Parker, there’s still a bit of that classic innocence that we know and love. There’s a great sequence where he thinks about ripping a page out of a library book and stops short that fits perfectly.
That inner monologue is shown in stark black caption boxes with white font from letterer Travis Lanham. These complement the overall look and feel of the book too, especially in scenes where we largely see the silhouettes of characters.

Spider-Man Noir #1 seamlessly re-introduces the character to us and sets him on his biggest adventure yet. After the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it was only a matter of time before we saw this version of Peter Parker back in comics and he definitely makes a splash here. I’m imagining everyone in this book speaking like James Cagney and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Spider-Man Noir #1 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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