Spider-Man: Noir is a four-issue miniseries which reboots the Wall Crawler into the genres of film noir and pulp fiction
. It is set in New York during the Great Depression. Part of a lineup of Genre Throwback
miniseries featuring Marvel's most popular characters, it is also known for its sleek design and its version of Spider-Man being part of the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
. It was followed by another mini called Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Face, taking place a year after the previous mini.
In Spider-Man: Noir, Norman Osborn, a man known in certain circles as the Goblin, has everybody in his pocket. The mayor, the police, the local newspapers. May Parker is a notorious trouble maker for the corrupt regime. Her and her nephew Peter lost Ben Parker, a big player in the underground movement against the government's abuse, until one day he was beaten up and savaged by dogs.
When Peter stands to defend his aunt from the Enforcers
, he's noticed by Ben Ulrich, an Intrepid Reporter
, who has his boss J. Jonah Jameson hire Peter on board as a photographer's assistant.
When the Enforcers try to jack a spider idol from a cargo meant for the museum, Peter gets bitten by one of the spiders inside the idol, gains spider-like abilities, and takes up the mantle of Spider-Man. As he goes to confront the Goblin, it turns out Ulrich is in the pocket of Norman as well
quickly leading to his death.
Spider-Man gets framed for the death of Jonah, who gets shot in the first page of the first book
. Felicia, the owner of the Black Cat
, gives Peter secret files on Norman and his past. And he finds out that Jonah's
death was faked, and returns home just in time to save his aunt. He goes to confront Norman once more
Felicia Hardy, for killing "Jameson"
. Spider-Man trashes Kraven, and chases Norman down into the sewer system
He unmasks him, and refuses to shoot him
. Norman tries to shoot Peter, and the gun blows up in his hand because of webbing. Kraven
returns and both fall into the sewage
and are never seen again
In Eyes Without a Face, Spider-Man has been active for a while now, but still considered a vigilante. The police don't seem to mind him, and he tries to better the community
. Except when Doctor Octavius rolls
into town, Robbie Robertson tries to infiltrate his complex alongside Peter Parker, as his aide, to discover the evil human experiments being performed.
In the meantime, the World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists (later renamed the Nazi Party
in Real Life
) is trying to get a foothold on American soil, and are secretly sponsoring Doctor Octavius and supplying him with people of African descend, done by the Crime Master and his right hand man
Spider-Man traces the Crime Master, and tries to apprehend him, this goes wrong
as the Sandman
beats him to a bloody pulp
. As the police gun him down
, the Crime Master gets away and hides at the Black Cat
Peter goes to recover at Felicia's, and the information she supplies makes him figure out what's going on, and goes to confront Octavious, where he discovers Robbie has been lobotimized
In the meantime, the Crime Master has figured out the relationship between his girlfriend and Spider-Man
and he kills her. Enraged
he goes to Otto's hideout and starts killing African-Americans
. Spider-Man encourages everybody
shot anybody to not
joining the Crime Master on death row.
Otto Octavious, angry at the Crime Master callous killing
, stabs him to death with his surgical implements
. He surrenders to Spider-Man in order to stand trial, who denies him this right
, and is about to execute him until Jean deWolffe stops him.
Otto gets his trial. And he gets deported.
This series provides examples of:
- Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The final confrontation in the first mini.
- Admiring the Abomination: Peter for Octavious' experiments.
- Anti-Hero: Due to the tragic life he's led, Spidey becomes much more willing to kill. This changed due to Aunt May.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Doctor Octavious.
- Adaptational Villainy: Ulrich
- Almost Dead Guy: Jonah 's imposter
- In Eyes Without a Face Girl
- Badass Longcoat: As part of Spidey's costume.
- Big Applesauce
- Big Bad: Norman Osborn.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Otto and Crime Master in Eyes Without a Face.
- Big Bad Wannabe: The Crime Master
- Bigger Bad: Ansel's presence in Eyes Without a Face is all over the book, but Spider-Man doesn't even learn of his existence, or the fact he was behind the Crime Master's initial actions.
- Bittersweet Ending: The first series is an Earn Your Happy Ending, while the second is a very bitter bittersweet victory.
- Black Best Friend: Robbie Robertson.
- Black Bra and Panties: Black Cat
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Doctor Octavious
- Body Horror: Osborn was born with a rare disease that gave him scaly skin. And due to how much he was teased and called a freak, this led to his Start of Darkness.
- The Brute: Both Ox and Sandman.
- Circus of Fear: Norman Osborn recruited his inner circle from the circus, from which he himself is a refugee.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: Spider-Man, and the Crime Master.
- Cold Open
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Spider-Man shoots Toomes, and Aunt May derides him for using fire arms.
- Cry for the Devil: Even after all he's done, it's hard not to feel bad at the end when Heinrich Himmler denounces Otto for being a born cripple, and thus unfit for the Master Race.
- Cursed with Awesome: When Peter got bitten by the mystic spiders, he hallucinated that a spider god would give him "The Curse Of Power". Considering how the Spider Man powers have affected other Spider Mean, this isn't actually that far off.
- Darker and Edgier: Like all of the Marvel: Noir series.
- Disney Acid Sequence: When Peter gets bitten by the spider he receives visions.
- Disney Death: Felicia. Jameson in the first book.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Octavious
- Drugs Are Bad: Ben Ulrich does heroin.
- Establishing Character Moment: Octavious get's one with a Gross-Up Close-Up of an ape with his brain being vivisected in Eyes Without a Face.
- Eaten Alive: Norman wants a Spider idol, which is covered in big fat widowlike spiders. As soon as the box is opened, they swarm Fancy Dan and eat him.
- Kraven suffers the same fate.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Octavious thinks lobotimizing people and keeping them locked up is humane, but killing them without respect is animalistic.
- Evil Cripple: Doctor Octavious
- The Evils of Free Will: For so called "Lesser races"
- Flechette Storm: Crime Master's death.
- Food Slap: Pete chucks a scotch in Norman's face when he mentions Uncle Ben.
- Friend on the Force: Jean de Wolfe.
- Gender Flip: Federal Agent Jean De Wolfe.
- Giant Spider: In the Disney Acid Sequence
- Good Bad Girl
- Gory Discretion Shot: Crime Master's death.
- Guns Akimbo: Hammerhead in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.
- He Knows Too Much: She, Black Cat.
- Herr Doktor: Doctor Octavious. Doctor Conners as well.
- Identity Impersonator Chameleon is in the first book, but you won't know until The Reveal.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Vulture.
- Intrepid Reporter: Peter, Ulrich and Jameson. And unlike other incarnations, Jameson is firmly in the side of good and less of a Jerkass to Spider Man.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: About the Sandman.
- Joe Sent Me
- Karma Houdini: Nicely subverted with Dr. Octopus, who gets away with his experiments... only to get insulted and rejected by the Nazis that he practically worshipped because he doesn't fit they're definition of a Master Race.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover
- The Klan: In the background of Eyes Without a Face.
- Latex Perfection: Osborn's mask.
- Likes Older Women: Peter himself, being in love with the thirtysomething Felicia Hardy.
- Master Race: Octavious is snubbed because his handicap is genetic, not accidental.
- Miss Kitty: Aptly, Felicia.
- Mook Carryover: "Fat Larry" runs a seedy joint first for the Goblin, then for someone else, and finally for the Crime Master.
- Morality Pet: Literally, Kraven's monkey for Kraven. Hie grief over his death provides a small spark of goodness, enough for him to survive a bit longer after being overwhelmed by the mystical spiders to kill Osborn.
- Mythology Gag: Felicia never turns into a superhero or a Classy Cat-Burglar, but her establisment is called "The Black Cat"
- Neutral Female: Black Cat runs a "respectable" business and can't afford getting in between Spider-Man and the bad guys.
- Nice Hat: An occasional part of the Noir Spidey costume - he only wears it a couple times.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Spider-Man is on the receiving end of one of these by the hands of Sandman.
- Nothing Personal: Ulrich claims this is what Peter and May are to him. Just things getting away in his business.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Crime Master
- Red Right Hand: Norman Osborn Is a Lizard Folk
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Spider-Man
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Otto
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Norman.
- Sssssnake Talk: Toomessssss.
- Snow Means Death: Ben Ulrich's funeral.
- Superhero Packing Heat
- Terrible Trio: The Enforcers
- Those Wacky Nazis: Nothing Wacky about the ones in Eyes Without a Face.
- Vigilante Execution
- Vigilante Man
- Wall Crawl: In the comics, this is notably absent from Spidey's power set, though he can do it in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.
- Justified, as the in-game manual and the IGN review both state that Spidey Noir can only wall-crawl at all (that rhymes!) because Madame Web granted him those powers for use in the game. Since her powers were augmented by the dimensional rift, her upgrades and thus theirs went away when they fixed it.
- Whole Episode Flashback: The first three issues of Noir are a flash back building up to the Cold Open.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him, Spider-Man?: He does.
- Except for, of all people, the Goblin, due to the lecture from Aunt May. Of course, he got his anyway.
- The Worm That Walks The spiders while still eating Kraven, force his body into the sewers for the climax.
- Would Hit a Girl: Crime Master
- Wretched Hive
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ansel states this about Crime Master.