This week is the start of Noir Month, see? And if you mugs don’t like it, then I’m gonna put a plug in ya!
But in truth, we’re doing all of Marvel Noir with a bunch of bonus episodes and Luke and Devin are here to kick it all off with Spider-man Noir!
Universes and Comics Covered:
- Earth-90214 – Spider-man Noir #1-4
Check out the image gallery and notes after the jump!
Spider-man Noir #1-4
Writers – David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, Art – Carmine Di Giandomenico, Letters – Artmonkeys Studios
January 1933, New York City
We open at the Offices of the Daily Bugle where police are responding to a report that J Jonah Jameson has been shot and when they burst into his office they see Spider-man standing over his corpse. Spider-man webs the police and escapes, and we see a number of photos scattered on his table.
We flashback 3 weeks to Ben Urich coming to the shantytown where he’s taking photos of the homeless before moving to see May Parker, denouncing the government’s treatment of the poor and suitably complaining about Capitalism. That’s when the enforcers of the Goblin show up – Ox, Fancy Dan and Montana, who tell her to leave. May resists and Peter goes in physically – and then Ben Urich takes a photo of them and they back off since he’s off limits, and he offers the two a ride home.
May runs a welfare center and her husband Ben was killed recently – Peter assumes it was the Goblin’s men. May goes in and Ben recognizes the spark in him and takes him into the Black Cat, a speakeasy, run by Felicia Hardy, who Urich previously tried to get engaged to.
The two get drinks and Peter asks why Ben is off limits – power of the press, and Ben tries to shake some of Peter’s altruism – showing him the various politicians and criminals mingling in the bar, which is when Norman Osborn, the Goblin comes in with his men – Kraven, The Vulture, and a fourth unnamed man. Ben tells Peter everyone in the club was probably involved with Ben’s murder.
Osborn’s men are all former carnies, and Osborn recognizes Peter and when Peter throws his drink at Osborn they are kicked out of the club – but Felicia notes she likes the kid. Ben is furious about what Peter did but Peter refuses to ignore the corruption so he’s brought to J Jonah Jameson to work for him as a photography assistant for Ben, bringing people’s stories to the masses.
They start reporting and Peter is still angry and talks about how he found Ben dead, – how he’d been tied and had dogs set upon him but Urich is keeping two secrets – the first is he’s a heroin user, and the second he was there when Uncle Ben was killed and it was the Vulture who attacked him, not dogs.
They continue working and seeing and recording injustices like buildings being burnt down for insurance money with the Goblin’s men being nearby. Peter is getting angrier because he feels powerless and that the people have to move the ones in power.
Peter stops in later with the paper, finds Ben strung out and takes a phonecall for The Spider, where Goblin is getting a shipment of antiques. The main piece is a cursed statue that falls over and breaks, releasing hundreds of spiders which leads to Fancy Dan being eaten alive. Peter, watching from the rafters has a spider bite him – and he sees a spider-god that curses him with power since he isn’t evil and he wakes up in a web.
Urich, getting tired of what is going on, goes to confront Osborn with a photo of Fancy Dan near the fire but since he died, it isn’t a going concern. Osborn still pays him off – moments before Peter bursts in. He threatens Osborn but Osborn knows he won’t be killed yet – and then Peter sees Urich and confronts him for being owned by Osborn and he says he never wants to see him again. Osborn and his men chase after spider-man and find Urich, Osborn wants him to find who Spider-man is but Urich quits instead so Osborn wants tabs kept on him since he seems ready to squeal.
Urich calls Jameson, ready to turn over evidence on The Goblin to implicate him with a number of crimes and Jameson goes to head over. Time passes, a knock comes at the door and when Urich opens it, he’s shot dead by a mysterious assailant. Peter meanwhile makes a new costume so while The Spider is dead, The Spider-man is ready to start.
Peter goes to Ben’s apartment and finds another dead Ben and calls the police who won’t pin it on him but also don’t care. Jameson meanwhile is revealed to have turned in Urich’s evidence and to have shot him for Osborn but the papers he turned in weren’t the only ones.
Peter meanwhile is reached out to, to meet with Felicia who turns over the files that she was trusted with. He wants to go to the Bugle but she warns him not to and tells him to use them.
Peter is devastated by what happened and even though he was a junkie, May tells him to do right by him. At the funeral, Jameson tries to confront Peter about what evidence he might have and his Spider-sense activates so he lies.
The Spider-man starts taking down all of Osborn’s network, leaving a calling card and Osborn’s associates are angry. Osborn figures it should be Felicia Hardy or Peter Parker, and Ox, who was in the club when Peter picked up the files, notes as much so Osborn demands he be brought forth.
Jameson meanwhile is forced to be against the Spider-man so Peter decides to confront him and when he comes in we circle back to the start where Jameson is found dead. He escapes and studies the files on Osborns men and then heads to the Morgue because he realizes the Jameson who was shot is actually the Chameleon.
The real Jameson along with Felicia have been captured by Osborn while the Vulture is secretly waiting in May’s house. The Vulture attacks her and Spider-man comes in and pulls a gun on him – May asks him to not shoot but Peter remembers what Vulture did to Ben Parker and fires anyway. May is unreasonably angry that he didn’t web up the Vulture but Peter’s morality is slipping into more realism and so he apologizes and leaves.
He heads over to Osborn’s Torture House and it turns out Osborn has had Jameson for a while – she saw Jameson kill Urich and went and killed Jameson – or actually the Chameleon. He gets ready to kill her when Spider-man comes in and takes out Osborn’s men and he fights a tiger but Osborn escapes, threatening Felicia. Kraven is still alive so Peter tosses him into the tank of murder spiders and heads to the Sewers. He gives Felicia a chance to escape – but when he wrestles Osborn – he removes Peter’s Mask – and Peter removes his revealing him to be a reptile man because he was also in the freak show.
Osborn now knows Peter can kill but he refuses and plans to send him to trial. Osborn goes to shoot but the gun is webbed up and that’s when a Kraven full of spiders reappears and they attack Osborn, with both of them ending up in the water where they are washed away.
Peter goes to visit Felicia after and he gives her a photo of her and Ben. The winter ends, Jameson is back to running the Daily Bugle, May is still fighting for the common people, Nazis are starting to show up and the Spider-man is there.