So this week I’m going to talk to you about my favourite alternate Spider-man character. The one and only Spider-man Noir. This version of Spider-man came about with the Marvel Noir line. A series of comics which re-imagine popular Marvel characters in a style similar to film noir.
Peter Parker is raised by his grandparents during the Great Depression of the 1930’s as his aunt and uncle speak out about the social injustices of the time. Fighting for the little man and trying to give the common man the rights they deserve.
Uncle Ben is savagely murdered by Norman Osborn a.k.a. The Goblin, a deranged circus freak and his collection of noir re-imagined Spider-man villains. Peter goes out for revenge but keeps getting knocked until he befriends grizzled journalist Ben Urich who takes him on as his photographer.
Eventually Peter gains his spider-powers from a mystical spider object which is accidentally broken and releases a horde of spiders, one bites Peter and he dreams a spider-god which grants him his powers.
Peter later discovers that Ben Urich was using all the information he’d gained on the Goblin to blackmail him to help fund his drug habit. Peter creates his Spider-man costume out of his Uncle’s World War One uniform and goes on to become the vigilante, the Spider-man.
Spider-man goes onto defeat Goblin and begins to encounter more Noir inspired baddies. He tangles with the Sandman who puts people to ‘sleep’ by crushing their heads. Doctor Octopus is a crippled German from the African colonies who is a deluded racist obsessively trying to control the African American population. All in a sick attempt to impress his Nazi’s superior.
A huge theme throughout these works is to highlight the issues of the 1930’s America and even imply that the Second World War is just around the corner and it seems everyone is getting warmed up for it.
Peter even tangles with the Black Cat of this universe. Felicia Hardy, the seductive club owner of the Black Cat, who is eventually maimed so badly she secludes herself away wearing a mask.
The difficult economical climate, the racist society and class disparity is something that’s very present in this universe.