I’m a concerned creator. And I love Spider-Man Noir, a character I co-created for Marvel Comics a decade ago. But these days… He’s nowhere to be seen in any comic book. But by a strange trick (fate?), my Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of images of fans cosplaying as Spider-Man Noir! So… Marvel, can we talk about it?
It’s always funny and great to see characters you created take a life of their own and show up at Comic book shows or online. It’s usually the sign said character has fans.
There’s something strange about Spider-Man Noir.
He was first published in a line of books of which he’s probably the only survivor. I’d love to think it’s because Dave, Carmine, myself and the editors did a great job. But we had a very very good character in the first place: the original Spidey.
The first Spider-Man Noir mini-series was both a commercial and critical success. But, not surprisingly, it’s when Activision decided to include our character in the Spider-Man Dimensions video games that it suddenly became a thing.
The irony is that the video game people chose to use, for Dimensions, a costume that we initially rejected, because they said it would’ve been a nightmare to animate the trench coat. I hate this costume. But I get that many people like it because it’s the one they saw first associated with the character in the game.
Then, after the game, Spider-Man Noir was featured in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Twice. And in more video games, this time on mobile platforms.
You would’ve thought that with such an exposure, plus the return of the character, in 2014, in the massive Spider-Verse crossover event, we’d get MORE Spider-Man Noir?
An action figure was finally produced in 2016 in the Marvel Legends series. It took 8 years! There’s no Funko Pop figure. No statue. No mini-bust. It seems that Marvel licensees don’t see any potential in a character from the 1930s/1940s.
How about Marvel comics? Well… I guess it’s complicated. After Dave and I returned to the character in Edge of Spider-Verse#1 (with Richard Isanove on art), Marvel decided to put Spidey Noir in Spider-Woman, written by Dennis Hopeless and in a team, the Web-Warriors, written by Mike Costa. I’m totally fine with that. Marvel does what they want with the character. But Web-Warriors didn’t last. And now, Spider-Man Noir is in limbo.
Every time I’m at a comic book show, and very often online, people ask me when there would be a new Spider-Man Noir book. Cosplayers are also asking for more.
But my answer always is: “Ask Marvel”. I’m very proud and humble to have been able to contribute (a little) to the Spider-Man Mythology. But what they want to do next with the character? I honestly don’t know.
I am, and I’m sure Dave too, ready to come back to the character and continue exploring Peter Parker and Felicia Hardy’s complicated life before and during World War 2. We have many Noir stories in the vault. Marvel always listens to fans. So demand it. Beg for it. And you may see Spider-Man Noir again.
Then, maybe we’ll finally get more Spidey Noir comics and collectibles. In the meantime, I’ll continue praising cosplayers such as Naiquan (who’s under the mask in the photo above) for keeping the character alive. And I’ll keep drawing him everytime I’m asked.
To be continued…