- Written by David Hine & Fabrice Sapolsky
- Art and Cover by Richard Isanove
- Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Variant cover by Greg Land, Jay Leisten & Morry Hollowell
Edging closer towards the November ‘Spider-Verse‘ onslaught Marvel is continuing to use companion books to setup the major players in the story, this week brought us ‘Edge of Spider-Verse‘ #1 which focuses on the backstory of Spider-Man Noir.
Like many my first introduction to Noir was via the ‘Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions‘ video game which had a similar dimension hopping story to that which is beginning to be on show here. Noir presents an interesting and highly stylised look at the web-slinger which allows for a more unorthodox take on the famous characters.
Where ‘The Superior Spider-Man‘ #32 (reviewed here) showed snippets of the lives and deaths of other Spider-Men this issue takes away the Superior model altogether and simply places the story in the world of Noir until the two are required to cross-over.
With Superior acting as the Earth 1 of the ‘Spider-Verse‘ it’s a stroke of genius to spend expanded amounts of time in the other universes to allow us to get to know other characters who may become vital when the war begins. Hine and Sapolsky have crafted an interesting story which works as an introduction to the Noir universe for unfamiliar readers whilst expanding on what more informed readers already know. We get to meet Noir MJ and Aunt May plus versions of Mysterio and Felicia Hardy.
Similar to the tease featuring a fallen Peter Parker in ‘Superior‘ #32 there are glimpses of aspects of Spidey’s life outside of the story which will likely intrigue readers to want more from the universe. The history between MJ and Peter has been tweaked slightly here and I, for one, would like to read more about their relationship.
Felicia Hardy seems likely to appear in future issues of the story due to where her character is placed at the end of the issue. Ironically her transformation in this universe may not be in to Black Cat, a character who would fit in perfectly with the Noir style much as Catwoman fits in well to a good detective story over in the DC Universe. I hate to compare the two characters as they are genuinely poles apart but the nature of the story makes them more similar.
The art in this book is provided by Richard Isanove, the name is unfamiliar but the art the strikes me as nothing like anything else in the Marvel world that I’ve come across thus far. This book in fact looks much more like ‘Batman/Superman‘ illustrated by Jae Lee. Never-the-less the art here fits the atmosphere perfectly, there’s much more by way of shadow. Also none of this story takes place during daylight. The atmosphere of the story is greatly enhanced as it’s printed on black paper, there’s barely a glimpse of light colours throughout which really helps portray the bleakness of the era and story.
In the continuity of ‘Spider-Verse‘ Noir is the fifth or sixth Spider-Man/Woman who has been picked up by Superior and brought to 2099. There’s a brief coda to the story after Noir escapes from Mysterio and the big villain appears in which the two Spidey’s travel together to the future and Noir is caught up on the action. The artwork depicting the various Spidey’s together is pretty striking and deserved a page of its own.
This is another book listed in the not-necessary reading column for the ‘Spider-Verse‘ story but as I said with ‘Superior‘ #32 if you want a more rounded understanding of the overall story then it is well worth a read. There’s less action here than in ‘Superior‘ but ironically here it’s the story which is superior.