Attention, all Spider-Men and Spider-Women, every Spider-Thing: Fate readies to pluck at an intricate web, calling each and every wall-crawler into action once more.
This fall, a host of writers and artists highlight the action from every corner, starting with five issues, each a tale trumpeting a different hero from the very EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE.
It all starts in September, as David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky and artist Richard Isanove summon one of Spider-Man’s most popular modern incarnations from out of the shadows. In EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1, the dauntless Spider-Man Noir rides again!
“This time round we’ve jumped ahead in time to 1939 and the New York World’s Fair,” explains co-writer David Hine. “The Fair wasn’t just about science and technology. The most popular part was the amusement area, with displays of Freaks Of Nature, a Jungle Land with 600 monkeys and Salvador Dali’s Dream of Venus featuring topless women doing vaguely surreal things.”
Into this celebration of entertainment and innovation strides a madman.
“In this setting, Mysterio doesn’t appear too out of place with his amazing displays of magic and escapology,” says Hine. “But he’s after a lot more than just the adulation of the crowd. He’s also after Spider-Man’s blood—literally. And if he doesn’t get it someone very close to Peter Parker is going to die a very nasty death. Oh yeah, if he manages to survive Mysterio, he’ll be up against the greatest threat ever faced by a Spider-Man, along with—what is it?—37 other versions of Spider-Man. Spider-Man Noir will, of course, put them all in the shadow.”
Isanove renders the lamplight and circus oddities of 1939. Hine considers him an ideal candidate capture that milieu and draw readers back into the world of Spider-Man Noir.
“The period detail in SAVAGE WOLVERINE shows he can depict the 1930’s with the kind of authenticity we’re looking for and his art on that book has been spectacular,” Hine says. “And of course his color work on THE DARK TOWER was just mind-boggling.”
Noir comes with its own unique trappings and language, a toolkit Hine keeps close at hand. He continues to derive inspiration from the masters of the genre.
“I’m a fan of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and the French writer Georges Simenon,” he explains. “Film noir is a big influence too, of course. I can’t count how many black-and-white gangster B-movies I’ve seen. I love them. You can smell the scent of aging pulp magazines in Spider-Man Noir as well. There’s an element of the mystical and exotic in the origin of the character that is very reminiscent of The Shadow or The Spider, and Mysterio fits into that world perfectly. Both Fabrice and [I] instantly jumped on Mysterio as the next villain to re-invent.
“Plots tend to develop around actual news stories and the politics of the period, so there’s a lot of research to do to make the background solidly authentic,” he continues. “I’ve been fascinated by the amateur home movies of the New York World’s Fair for instance. I had no idea so much had been preserved. And Albert Einstein gave a speech on the opening day, talking about cosmic rays! Too much material to get into a one-shot unfortunately. I would have loved to have a 1930’s version of Reed Richards debating one-on-one with Einstein.”
The EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE limited series offers an opportunity to highlight how various individuals choose to operate with that same great power afforded to the original Peter Parker.
“Our Peter Parker is essentially the same human being, with the same integrity and commitment to justice,” Hine says, “But his background has given him some rougher edges. While the [Marvel Universe] Spider-Man grew up in the 1960’s during a period of economic prosperity and optimism, Spider-Man Noir is set in the 1930’s with Peter growing up in very deprived conditions in the middle of the Great Depression. His Uncle Ben and Aunt May were communist agitators and Ben was murdered by strike breakers under the command of the Goblin.
"His outlook on life is tinged with cynicism and he has killed, though only to save the life of Aunt May from the vicious Vulture. Fabrice has mentioned that he doesn’t crack the one-liners that Spider-Man is renowned for, but he does still have a sense of humor. It’s bleaker and blacker. [He] isn’t called Spider-Man Noir for nothing.”
Continue to explore EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE tomorrow with Jason Latour and a new kind of Spider-Woman!