Very interesting, these Noir projects (see solicitation below). They have effectively somewhat turned the Webslinger back into his inspiration, the Spider. These Noir books strike me as similar to DC's Elseworlds in that they have backdated properties to before the properties started publication.
It would find it nice if they reprint the Night Raven graphic novel House of Cards, which similarly situated a property in a noir feel (although Night Raven's adventure explicitly took place in the 1930's from the inception of his solo feature). Also, too bad they not used Moon Knight, since Moon Knight obviously has much in common with the Shadow and the other pulp era properties, to the extent that Moon Knight had a group of contacts called the Shadow Cabinet.
I would find it interesting if they follow up this noir project with an homage to the paperback original novels and series of the 1950's to about the 1980's. For example, they could homage the Fawcett Gold Medal line (e.g. Matt Helm, Travis McGee, Sam Durrell), Nick Carter III, Casca, Richard Stark's Parker novels, Pinnacle's novel series (the Penetrator, the Butcher, etc.) and Harlequin/Gold Eagle. After all, those paperback series, for the most part, stand about as far away from us today in 2009 as the pulps stood for the people of the 1960's and 1970's. (Yes, I know about John Gilstrap's new series for Pinnacle featuring Scorpion, but we will have to wait to see if that serves as a freak exception.) Since even theatrically R-rated adventure films stand as a something of a rarity in contemporary times, an homage to that genre would feel as a reminder of the past. (I will discuss the decline of R-rated adventure films after the excerpt from the original post.)
"Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Face #1 [Pre-Order Item] [Limited Series]
Written by DAVID HINE & FABRICE SAPOLSKY Art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO Cover by
PATRICK ZIRCHER Variant Cover by DENNIS CALERO Peter Parker has a lot to be hopeful about. The Spider-Man is the beloved town hero; President Franklin D. Roosevelt is in the White House; the spiraling economy is on its first steps toward recovery; and with Norman Osborn out of the picture, organized crime in New York has lost its major player. But all is not well in 1934 America...dark forces are at play in the world, and a power vacuum in New York crime is quickly - and violently - being filled! Now Spider-Man must contend with a vicious new
breed of killers, criminals, and maniacal death-dealers, reimagined from some of the greatest and deadliest foes of the Spider-Man!. 32 pages. /Rated T"
Explanation of Decline of the R-rated adventure film begins here:
It's easy to forget how completely the action film dominated the movie world in
the `80s. It was the decade, after all, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger was the
biggest box office draw in the world. Almost all the era's male stars were
`action' stars, from King Arnold all the way down to the Seagals, Bronsons and
Norrisses. It was a time when actors like Oliver Grunier dreamed of becoming the
next Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Eventually, as is the nature of things, the films got worse as they become more
numerous. For every movie that hit the theaters, ten more came out on video.
Inevitably, the market glutted. Those action stars that could act (Harrison
Ford, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood) increasingly made the transition
to mainstream pictures. The ones who couldn't just got older and eventually lost
For communicating with your fellow chronologists with off-topic stuff.
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