It's the winter of 1932 and millions across America are without employment and starving in shanty towns in the cities. May and Peter Parker are socialists, trying to energise the people into a revolution until they come across Norman "The Goblin" Osborn's thugs who stomp on Peter. Ben Urich, photographer for the Daily Bugle takes pity on Peter and shows him how the city operates behind the scenes. That's when Peter decides to take things into his own hands and goes down to the docks one night to see Osborn's thugs transporting goods meant for the Metropolitan Museum, one of them a sacred Spider God monument...
The "Noir" series has been pretty average really which was why I was surprised by how good this one was. The story is well written and involves you from the start with the not-so-obvious choice for main character, Ben Urich, as we get introduced to the famous characters in their newly imagined settings. There were a couple of curveballs in the plot, enough to keep me sitting up as I read and which I didn't see coming. I wondered if David Hine would give Peter his spider powers but if he didn't then Peter would just be a hooded vigilante with a gun. The final confrontation between Peter and Norman, while surprising in one sense, wasn't as strong a conclusion as the story itself merited.
Carmine di Giandomenico's artwork is excellent throughout. The action scenes feel very fluid and the character's expressions are subtle but clear. I also really liked his design for Spidey.
Hine takes a few liberties with Spidey, for one he's a killer, and for two he's not the cheery, quipping hero we all know and love, more a sullen, almost miserable, man with a chip on his shoulder and the world on his back. But then I suppose that's why it's called "Noir". Also there's no Mary-Jane or Gwen Stacy so maybe that's why he's so angry, but there's another "Spiderman Noir" book which probably has one or both of those characters in so maybe Peter does cheer up a bit in that.
Overall, the best in the "Noir" series and a pretty good Spiderman book to boot. I enjoyed reading it and loved the artwork, I heartily recommend it to Spiderfans everywhere.