Superhero Noir – Back in Black… and White


I admit it, I’ve never been much of a comic book collector or super hero aficionado  I had a few comics growing up, and I would watch Spider Man ever now and again, but the super heroes of the 80s and early 90s just never really spoke to me. I know what you’re going to say… how could the Thunder Cats not speak to you? Sorry, but they didn’t, not even lovable but exceedingly annoying Snarf.

Anyway, as the years went on and I grew a little older, movie studios started releasing modern interpretations of these comic book classics. Batman, Spider Man, X-Men, Iron Man… you name it, they left no superhero untouched, and you know what? Surprisingly enough, I actually enjoyed a lot of them. I quickly realized that why I didn’t like many of the cartoons and comics is because they were so… childish, so very silly. But that all changed with the movies, and apparently artists like Marco Manev are taking a shot at superhero noir as well.

The Maltese, uh… Superhero

If you’re a fan of John Hustin’s 1941 classic noir film The Maltese Falcon, then I think you’re going to enjoy this collection of superhero noir posters a great deal. In my most humble opinion, Marco did an excellent job all around. Have a look through, and I’ll continue to shower Marco Manev with praise closer to the end of the article.

spider man poster

This is not a critique of this poster, but instead one of Spider Man himself. When Spidey does this, he totally looks like he’s hanging from a highly tensile strand of his own spidery semen, no?

wolverine noir poster

Not only is Logan a total bad-ass, but more importantly, he’s also a Canadian. Unfortunately he’s from Alberta, but I’ll forgive him that.

superhero noir poster

the incredible hulk poster

superman artwork noir

thor god of thunder

Of all the superheroes I knew of as a child, Thor was by far my least favorite. That all changed when I saw the character portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in Thor. ANOTHER!

noir batman poster

Now we’re getting down to the really good stuff. I don’t like to choose favorites, but… okay. Batman, you’re my very favorite, but don’t tell the others. Your big muscles, your awesome gadgets… your furry little bat friends.

ironman noir poster

Iron Man, possibly the biggest jerk of them all, even more than myself. That’s saying something, and so am I: this poster is excellent. It’s excellent because it features Iron Man, er… Armored Avenger (sorry), and it’s excellent in its simplicity.

Praise for Marco Manev

I promised some more praise, and here it comes… Marco, you are the jewel of my eye… the center of my universe, the pencil to my paper. I’ve seen many fantastic artists – such as Adam Hughes, who also holds a dear spot in my heart – but none of them are as noir as you, my friend. If Humphrey Bogard was still around today, he would bow to the sheer impressiveness of your noir-ish abilities.

Now, since I’m handing out praise, I would also like to thank WinExtra for giving me the heads up. Marco, I would have never heard about you otherwise.


  1. says

    These are wonderful. I particularly like the scale that Manev chose. These super heroes are powerful and larger than life, but the almost tilt shift effect ads another dimension. It is as if there is an element of fragility to these strong powerful characters.

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