The 5 Most Unlikely Marvel Noir Titles
This week saw the release of the latest in Marvel’s series of noir-inspired takes on their characters with “Iron Man Noir,” adding Tony Stark to the list of of technological futurists with guilty consciences running around back in the ’40s, and to be honest, we’re pretty surprised that’s still going on. Don’t get us wrong: The Noir titles have been way better than anyone expected, especially Fred Van Lente’s take on the X-Men that starred the all-but-forgotten Golden Age Angel, but when you’ve got a line that’s attempting to make characters like Daredevil and the Punisher — a man whose father was killed for refusing to throw a boxing match that’s constantly being betrayed by his girlfriends and an ex-soldier who swears revenge after his family is killed in a mob crossfire — even more noir than they already are, you’ve got to wonder how far they’re willing to go with this premise.
That’s the question we put to ComicsAlliance senior writer Chris Sims, who has unearthed the pitches for the Five Most Extremely Unlikely Marvel Noir Titles!
George Tarleton is a private eye with a matched set of problems. First, he’s got the beautiful Monica Rappacini, heiress to a corporate empire that includes Government defense contractor Allied Industrial Mechanics, hiring him to clear her name of a murder. It’s no small task, especially when she was caught red-handed with the murder weapon and the crooked cops–led by the habitually angry Sgt. Bruce Banner–are warning him in no uncertain terms to stay away from the case.
And the second problem? He just can’t find a fedora that doesn’t look tiny on his gigantic, gigantic head.
Rejected Because: It was, perhaps, too awesome.
After football star Phil Grayfield scores once too often on a game that was meant to be rigged, New York kingpin Wilson Fisk has him beaten, shot, and dumped into the East River to die. But when he survives, Grayfield makes his way back to New York to tackle the Kingpin once and for all, brutally dismantling his operation one clothesline-snapped neck at a time.
Rejected Because: The staff of ComicsAlliance represents at least 90% of the people who aren’t actively trying to forget “NFL SuperPro” existed. But hey, if it does happen, you could pretty much just get Darwyn Cooke to slap a new intro and a football helmet onto his adaptation of “Parker: The Hunter.”
Ever see “Newsies?” It’s exactly like that, except instead of a young Christian Bale singing the songs, it’s a talking pony from space.
Rejected Because: Singing space ponies sort of run counter to the whole Noir thing. But hey, given that Marvel was recently acquired by a company for which scrappy urchins and their singing space-pony is essentially a license to print money, hope springs eternal!
When nightclub chanteuse Allison Blaire walks in on a club owner being rubbed out in a gangland hit, the mob wants her dead at any cost. As their top hitman closes in, Allison soon discovers that the man sent to kill her is her own estranged husband, a luckless gambler named Longshot who has sold her life to pay off her gambling debts. Can she escape the one man who knows her better than anyone else–a man who lost two fingers to his creditors and swore to never lose again?
Rejected Because: Dazzler’s trademark rollerskates and disco ball are slightly anachronistic to the setting.
Hen Stacy is dead, and the cops can’t touch her killer, wealthy industrialist Norman Oxborn. But someone’s out for revenge: Peter Porker, who throws himself against the underworld of New Pork City, leaving a blood-soaked trail of bodies makes Mickey Spillane look like Beatrix Potter.
Rejected Because: The whole thing was deemed “a bit excessive,” but if I had to pick a moment, I’d say it’s where Peter talks about how mobsters will often dispose of dead bodies by feeding them to pigs, and then proceeds to eat Raven the Hunter alive.