The release of Spider-Man: Far From Home is fast approaching and exactly what the movie is about is anyone’s guess. The trailers have been all but discounted by fans, who have been fooled before by the trailers for the last two Avengers movies, so it’s pretty much entirely up to fan theories.
The pieces are all there, but the way they’re being presented to us – Mysterio is a good guy, fixing the multiverse is Spider-Man’s responsibility etc. – seems a little dubious. Spidey’s new black “stealth suit” could be a stealth suit, or it could be Spider-Man Noir from an alternate reality. Here are 10 Questions About Spider-Man Noir, Answered.
10 What time period does he exist in?
Spider-Man was created in the ‘60s and he’s pretty much always been depicted as existing in the present day, whatever the present day happens to be when each comic is being written. But Spider-Man Noir, being inspired by pulpy detective novels and film noirs, lives in the 1930s.
He got his powers in the year 1933, which explains the noir visuals and black-and-white color scheme. The stories use the Great Depression, which was at its height in 1933, as a backdrop, which has certainly made for a change of pace and an interesting subtext in which to set a superhero narrative.
9 How did he get his powers?
Like most other versions of Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir acquired his powers when a radioactive spider bit him. In this version of events, a peculiar statue of a spider broke open and unleashed a massive horde of spiders. One of the spiders bit Peter and he passed out, had a dream about a spider god, and then woke up with the abilities of a spider.
It’s a trippier, more surreal, more fantasy-tinged version of the origin story we’re used to. He put together a black costume based on his uncle’s World War I airman uniform and took on the vigilante name “Spider-Man.”
8 Does he kill?
Like Superman, Spider-Man famously doesn’t kill. He’s one of the comic book characters that have sworn off taking lives, since it would compromise his morals and make him just as bad as his enemies. That’s why it was so controversial in Avengers: Endgame when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man activated the Iron Spider armor’s “Instant Kill Mode” and started slaughtering aliens with his retractable Spider-Legs.
But Spider-Man Noir actually has no problem with killing. And not only does he kill, he carries guns and doesn’t think twice about using them. This is simply because he’s the darker, grittier, more morally dubious version of Spider-Man.
7 What does he do for a living?
Unlike our version of Spider-Man, who is either depicted as a high school student, a college student, or a freelance photographer, Spider-Man Noir is a reporter.
He once explained his modus operandi: “I’m an investigative reporter. You know what that means? It means I collect facts, and I figure out the story. And when I determine who the bad guys in the story are, I punish them.” So, there’s actually not much difference there. They’re both members of the press and both eager to expose the truth about bad people – it’s just that one of them does so with words and one of them does so with images.
6 What universe is he from?
Marvel fans know that the basic Marvel universe is Earth-616. This is the universe where a teenaged Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, Bruce Banner was infected with gamma radiation, and billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark became Iron Man. It’s “our” reality. Everything outside of Earth-616 is referred to as an “alternative” version of Marvel Comics canon.
Spider-Man Noir, the alternative version of Spider-Man who was born and given his powers in the ‘30s and depicted in black-and-white like an old, well, film noir, is from the Earth-90214 timeline. So, he’s 89,598 universes removed from our Spidey (that’s not actually how the multiverse works, it’s just fun math).
5 Are his villains any different?
If there’s a 1930s detective story version of Spider-Man, then it stands to reason that there would be a bunch of 1930s detective story versions of his villains. However, Spider-Man Noir’s villains are more or less the same as the villains we know from Earth-616.
There are minor differences – for example, Norman Osborn’s supervillain name is “Goblin,” not “Green Goblin” – and their appearance has been changed to reflect the film noir visual style of the comics. Spider-Man Noir also has some of his own villains, including crooked police officers and corrupt politicians, to suit the pulpy mystery stories he’s in.
4 Who voiced Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse?
Spider-Man Noir was one of many alternate versions of Spidey that appeared in last year’s acclaimed animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In the movie, he was voiced by none other than Nicolas Cage. Cage is no stranger to superhero roles, since he has played Big Daddy in the violent and satirical comic book movie Kick-Ass and the title character in two Ghost Rider movies.
Plus, he was once cast to play Superman in a famously unproduced and ambitious Tim Burton movie. He would eventually get to play Superman, but it was only as a supporting voice role in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, so not the same.
3 Does he still have Aunt May and Uncle Ben?
Yes. Despite living in 1933 and being a journalist, this version of Peter Parker was still orphaned and then raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Uncle Ben was still murdered, motivating Peter to become a masked crimefighter. The versions of Aunt May and Uncle Ben that raised Spider-Man Noir were activists.
Because of this, they raised Peter to believe in doing whatever it takes to do the right thing and he supported their activism throughout his childhood. This is a nice change of pace from their usual characterization in other realities as an average suburban married couple from Queens.
2 How did Spider-Man Noir’s Uncle Ben get killed?
Poor Uncle Ben. Even in alternative realities, he gets murdered. His death is what spurs on Peter Parker to become your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in pretty much every timeline. In the Spider-Man Noir stories, Uncle Ben wasn’t just fatally wounded by a gunshot in a robbery gone wrong.
He was targeted by a powerful New York City syndicate for organizing a workers’ strike in one of their sweatshops. Peter didn’t appear by his side and get told, “With great power comes great responsibility,” with his uncle’s dying breath. Instead, Peter had to stumble across Uncle Ben’s corpse and be traumatized forever.
1 Will Spider-Man Noir appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home?
Based on the fact that Spidey’s so-called “stealth suit” in the Spider-Man: Far From Home closely resembles the Spider-Man Noir costume and Mysterio has confirmed the existence of a multiverse in the MCU, many fans have predicted that Spider-Man Noir is actually in the movie.
The two costumes could be two different versions of Spidey, since the multiverse opens up the opportunity for more than one Spider-Man to appear in the movie. However, at the moment, this is all just hearsay and, as far as we know, the stealth suit really is a stealth suit worn by our Spidey that happens to be inspired by the design of the Spider-Man Noir costume.