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X-Men Noir Hardcover – June 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (June 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078513946X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785139461
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.9 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

FRED VAN LENTE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Zombies, Incredible Hercules (with Greg Pak), Odd Is On Our Side (with Dean R. Koontz), as well as the American Library Association award-winning Action Philosophers.

His original graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens (co-written with Andrew Foley) is the basis for the major motion picture starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

Van Lente's other comics include The Comic Book History of Comics, Taskmaster, Archer & Armstrong, Amazing Spider-Man and Hulk: Season One.

Fred loves hearing from readers at fred.vanlente@gmail.com.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By dennis calero on July 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hi,

My name is Dennis Calero and I'm the co-creator and artist of Xmen Noir for Marvel.

First, a bit of an ethical skirt around: my intention is to answer the questions of the other poster, and apparently to do so, one MUST submit a rating. Since I actually do feel the book deserves five stars (a father's pride, perhaps) and because the other 3 star rating seemed, from the writer's actual review, to be arbitrary, I personally don't feel there's any ethical problem and hope others feel the same way.

To answer, the basic premise of Xmen Noir is that Fred Van Lente and I posed a question: What would some of the more popular Marvel characters had been like if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (or Ditko etc.) had created these legends in the 30s, when both were actually at Timely Comics, which eventually became Marvel?

Our supposition (and our excuse for fun) was to say that the Xmen would have been pulp crime characters of the day. So we recast the characters as crime fiction analogues of themselves. For example, Ice Man became a jewel thief, Cyclops became a pilot who lost an eye in the war etc.

You'll generally find their personalities intact, but with distinct differences.

We set out to write a stand alone crime fiction graphic novel utilizing characters we know and love in an all new and all different way.

It adds nuance and flavor if you know these characters well, but this is a completely self-contained story and the reader need not be familiar with the Xmen at all to enjoy the book. If you like the Xmen, or simply enjoy a good crime tale with a neat twist at the end, I feel you'll enjoy this book.

I hope this clarifies exactly what Xmen Noir is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Donnelly VINE VOICE on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed X-MEN NOIR; it was actually my favorite of the NOIR titles since it seemed to have the best grasp of the concept.

I know that SPIDER-MAN NOIR had some fun pulpy mysticism thrown in, but X-MEN NOIR was much more inventive and interesting because it took all of our favorite X-Men characters and made them into noirish tropes rather than mutants. Things like Cyclops still having the red shades, but a different, more "human" reason for having them and Jean Grey being a beautiful con artist who was said to be able to control the minds of men was also a nice touch. Also the use of Thomas Halloway, the Golden Age Angel was a fun reference to the Timely Comics of that age. Giving the heroes and villains of the piece very human qualities is what distinguishes this series so well from many of the other NOIR series of the time. Plot-wise, it's also very smartly conceived. It begins with the murder investigation of Jean Grey, who seems to have been "clawed" to death. This brings Tom Halloway, a reporter and costumed vigilante, to the investigation. As he digs deeper, he finds out about The Xavier Institute, where Charles Xavier takes in juvenile delinquents. Instead of rehabilitating them, he encourages their gifts and ends up in prison for it. On the cop's end, you have Chief of Detectives Eric Magnus, who is the leader of a massive organized crime syndicate known as The Brotherhood. Xavier's students refuse to join The Brotherhood, and this causes a rift between the two groups which supposedly leads to Jean's death. As The Angel dives further into the investigation, he meets more interesting and familiar characters from the X-Universe with real-world analogies for their normal mutant abilities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Saito Hajime on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I will commend this book for absolutely NAILING Noir. It does it better than any noir title.The artwork was amazing! However, I just didn't feel that it nailed the X-men. I just felt like I was reading a noir mafia comic or something. I was pretty confused with everything honestly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a longtime fan of both X-Men comics and noir literature, and this blending of the two worlds blew me away. Fred Van Lente writes like Dashiell Hammett, letting hardboiled phrases slide along the pages of this fascinating mystery.

In a real sense, this isn't really an X-Men story. No one has superpowers beyond what are more like personality quirks (Jean Grey is so good at theft that it's like she can read men's minds, Peter Magnus used to be a track star, Marie Rankin starts to copy the personalities of anyone in her general vicinity, etc.). A reader doesn't have to know anything at all about the X-Men to love this story. There is a subplot about the Angel that will likely confuse comic fans without ready access to Wikipedia (the Angel in this story is not the familiar Warren Worthington, although that one has a memorable cameo appearance, but he is based on a Golden Age superhero, perhaps to foreshadow the way consumers of inexpensive literature would eventually change their tastes from gritty pulp fiction to colorful superheroics), but in general, anyone should be able to enjoy this story on its own.

The book isn't perfect. A subplot about Wanda Magnus doesn't really make use of its potential beyond a scene taken directly from The Big Sleep, and each chapter ends with a three-page prose story that is not worth the effort to read (Once you finish the first page and catch the idea that X-stories could be adapted to the elaborate and often racist style of the pulp magazines, you don't need to actually slog through the story, which is a funnier joke in premise than in execution).
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