Wolverine Noir

wolverine noir cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

One of the better Noir titles

Yuriko's character seemed unnecessary

Comic Info

Comic Name: Wolverine Noir

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Stuart Moore

Artist: C.P. Smith

# of Issues: 4

Release Date: 2010

wolverine noir #1 cover

Wolverine Noir #1

Reprints Wolverine Noir #1-4 (June 2009-September 2009).  James and his partner Dog work in the underbelly of the Bowery as detectives.  When a woman named Mariko Yoshida comes to James with a job, Dog’s eagerness to help leads to his disappearance.  Feeling a debt of gratitude to Dog because of their shared past, James finds himself pulled into a case of intrigue and danger…and learns that the past might not be finished with him.

Written by Stuart Moore, Wolverine Noir is a Marvel Comics stylized superhero comic book published under Marvel’s Noir line.  Featuring art by C.P. Smith, the issues in the volume were also collected as part of Marvel Noir:  Wolverine and the X-Men.

The Noir titles feel like they were kind of a bust.  The multiple series released kind of fizzled except for Spider-Man Noir and it could be argued that Spider-Man Noir was simply aided by better marketing.  Having read most of the Noir books, Wolverine Noir might make the most sense.

The hardboiled detective is a classic noir trope along with the femme-fatale, and Wolverine Noir sets them both up.  Like most detectives, James has a buried past that haunts him and helps motivate his actions.  Through the course of the story, you learn the reasons behind his loyalty to Dog and the trauma which has wrecked his life.  In classic comic book (and sometimes noir), the past resurfaces and is determined to be tied to his current case.

wolverine noir #4 cover review

Wolverine Noir #4

The story also features two femme-fatales and that might be the slight misstep in the series.  Mariko was a good femme fatale.  She represents the mysterious “Orient” which is an outdated and xenophobic (or outright racist) idea, but another classic theme in noir.  The introduction of Yuriko seems unnecessary and muddles the water.  Logan already isn’t sure if he can trust Mariko, and he was already motivated to avenge Dog…Yuriko just seemed like throwaway collateral damage.

Wolverine Noir feels a bit more thought out than some of the other Noir titles because the ideas of Wolverine Noir fit nicely among the concept of the series line.  While other series did tap into noir themes (like steampunk tech and urban issues), the classic detective is always the best go-to…and James has that Jake Gittes Chinatown damaged persona that helps propel the story.  It is worth seeking out especially for fans of books like Fatale or Sin City.  I would like Wolverine Noir to return someday.

Related Links:

Daredevil Noir

Iron Man Noir

Luke Cage Noir

X-Men Noir

X-Men Noir:  Mark of Cain

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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