By Victor Gischler, Andrea Mutti & Vladimir Popov
Noir #2 continues the mystery of the Templar treasure. Black Sparrow has left The Shadow in the wind and now teams up with Miss Fury. They go to the hospital to interrogate Akash for information about the treasure. Meanwhile, Gustav Argus enlists his brothers aid to handle the two masked women.
This series is, without a doubt, aptly titled. There are so many noir and pulp elements leaden within the pages that this review could become a dissertation. Victor Gischler is able to adhere to the form of the genre, but keep the story fresh and intriguing. By blending a backstory about the templars and American history with the driving purpose of the protagonists and antagonists makes the plot have substance and depth. It raises the importance of the treasure and separates it from some generic jewel/treasure heist story. Also the use of only femme fatales in this issue puts a nice spin on the pulp genre. Both women may not be physically intimidating, but the book shows how they use their wits, sexuality and weapons/martial arts skills. They were truly forces to reckoned with. You rarely see depictions like that in modern comics, so it’s a real treat to see it in current pulp comics.
Innuendo and off-screen action always makes for great sorry-telling. Andrea Mutti executes these techniques powerfully. The one sequence that really comes to mind is when Gustav’s brother Orlando is introduced. He was alluded to being a dangerous character, but it’s not until he was shown indulging in some unsavory acts that the reader sees his truly sadistic nature. Mutti doesn’t actually illustrated what he does, but gives the audience enough of an idea to let the mind extrapolate…powerful stuff. What’s a noir story without the use of shadows and darkness?! Colorist Vladimir Popov takes Andrea’s work and accentuates the tone and look of the series. Seeing Black Sparrow and Miss Fury in silhouette throughout this issue just sends chills down the spine. These artists understand noir and makes this series such a fun read because of that.
Being completely unfamiliar with the characters and series, I had the predisposition that this was to be some generic noir/pulp story. The creative team have proven in two issues that they want to show their respect to the genres by creating a powerful story and so far they have done just that.