Spider-Man Noir: Eyes without a Face #2

There's a strong dissonance between the art and the writing in "Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Face" #2, particularly in Carmine Di Giandomenico's colors, which are bright and cinematic, very much like the neon, washed-out look used by some animation, and don't match the darker tone of the script. Sometimes, a dissonance of this sort between art and writing help a project by illuminating some portion of the subtext, but, in this comic, the gap between the two is distracting as the script calls for a dark, moody feeling and the art delivers a bright, polished world where style seems more important than substance.

Not that Di Giandomenico is a weak or poor artist by any stretch of the imagination as the drawings he does for the book are good. His Spider-Man of this era has the swagger and look that brings to mind the Shadow (an obvious influence on the character), and he brings a great deal of energy to the action scenes. His character work falls flat in places with figures underdeveloped or drawn in a crooked, angular manner that doesn't fit with others. In the hands of another colorist, the art could be much more convincing, but, instead, it's needlessly artificial, constantly reminding of the artifice of the comic.

The story, on the other hand, deals with somewhat disturbing subject matter as Spider-Man investigates the criminal enterprise of the horribly-named Crime Master and, in the process, discovers that he may be involved in kidnapping African Americans for the American wing of the Nazi party. While that sounds somewhat laughable and ludicrous, Hine and Sapolsky reveal that information in small pieces, building up the larger plot, making it more plausible as a result.

The number of plots intertwined in this comic is rather large, which works against it somewhat, overcomplicating things too much. It seems that every aspect of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man's lives relate, somehow, to the experiments of Dr. Octavius on African Americans, too large a coincidence to dismiss. Both his personal and professional lives are caught up in this plot through various links like Robbie Robertson or the underground club he happens to bust being a storage facility for the heinous acts.

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