Superhero Noir

I’m setting up a role-playing game campaign, in the Superhero Noir genre. I have some ideas of inspiration, but I was wondering what else might be out there.

X-Files has the right style, Batman’s kinda close… Powers and Planetary are both spot-on. Any other thoughts?

Superpowers are a must. Dark tone is a must. Investigative emphasis is a bonus.

The Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons - if you don’t know it, it is generally considered the best comic book ever written. Check it out - very noir and wrapped around a great mystery…

I do know Watchmen, yes… that’s a pretty good fit too. As is Hellboy, now that I think about it.

Miller’s Batman: Year One.
Darwyn Cooke’s Catwoman and New Frontier.
Loeb and Sales’ Batman: The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.
Bendis’ Sam and Twitch.
Sandman Mystery Theater.

Note, half my suggestions don’t have superpowers or are written by Brian Michael Bendis.

… does anyone else do noir superheroes besides DC?


Editing mine. Yes. :wink:

Wasn’t there a series about a secret agent type… I seem to recall someone named Sealie or something mentioning it in the Weekly Comic Book Review threads sometimes… just released a TPB… I think it was called The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.

CandidGamera. What is it about my posts that compels people to nitpick? If I didn’t know I was inadvertantly bringing smiles to people’s faces, I’d feel picked on.

Sleeper is also by DC/Wildstorm. I’m just noting DC comics seems to be dominating this brand of genre.

Oh, and the late 80s Andrew Helfer’s The Shadow, with Bill Sienkiewicz and Kyle Baker handling art chores.

The first issue of Love and Rockets with the Gilbert Hernandez BEM storyline is technically crime noir with a lot of humor and science fiction pastiche thrown in.

Marshall Law.

It seemed funny! No offense was meant.

V for Vendetta. One of my favorites, along with Frank Miller’s runs on Daredevil.

Just so we’re clear, I was responding to the OP, not to your post. And yes, DC definitely dominates this subgenre. Bless their hearts.

Selkie and CandidGamera. Oh, shoot, now I feel bad. Oh, don’t mind me. I’m cranky because it’s a brambly gray wet Ohio day. Pay me no attention.

Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol.
Ms. Tree maybe?

Is Preacher considered noir? Me likes Preacher.

Second vote for Watchmen.

Daredevil has gone in and out of it’s noir phases, specifically with Frank Miller’s contributions.

How about the “Tarnished Angel” story arc from Kurt Buseik’s Astro City, would that count? It has a fairly Raymond Chandler pulpish gloom to it.

Thanks for the suggestions so far; now I’ll have to hunt some trade paperbacks.

So, dare I ask, is anyone interested in seeing any of the material I come up with? Plots, Characters, etc.? Might only appeal to the Crossover RPG/Comic fans here on the board, of which there are a few…

Has Green Arrow gone noir, or is it just the aftermath of “City Walls” that I’m seeing?

I think there have been “noirish” tendencies to the entire run so far. That’s probably to be expected in a “superhero” book where the protagonist is, after all, a normal guy.