[Review] Titan Comics’ Hard Case Crime imprint’s NOIR BURLESQUE by Enrico Marini

PopCultHQ received a review copy of NOIR BURLESQUE from Titan Comics. Available October 24th from Titan’s Hard Case Crime imprint, the hardcover features writing and art from Enrico Marini.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

Written by Enrico Marini
Art by
Enrico Marini

Genres: Crime, Noir
ISBN: 9781787739956
Hardcover, 228 pages, FC
SRP: $29.99

Release date: 10/24/23

“Everybody has everything to lose…”

An atmospheric, violent crime caper set in 1950s New York, with everything from femme fatales to double-crosses.

A heist gone wrong forces Slick to do a job for his employer, Rex, to repay the debt he owes. But Slick is in love with Caprice, Rex’s ex-call girl wife-turned-burlesque legend and Rex also has the only way for Slick to avenge his murdered father.

In this hardboiled noir thriller, everybody has everything to lose…

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:

One of the great things about comic books and graphic novels is their ability to take other types of media, whether TV shows, movies, or even audio dramas or podcasts, and translate them into another form entirely for further consumption. What fans of the noir genre will find within the hardcover of Noir Burlesque is a tale that can tickle the fancies of mystery lovers and comics readers alike. And what stupendously stands out here is the way writer/artist Enrico Marini brings forth a world that is original as far as these ribald tales of murder and mayhem go, but filled to the brim with little echoes and subtle nods to the noir novels and films of the 20th century.

Writing: Enrico’s script is something else. Each character is more than a mere prop to hold up the backdrop of this world of love, death, and crime. Everyone has a part to play, and Marini gives everyone their due diligence as the story progresses. The story’s rough-around-the-edges “protagonist” Terry is every bit the leading player – a man stuck between a rock and a hard place in true noir fashion. Femme fatal Caprice is her own woman, a tiger surrounded by lions, bidding her time and waiting to strike when the pride least expects it. These two deserve each other and the rocky road they travel down will keep readers glued to this book.

Art & Colors: Capping it all off, Marini is also the masterful illustrator of this fast-paced adventure. His artwork is gorgeous to look at; rich in detail and it does not fail in its part to serve as the equal tool in moving the story along. Terry and Caprice are drawn as gorgeous creatures; with varying degrees of a hard light behind their eyes, not yet beaten down, but calm and calculating. On top of that, the scenery is like something straight out of the movies or at least a storyboard session. No brick is out of place and each building is the canvas against which this drama plays out. And the color choices for the volume add that extra thrill as well. Only particular things have actual color: Caprice’s hair, Terry’s car, a bottle of ketchup, or bullet wounds. It is done purposefully to move the eye along each page and keep going to the inevitable bitter end. And when the ending is in sight, let’s just say everyone will want to hold on tight.

Overall Assessment:

While in the past I have delved into the books put out by Hard Case Crime, this was my first foray into the graphic novel/comics world of noir. It did not disappoint, thanks to Enrico and his efforts as the writer and artist of one heck of a story. My hat goes off to him and the good folks at Titan for putting out this fine volume, which will make a handsome addition to any shelf for those who are lovers of noir, or perhaps a fine gift, a stocking stuffer, or under the tree as we move into the holiday season.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

About Titan Comics

Titan Comics offers astounding creator-owned comics and graphic novels from new and world-renowned talent, alongside the world’s greatest licensed properties and classic graphic novels remastered for brand-new audiences.  Titan is one of the most successful independent publishing operations in the US, with a recent six-week run at #1 in the New York Times bestseller list.

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