Superheroes reimagined in film noir style (pictures)

A video game inspires an artist to create a classic black and white look for some popular superheroes.

Christopher MacManus
1 of 10 Marko Manev

Sentinel of liberty

These days, it seems like movies about superheroes often emphasize explosive visuals and sound over compelling story. Macedonian artist Marko Manev has stripped all of the fancy colors from superheroes to create a striking set of original images featuring famous super humans in the muted black and white noir style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. The artist spent about a month drawing and composing each image. He used a Wacom drawing tablet for illustration and Photoshop CS6 for finishing.

Noir style seems like a stark contrast to modern cinema style, especially as superhero-based movies offer more color, explosions, and sound than ever before. With this in mind, it's refreshing to see superheroes in a simple, yet sullen way.

"Those are some of my favorite superheroes and I wanted to make silhouette posters in their most archetypical poses," Manev told Crave. "I love using silhouettes in my art because they are more striking, like statues of a pantheon."

In this image, we see the silhouette of Captain America –- with his trademark shield held high in the air -- proudly standing on top of a pile of rubble after an epic confrontation.

2 of 10 Marko Manev

God of thunder

Gasp as you observe the shadow of Thor standing in the middle of a forest as lightning strikes his mighty hammer. (In related news, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson believes that Thor's hammer weighs around 300 billion elephants.)
3 of 10 Marko Manev

Armored avenger

Surrounded by cranes and other installations, a blackened Iron Man blasts off into the night sky. The artist says his inspiration came from the video game Limbo, a puzzler full of black and white overtones that undoubtedly drew inspiration from the essence of noir.
4 of 10 Marko Manev

Raging monster

You can almost hear the sounds of metal being crushed as the Hulk punches a tank to death.
5 of 10 Marko Manev

Weapon X

With snow falling heavy in the forest, Wolverine exposes his set of deadly claws for the next kill.
6 of 10 Marko Manev


Spider-Man hangs by a thread from his web, undoubtedly preparing to save New York from yet another calamity.
7 of 10 Marko Manev

Sentinel of the spaceways

Perhaps taking a break from saving Earth, Silver Surfer cruises near the rings of Saturn.
8 of 10 Marko Manev


As Doctor Manhattan from "Watchmen" rises, the background with gears from a watch reminds those familiar with the lore about how an Intrinsic Field Subtractor disintegrated the physicist and set off a chain of events that eventually gave him superpowers.
9 of 10 Marko Manev

Man of Steel

You can really feel the intensity of Superman's speed as the superhero, known for being faster than a speeding bullet, ascends into the sky.
10 of 10 Marko Manev

Dark Knight

One of the most spectacular images by Marko Manev features the shadow of Batman observing Gotham City from a skyscraper. As the cityscape plays out before him, a bat signal beckons and a colony of bats ascend into the night.

More Galleries

Behind the Scenes With a Teen Robotics Team Aiming for Glory

Behind the Scenes With a Teen Robotics Team Aiming for Glory

10 Photos
Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

14 Photos
Best sound bars under $300

Best sound bars under $300

18 Photos
2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke reports for diesel duty
2018 Ford F-150 diesel

2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke reports for diesel duty

22 Photos
Music-friendly cell phone accessories

Music-friendly cell phone accessories

11 Photos