When Tor.com asked me to write something for their Noir Week, I jumped at the chance. Being a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and noir, this is the ultimate mashup for me.
Noir has lots of connections with sci-fi and fantasy, but lets get something out of the way: Batman is not film noir. I get that the early Batman and Dick Tracy comics drew heavily on Hollywood. The clothing styles, stories and art-deco look were very much inspired by early crime movies. Dick Tracy was modeled after square-jawed actor Jack Holt. The Joker was Conrad Veidt in the Man Who Laughs. However, when Batman movies are made today they take inspiration from the old great looking comics — not from noir. There is nothing I see in The Dark Knight that I would consider truly noir. The same with Sin City and all the comic movies in between — except for the fact that they’re almost black and white at times and they wear hats.
[Where SF really meets noir]