Will Eisner's The Spirit, Vol. 1

Will Eisner's The Spirit, Vol. 1

4.3 3
by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone, Dave Stewart

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cooke's delicious reinvention of the Golden Age hero created by Will Eisner brings the elegant crime fighter into the present era while still retaining a decidedly retro look. Beginning with the Batman/Spirit "Crime Convention," the story moves through a handful of episodes that balance noir with cheeky humor, slowly dropping bits of an origin story. A kidnapped TV news reporter uses her cellphone to broadcast her rescue; a femme fatale from the Spirit's past exacts revenge on the man who killed her husband; a madman tries to poison the city's water supply. The standout is "Media Man," in which an unscrupulous marketer appropriates the Spirit's image to sell canned beans, and an even more unscrupulous villain tries to use those beans to get kids hooked on meth. Glancing references are made to larger story elements, like a criminal network called the Octagon and a man from Spirit's past who died but didn't stay dead. The visuals are an addictive blend of old-school color melodrama and lean, muscular lines; the credit spreads are particularly clever in their integration of the book's title into the scenery. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Will Eisner's 1940-52 Spiritseries is widely acclaimed as a literate and inventive comics classic. Cooke (Absolute DC: The New Frontier) approaches the daunting task of following the master by hewing closely to the three-word motto that headed Eisner's early Spirit stories: "Action-Mystery-Adventure." The Spirit was private detective Denny Colt until, after an accident that left the world thinking him dead, he donned a blue mask and became an independent crime fighter. Cooke brings the Spirit's origin and adventures into the present while retaining much of the original's excitement, intrigue, and humor, along with the Spirit's fallibility (unlike many heroes, he's frequently injured and doesn't always nab his prey) and his supporting cast, including the notorious femme fatale P'Gell and the beautiful Silk Satin (here a CIA agent). Cooke's tragic tale of Almost Blue, piano prodigy turned punk rocker, combines two things Eisner's Spiritis known for: a biographical sketch of a misfit and the incorporation of a fantastic element (here, the narcotic properties of a meteorite) into a realistic setting. Also included is a Batman/Spirit crossover cowritten by Batman veteran Jeph Loeb. This is fine, entertaining stuff that will satisfy any longtime comics fan; recommended for teens and adults.
—Steve Raiteri

Product Details

DC Comics
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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Will Eisner's The Spirit, Vol. 1 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Janus More than 1 year ago
For those with an interest in comics, Darwyn Cooke's name should not be unfamiliar. He has done the art and writing for many notable stories such as Justice League: The New Frontier and Batman: Ego. His artistic style has the feeling of vintage noir-esque art for the characters while his action scenes and settings are full of life and intensity. Cooke's take on Will Eisner's beloved Spirit character is phenomenal. He stays true to the heart of Eisner's stories while managing to make the characters and stories believable for the modern age. One important point to note is that in the original Eisner versions the Spirit's sidekick, an African-American boy named Ebony, was very stereotypical of the racial views of the 40's. Eisner would portray Ebony as almost a "black face" looking character (oversize pink lips and a small black face). He was also portrayed as more of a timid character. Cooke's version is very different. Ebony (whom is frequently simply called "Ebs") is portrayed in a physically accurate way (for a comic book) and his personality is more of a street smart, intelligent friend to the Spirit rather than a mere sidekick. The stories, characters and art are all phenomenal. If you enjoy superheroes without any superpowers and have yet to be jaded by Frank Miller's movie adaptation then Darwyn Cooke's The Spirit is highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago