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The Spirit is the second spin-off series under the First Wave banner from DC comics. Will Eisner’s The Spirit is a comic classic with a long and robust history. Fortunately, this newest issue doesn’t try to shovel in all of those years and alienate new readers. Thankfully, they tell a simple story and give the Spirit a simple past, thus making for an accessible story and good continuation from the First Wave mini-series.
Denny Colt is the Spirit. He was once dead but he got better. He’s the lone guardian of Central City against the Octopus and his crime families. Our story begins with the Spirit destroying a drug shipment that the Octopus is bringing into the city. This forces the Octopus to call a summit between the families and ends with the announcement of a professional assassin being brought in to deal with the Spirit once and for all.
The great thing about the Spirit is the characters. Not just Denny, but his supporting characters as well. Mark Schultz (Action Comics) does a great job of giving the supporting cast meaningful personality. Every character introduced to the story adds something either to the plot or the world. The good thing about Schultz’s writing is that he doesn’t try to write a story that is tipping its hat to classic Spirit stories. Rather he just tells a good Spirit story.
Moritat (Elephantmen) captures the tone of the book beautifully with his standout style. His best page is an action sequence; the panels themselves spell out Spirit but it’s very subtle and can be missed at first glance. Moritat also draws very distinct characters rather than relying on coloring to make the characters stand out from one another. In typical Spirit fashion though, the women are made to look sexy and dangerous, and the art truly captures that.
This story is a great addition to the Spirit continuum and a welcomed addition to the First Wave series. Unfortunately, there’s a tacked-on side story that does the opposite of the main story. The characters are one-dimensional and the story is just bad. The art, while stylized, is unapproachable due to cluttered panels and inconsistency in details. The saddest part is that the issue doesn’t need it and attempts to add nothing to the First Wave story.
Story – 7.9
Art – 9.4
Overall – 8.7