By Mel Odom
January 10, 2008
Though I’m ashamed to admit it, I’ve never read a single issue of The Spirit until Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel collecting the first six issues of the new series put out by DC Comics. I’ve read comics nearly my whole life, and heard about Will Eisner and the Spirit for nearly as long.
To tell you the truth, the Spirit didn’t fit my idea of a superhero. For one, there was the problem of no superpowers. And two, the costume was really lame for a kid who grew up with superheroes wearing Spandex and their underwear on the outside. The Spirit just looked too… real. That meant boring to the child that I was.
So I went on for nearly fifty years with my assumption that I wouldn’t like the Spirit.
Enter Darwyn Cooke. Actually, I didn’t know that I liked him at first either. I thought his art was too raw at the time, too two-dimensional and unfinished. Then he did New Frontier, which became an overnight bestseller and is coming out as a straight-to-DVD animated movie soon. I picked up New Frontier and really liked Cooke’s writing and art. His artistry is flamboyant and unique. He played fairly with the characters and showed real talent when reimagining the DC Universe for his story.
Now he’s brought that same understanding of character to The Spirit, a monthly comic from DC. He writes and pencils the comic, something that few people in that business do any more, or are skilled enough to accomplish. From what I understand of the character since I’ve been poking around after getting curious, he’s captured the flavor, pacing, and zest of Will Eisner’s work.
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