Whew! Been doing a lot of comic related stuffs lately. Let’s see, in order:
I read “The Spirit: Femme Fatales” and some of Darwyn Cooke‘s The Spirit (they only had the second volume) at books a million, and LOVED IT. Everyone’s all “Will Eisner is a genius!” and I’m all “Well, I’ll have to check it out” and I did, and he IS.
The stories are just fun. And not the cotton candy type of fun of Superman and Batman stories, but fun like a toffee chocolate bar, light and tasty, yet with crunchy delicious nougats of substance.
Anyway, I was saying. I totally loved the trade and bought it. The first thing I noticed about the stories were the art- since I am constantly aspiring to be a half way decent artist- it’s so expressive. You can’t help but love Denny, because he’s always got these wonderful goofy expressions on his face so you can see he’s not taking himself seriously at ALL.
Also, the female characters- it was written in the 1940’s, so there’s some stereotypes and questionable stuff (the scariest one was when Comissioner Dolan was positively gleeful his old battleax of an aunt was in the hands of a convicted wife beater. DudeNotFunny. Though the same story had said aunt drugging innocent men and forcing them into marriage…so ickiness on both sides there) but Will’s “femme fatales” are competent, both physically and mentally often the Spirit’s equals. You know how in the old stories Catwoman always got completely owned and tricked by Batman (and even in some today?) Well, that never happens to Silk Satin. She’s one step ahead of him, and every inch his equal. She doesn’t throw herself at him either, like most of the other girls (well, at least not after the first story) Also, her first appearance? She walked in with a bullet in her arm, saying she got in a bit of a scuffle and knifed a guy, and then fishes the bullet out of her arm using a clean razor and some iodine. “There’s the little beggar!” If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is. Satin rocks.