By Edward Douglas
Dec. 19, 2008
The Spirit is the reincarnated alter ego of police officer Denny Colt, who was shot and killed on duty but then returned later as the indestructible crime fighter who works with Commissioner Dolan to take down Central City’s tougher criminal element. Eisner’s work was influenced by the early days of film noir, but it was also filled with humor and pathos and a never-ending supply of beautiful femme fatales to tempt and tease The Spirit. The character continued to appear in strips and comic books throughout the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, and then was reprinted extensively after that, most recently in a series of hardbound archives from DC Comics, who also resuscitated the character with new stories by top comic book talent.
When it came time to give The Spirit his first big screen feature film, there really was only one man to call for the job, and that was Will Eisner’s close friend and frequent sparring partner Frank Miller, whose work during the ’80s and ’90s was as much influenced by Eisner as it was an antithesis to the virtues of The Spirit.
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