While I do wish the best to Frank Miller’s movie version of THE SPIRIT, opening next month, I must say that the ads so far have not filled me with confidence. Yes, Miller was creator Will Eisner’s friend, and his disciple, and much of Miller’s comic book work has been, er, spiritually attuned to Eisner’s. One of my favorite recollections of the Golden Apple Comics store in Hollywood is of the mid-1980’s Saturday afternoon when I saw Miller — who just weeks before had been feted at the same store for the release of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, with lines stretching out the door as fans waited hours for his autograph — slipping into the store without fanfare, and buying the latest issue of Kitchen Sink Press‘s reprint of THE SPIRIT.
But those ads. The most recent features the Spirit’s arch-foe, the Octopus. Eisner’s Octopus was a criminal mastermind whose true face was never seen, who stood behind curtains or went about in disguise, his only distinguishing feature his gloves with three fat vertical lines on the back. In the latest ad, Samuel L. Jackson, as the Octopus, has the gloves; but he also has outrageous mascara, and platform boots, and, well, a pimp coat. Stuff like this makes me suspect that the SPIRIT movie might meet the same fate as SPEED RACER.
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