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By Elliott Serrano
For RedEye
Published December 20 2008

You don’t need to be a comics nerd to know a little bit about Batman, Spider-Man or Iron Man–or any number of the X-Men, for that matter.

But as the comics-to-movies craze continues to explode, there have been quite a few new characters making their way to the big screen who may be unfamiliar to some audiences.

Case in point: The Spirit. The hero created by the late comics master Will Eisner makes his big-screen debut Thursday in the movie of the same name directed by Frank Miller. (That’s the guy behind the hit flicks “300” and “Sin City.”) Miller’s new movie has been getting a lot of buzz, even though there’s been very little background for casual audiences.

But fear not. If all you know about “The Spirit” is that it’s about a crime-fighting guy who might or might not be dead and who encounters a slew of smoking-hot babes in his pursuit of bad guys, RedEye is here to help.

Here are the Top 10 things you need to know about “The Spirit”–before it hits theaters.

1. The Spirit

The titular hero once was known as detective Denny Colt, who was shot–and apparently killed–in the line of duty. His mysterious “resurrection” leads to his taking on the persona of the Spirit, a ghost who seeks vengeance against those who would prey on the weak.

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