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Author Topic: Batman/The Spirit  (Read 5096 times)
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« on: December 03, 2006, 01:31:32 PM »

Anyone had a look at this? I thought it was pretty fun, though rather formulaic, as this sort of thing inevitably turns out to be; Cooke's artwork really makes it worth the money, though (but he needs to work on drawing hats). A weak point is that The Spirit is such a prominent character in the story: in the best Spirit stories, he is usually an incidental character. Still, as a foretaste of Cooke's Spirit series, I must say this bodes well.
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 12:33:08 PM »

I looked at it in the store --great colour and Cooke's art looks better than ever but I couldn't bring myself to plop down the $6 Canadian for it since I'm still ambivalent about the "new" Spirit (not least because I'd like to see Cooke to his own stories and projects).  Anyone have a rave?

 
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 03:30:33 AM »

I thought it was pretty good.  True, it was formulaic, but there were enough little twists to keep me entertained.  I thought the artwork was perfect for the more lighthearted sense of the story, and they certainly didn't skimp on the villains.  Heck, Harley Quinn even has a semi-prominent role, even though she seemed to drop off the face of the world after her series was cancelled a few years back.  It's good to see her back.

Yeah, $6 is pricey, but it felt like the story could have been a regular, 2-issue tale.  I didn't feel ripped off.  With this year's Marvel Holiday Special I felt really, really ripped off.

One gripe, it would have been nice if they provided some background on the Spirit character.  I'm not completely familiar with him, and after reading this issue, I'm still unfamiliar with him.  Guess that's what the internet is for.

And for the life of me, I just can't figure out how the Octopus switched places with Commissioner Gordon...
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2006, 04:56:45 AM »

dmat, I would recommend checking out the Spirit.  Not sure if Dc is reprinting alot of these yet, but the character is really, in artistic terms, one of the top 5 superhero/masked-detective adventure characters in comics.

Eisner really broke alot of new ground that has not been equaled when he create those old Spirit comics.  Good clean fun with a dose of film-noir-syle literacy thrown in for good measure.  Not the greatest comics ever done, but certainly better than the majority of superhero comics.  They were produced in an innovative format beginning in the 1940s --Eisner created the Spirit and a few other features and then packaged them as full-color newspaper inserts to compete with the Sunday funnies.  The advantage being, where a great newspaper adventure strip like Capt. Easy, Flash Gordon, Terry and the Pirates, Orphan Annie or even Superman only had one page per week, the Spirit appeared in a full 5 or 10 page adventure every week --equivalent to a comic book adventure but free in the weekend paper, allowing for greater character development and breadth of story. 

Looking for a place to start?  Eisner's pre-WWII stories are pretty good, but his late-40s stories are best --mature superhero adventure and romance at its best.  Single issue collections by various publishers from the 80s and 90s, including Kitchen Sink and Dark Horse, are plentiful and cheap --many issues contain 3 or 4 classic stories in full color.

Darwyn Cooke is a great superhero cartoonist but I can't see him improving much on those classic Will Eisner stories.  Most people agree that, with the exception of some superhero parodies, a handful of those Spirit stories, along with a similar amount from CC Beck and Jack Cole (and of course the Superman family stories by Binder, Siegel, Boring and Swan Smiley), amount to the best that was ever done with superheroes before they got all adult beginning in the 70s.

As a starting point, and for an overview of the case for and against Will Eisner's art, I recommend:

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http://www.tcj.com/267/e_groth.html
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2006, 05:19:37 AM »

dmat, I would recommend checking out the Spirit.  Not sure if Dc is reprinting alot of these yet, but the character is really, in artistic terms, one of the top 5 superhero/masked-detective adventure characters in comics.


Well, The Spirit: Archives is currently at Volume 20, with vol 21 coming soon, so that would be a yes.
   
But, if you don't have that kind of cash, then I would suggest getting

The Best of the Spirit
192 pages
ISBN: 1401207553

It retails for $14.99 but you can get it for about $10 on-line.

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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2006, 02:03:36 PM »

I picked up the first issue of Cooke's first solo Spirit adventure and it was a good funny book.  Pretty faithful to the (pardon the pun) spirit of Eisner's original.
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2006, 07:23:25 AM »

Not sure if Dc is reprinting alot of these yet,

Well, The Spirit: Archives is currently at Volume 20, with vol 21 coming soon, so that would be a yes.

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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2006, 04:22:33 PM »

dmat, I would recommend checking out the Spirit.  Not sure if Dc is reprinting alot of these yet, but the character is really, in artistic terms, one of the top 5 superhero/masked-detective adventure characters in comics.


Well, The Spirit: Archives is currently at Volume 20, with vol 21 coming soon, so that would be a yes.
   
But, if you don't have that kind of cash, then I would suggest getting

The Best of the Spirit
192 pages
ISBN: 1401207553

It retails for $14.99 but you can get it for about $10 on-line.



Or if you don't have that kind of cash, you could do as I do and borrow the Spirit archives from the library, or through interlibrary loan...
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