Images © Will Eisner Studios, Inc.
DC keeps trying with new versions of THE SPIRIT, and never quite hits it out of the park. This version is a solid double, if you’ll pardon the baseball metaphor. The story by Mark Schultz is generally fine, with a good Eisneresque villainess and some nice twists and turns. It’s more violent than Eisner usually went, but does capture the action and film noir feel well, and the character bits are successful.
The art by Moritat is another story, my best description would be uneven. In some places it looks more like rough pencil layouts than finished art, and the characters have a wobbly plastic quality at times that may be an attempt to capture the cartoony aspects of Eisner, but miss for me. The figure work is attractive in places, but then there are things like the alien woman in the top panel above with legs longer than the rest of her body, and a tiny head atop a pencil neck. The storytelling isn’t bad, and the action scenes are full of energy, but in general it’s kind of a mess. I can’t say it stopped me from generally enjoying reading these comics, but the much more polished work of Ladronn on the covers is more appealing to me, and more in the Eisner vein.
The black and white backups would seem like potential winners based on the credits (Harlan Ellison and Kyle Baker in issue two!) but I didn’t find they worked much better for me than the main stories, with the one in issue 3 being more successful in my estimation.