And Then I Read: THE SPIRIT 9-10

The Spirit 10 cover
©Will Eisner Studios, Inc.

Darwyn Cooke brings lots of great stuff to the table on these issues, as he nears the end of his run on the title. Issue 9 is a complex horror story with multiple narrations, but it works well enough to bring a chill to me as I read it. Usually The Spirit is played more for laughs, but he does live in a graveyard after all, and that spooky side has been there from the beginning. Cooke runs with it on this issue, and does it very well. My only problem was the ending: it seemed to indicate we’d be reading more of this story in the next issue, but not so. Once I saw that issue 10 went to a completely different place, I looked at the end of 9 again and realized it does have a conclusion of sorts, but with lots of room for a follow-up later.

Issue 10, on the other hand, is perhaps the best one Cooke has done yet, a brilliant satire on current TV talk shows deftly intertwined with a serial-killer murder mystery that had me laughing, wondering and delighted throughout. There’s no doubt about it: Darwyn Cooke has brought The Spirit into the 21st century without losing any of the charm of Will Eisner’s original concept. It’s all right here in this issue. Go buy it, read it, and enjoy!

Too bad Darwyn’s run is about over. Be interesting to see what Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones have cooked up when they take over the writing on this title.

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