Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Spirit v1: Batman/The Spirit

Crime Convention
by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (storytellers), J. Bone (inks), and Dave Stewart (colors)

Batman and the Spirit travel to Hawaii to save Commissioners Gordon and Dolan from a gang of super villains.

The story looks great. Cooke, Bone, and Stewart do not disappoint. There are some beautiful splash pages.

It feels as if there is a little too much in this crossover special. At 40 pages it is almost double the length of a standard comic book. Every one of those pages is crowded with words, plot, and characters.

Even though it won an Eisner Award, this story doesn't compare favorably to the other stories in this collection. It is a jumbled mess. Some plot points are over explained. Not all the transitions work. On the whole the story feels very rushed.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Spirit v1: #6

Almost Blue
by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone (inks), and Dave Stewart (colors)

This story breaks the mold, if there was one. It doesn't feel like any of the previous stories or even like a typical Spirit story. It feels like noir blended with science fiction.

Despite the heavy use of narration, especially in the first few pages, the panels do not feel crowded. Cooke has done a great job of balancing the text and the pictures. They don't clash with one another, they sing together.

Once again the Spirit takes an unexpected detour in his continuing search for Alvarro Mortez. Even though this series is a collection of one-shots they each have their own special flavor. This is possibly, probably the most satisfying story to date.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Spirit v1: #5

Media Man
by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone (inks), and Dave Stewart (colors)

The spirit battles gangsters who are using his image to sell cans of pork & beans.

There has to be a hidden message beneath this story. It is a little too weird for there not to be. Possibly it is a comment on the advertising industry.

The visuals towards the end feature some smashingly great sequential art. Cooke out does himself with the last 7 pages. Most if not all of the word balloons (sparsely distributed as they ate) are unnecessary as the pictures tell the story.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Spirit v1: #4

Silk Satin
by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone (inks), and Dave Stewart (colors)

This story is all kind of awesome. From the first page to the very last the story unfolds. There is no padding or filler. There is a fair amount of dialogue and narration which is paired with appropriately sized panels and drawings. Dave Stewart uses different color palettes very effectively as the story changes tone and setting.

The Spirit captures Hussein Hussein in Central City. After the con man escapes police custody the Spirit teams up with CIA agent Silk Satin to recapture him.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Spirit v1: #3

by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone (inks), and Dave Stewart (colors)

A tip jars the Spirit's memory and he thinks back to the day Denny Colt died and was born again as the Spirit. This is his origin story. It unfolds as he digs up the grave of Alvarro Mortez, another man who is rumored to have come back to life.

Most of the story is a flashback. It is narrated by many people: the Spirit, Ebony, Commissioner Dolan, Ellen, an unnamed villain. The look and feel of the flashback are quite different from the bookends that surround it. The lines seem thinner, but harder and angular; and there are more pastels and day-glow colors.

On the whole this story it has a very different feel than the first couple in this series but is no less gripping, intense, or thrilling. It is an open-ended one shot. The ending is both satisfying and frustrating.