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Spirit, The #8

    Ian Jane

  • Spirit, The #8

    Spirit, The #8
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: February 24th, 2016.
    Written by: Matt Wagner
    Illustrated by: Dan Schkade
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    When this latest issue starts off, The Spirit is talking to Dolan about how, when he mentioned the name Mikado Vaas to a man he was questioning, that man leapt out the window to his certain death. The Spirit figures this is reason enough for the law to crack down on Emporium Imports but Dolan says the lawyers are making that impossible. The only bright spot in all of this is that after The Spirit called in the suicide, he opened up the safe in the office and swiped the only thing that was inside - a statue of a tiger.

    On the other side of town, Strunk and White are talking about the case. They stop in to visit a store clerk named Florence, a girl that White is clearly sweet on, and Strunk is impressed when she calls his partner by his first name.

    Cut to a man named Mr. Shales busting in on a secretary named Ms. Brim - he's looking for Ellen Dolan but Ellen's off at a city council meeting. This doesn't stop Margie Brim from flirting with Shales, but he splits before that turns into anything. While this is going on, Councilman Palmer is holding a press conference publicly questioning Dolan's decision to stay on as Police Commissioner and the Mayor's decision to abide by it. Palmer even mentions The Spirit by name, referring to him as a rogue vigilante and a stain on the city's reputation, something that doesn't sit well with Ellen when she shows up to confront Palmer in front of the press.

    Ten pages in and we see Silk Satin hop into a cab and head to the Spanish Consulate. The cab driver? The Spirit, of course, and she flirts with him but he's not having any of it - this is strictly business. She's investigating an insurance fraud case that he thinks might be tied into the tiger statue. He shows it to her - and she flips out, refusing to help him aside from giving him one tip: find Rabbi Bernard Lieberman.

    If that weren't enough, somewhere in a shadowy warehouse Councilman Palmer meets with a woman hidden in the shadows who introduces him to Pinky Fingers, a deadly assassin capable of taking care of all of their problems.

    And then The Spirit meets up with Lieberman. He knows exactly what that statue is and what Mikado Vaas is really all about.

    Wagner's continuing series keeps getting more interesting while maintaining a seriously high level of 'fun' from start to finish. This series is really doing a great job of playing things in the Eisner tradition, using lots of noirish artwork courtesy of series artist Dan Schkade to keep things nice and shadowy and playing the femme fatale card on a pretty consistent basis. It's classic material and maybe the highest compliment you can pay this run is that it really does feel like it could have come from the pen of Eisner himself.

    Neither Wagner nor Schkade seem to feel the need to mess with something that was done right the first time, they're not reinventing the characters but instead building off of their various histories together and creating new adventures in the same world. It's a simple but all too uncommon concept in an industry where it seems that reboots are more the rule rather than the exception. Beautifully illustrated, wonderfully colored and written like true vintage pulp fiction, this is a series you should be reading - pure entertainment, through and though.

    Oh, and Eric Powell once again, as he has for the seven issues that came before this one, provided a gorgeous painted cover suitable for framing. The icing on the cake!

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