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Spirit, The #12

    Ian Jane

  • Spirit, The #12

    Spirit, The #12
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: June 29th, 2016.
    Written by: Matt Wagner
    Illustrated by: Dan Schkade
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    A flashback scene - a young girl talks about how her daddy didn't like her hanging out in the garden wasting time with her pets. He felt she was meant for bigger things. Her mother dies, her father doesn't shed a tear, never mentioned her by name after that. His work took him around the world, leaving her with a nanny - and while the girl broke down now and then, the nanny was less than kind. She'd dream of her father coming back to take them away to a life of luxury, but when he really did come back, he was dressed in black with a red swastika laden armband around his bicep.

    “Only the strong ever end in first place.”

    The girl grew older, fell for a handsome boy and found the backbone she'd been lacking with her nanny. She learned about the power she could wield over men if she wanted to. Her father fled the Reich and went east where he built an empire with her at his side - a familiar tattoo on her forearm. Taking up the family business as her own, this woman, Sachet Spice, spread out westward, finding she had no trouble compiling and controlling a literal army of men eager to do anything she may ask of them.

    One night, while sipping a glass of wine, she's interrupted with the news that a man, a westerner, injured…. has climbed over her wall.

    All of this, of course, ties into the present. It gives us a bit 'more' about how and why The Spirit went missing when and why he did.

    But back in Central City, it's hitting the fan. Sammy calls for backup, the station is overwhelmed, things are going nuts. Time for plan B - he calls someone else for help, but before we get to that we see The Spirit bound to a chair sporting cement shoes in front of none other than Mikado Vaas himself - the father of the 'girl' who had that opening flashback, who nursed The Spirit back to health while keeping him prisoner. Vaas is curious as to what his daughter found so fascinating about this specimen - Ebony is there with him, bound and unconscious, laying in the corner of the room. Vaas plans to spring his daughter from the clink, and to do so, he's setup a series of distractions sure to keep the cops busy.

    And then things get complicated.

    The flashback that takes up the first third or so of the book gives us some welcome background information that ties into the eleven issues that preceded this twelfth entry, and that's not a bad thing. Sachet Spice is an interesting character so exploring her history is an effective way to expand the mythos of the current series in an entertaining and wholly appropriate manner. Of course, it also works as a way to bring us back into the 'current day' storyline in a big way. We knew things would heat up with Vaas based on the last issue and here they do exactly that. We won't go into too much detail in order to avoid spoilers, but things are resolved here, at least to a point, while also leaving plenty of room for the story to expand in future issues. Let it suffice to say that the apple didn't fall too far from the tree.

    Dan Schkade's artwork, with great coloring from Brennan Wagner, has complimented Matt Wagner's scripts from the first issue, and that hasn't changed even now that the series has come to its finish. There's a nice extra touch with the requisite splash page here, it's classy, appropriate, and ultimately very cool - but also Eisneresque somehow. The shadowy atmosphere and period style that have made this book so fun to look at from day one are on display throughout and there's lots of great line work and creative panel design to geek out over. Eric Powell once again contributes a gorgeous cover piece.

    This was The Spirit done right. Here's hoping this creative team comes back for another round sooner than later. And if that doesn't happen?What they've left us with over this twelve issue run is pretty much perfect

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