REVIEW: The Spirit #2

WRITER: Matt Wagner
ARTIST(s): Dan Schkade
LETTERER: A Larger World Studios
COLORIST: Brennan Wagner
COVER ARTIST(s): Eric Powell
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 08/5/2015

If there’s something I love about comics, it’s the villains.

I truly think Batman would be half the hero he is today without the Joker. Superman wouldn’t be as well-defined without Lex Luthor. The Flash wouldn’t be as lovable without Captain Cold. They exemplify the traits we love in the heroes, whether it be prospering over insanity (Joker), seeming more god than mortal (Luthor), or honoring all inhabitants of their city (Cold). Comic book villains are notoriously amazing, with stories such as Forever Evil or Suicide Squad showing just how great they can be to play off each other.

So, the introduction of Mister Carrion, one of The Spirit’s most nefarious foes, was a fun plot-point for this issue. Outlandishly insane and flamboyant, it’s very clear from the start that this guy is a villain in line with the Golden Age motif presented in this series. That being said, I do feel like I should care so much more about the whole “find-out-what-happened-to-the-Spirit” plot, and I just don’t. His sidekicks do nothing for me, and arguably the only characters I find myself interested in are Commissioner Dolan and his daughter, Ellen. While last issue boasted interesting characterizations all around, this one was a bit of a bore to read through, and to be honest I’ve lost all motivation to read on.

In art, Schkade and Wagner continue to dazzle, albeit with slightly less expression than the first issue. The colors aren’t as crazy as before, which is a bit disappointing, though the art remains as clear and crisp as ever. Blending together a cartoonish feel with a superhero style is one of Schkade’s best decisions in terms of style, that’s for sure. As for the lettering, I find the constant need to embellish certain letters just makes it difficult to read through, as I do.

All in all, this isn’t a bad issue by any means, and Spirit fans are sure to come back for more. But, for this reviewer, it seems that this issue failed to match up to its predecessor in almost every way, and I’m afraid it’s the last one I’ll be picking up from this series, most probably.

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