Two years after launching a weekly newspaper-supplement comic book featuring a masked crimefighter called the Spirit, Eisner went to serve in World War II, leaving his creation in the hands of assistants who couldn't match its originator's panache. This entry in a series of deluxe volumes reprinting the strip's entire 12-year run covers Eisner's 1946 return to The Spirit. Right off the bat, he produced dazzling stories again, not only surpassing his earlier efforts but outdoing anyone else's work at the time. The Spirit's distinctive combination of action, drama, and humor is matched by Eisner's uniquely effective fusion of serious illustration and broader cartooning. At the point in his career this volume covers, his hallmarks--innovative, cinematic layouts distinguished especially by magnificent full-page opening panels--come fully to fruition. Each seven-page story satisfies more than most full-length graphic novels. The late-'40s Spirit stories are comics benchmarks that continue to influence artists to this day. Libraries lacking earlier installments should pick up the series now because Eisner maintained this lofty standard for years afterward. Gordon Flagg
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The adventures of Will Eisner's most famous creation continuein this volume reprinting the Spirit newspaper sections from 1/5/47 to6/29/47. Featuring appearances by Ebony, Dolan and Ellen, the seductiveP'Gell, Hoagy the Yogi, Silken Floss, Saree and more, plus an introductionby Jim Vance.