Eisner has enjoyed recent widespread acclaim for his graphic novels depicting American Jewish life in the first half of the twentieth century, but his lofty reputation in the comics field stems from the weekly newspaper supplement he drew in the 1940s, which featured the sly, masked crimefighter, the Spirit. The latest volume in a hardcover series reprinting those adventures shows Eisner hitting his postwar stride and continuing to develop his trademark storytelling techniques: spectacular opening panels that ingeniously incorporate the Spirit logo into the illustration; a singular blending of moody drama and droll comedy; bizarre foes like the criminal mastermind the Octopus; and gorgeous femmes fatale straight out of '40s film noir, such as this volume's jewel-thief-turned-spy, Silk Satin, and much-married adventuress P'Gell. Thanks to Eisner's mastery, each seven-page story packs the wallop of an action feature from the Golden Age of Hollywood (especially "Olga Bustle," Eisner's parody of busty Jane Russell in The Outlaw). Fans of Eisner's more recent books should get a gander at DC's handsome collections of his vintage work. 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.