I'm more a fan of Eisner's later work than I am of his work on The Spirit, so perhaps the changes bothered me far less than they would a purist.
The big change is that this incarnation of the character operates in a world that seems to be the present day. A more stylized, Art Deco version of it. While a period piece may have been interesting, I personally think this a wise choice.
New characters are introduced. Hints are given as to the status of the old characters.
The Spirit himself was mostly a supporting character in his own first issue. But that's all to the good, as that's the way Eisner treated the character once the strip was well established. And yes, the whole "Does wearing a blue domino mask -really- fool anyone?" question is addressed in a clever manner.
I don't think even the most ardent Eisner purist will mind that Ebony has been given a complete redesign. He needed it.
Up to four issues now, and I'm really digging it.
Cooke is sort of the anti-Bendis. While Ultimate Spider-Man can take from six to over a dozen issues reintroducing and revamping the core characters, Cooke's been giving us an updated version of the Spirit's origin, insight into P'Gell, revamped versions of Silk Satin -and- the Octopus, and lots of subtle threads for future stories...all in just four issues.
So sue me, I like concise, self-contained stories. Extended arcs can be very good, but too often these days they feel extended merely to fill out the inevitable trade.
The artwork remains gorgeous. I'm hoping this old-fashioned super-hero comic is able to gain an audience in a market filled with artificial news stories, massive crossovers, and diehard character loyalty.
Its seems like you and I are the only two reading this. I'm loving each each issue. Beautiful art, great writing and fun old-school, yet somehow sophisticated, stories. It's at the top of my monthly pile. Cooke is a genius.
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