The Spirit #5
“Frost Bite: Part Two” and “666 in 10… 9… 8…”
Written by DAVID HINE
Black & White Co-Feature written by DAVID LAPHAM
Art by MORITAT
Black & White Co-feature art by MICHAEL WM. KALUTA
Cover by LADRÖNN
On Sale August 18, 2010
DC Comics, 40 Pages, Color and B&W, $3.99
The Spirit’s fifth adventure in his First Wave title hearkens back to the Will Eisner era of the hero’s adventures. It’s just a simple story that moves from point A to B and gives you a lot of action along the way. I think the nostalgic feeling that this issue gave me may also have something to do with the way the artist drew the gangsters in a 1930s / 40s style dress as well as how the writer made them talk.
In The Spirit #5, entitled “Frost Bite: Part Two,” we get the continuation of the storyline from last issue. Ebony White has been injected with a VERY lethal dose of the street drug Frost and left for dead by gangsters who are trying to off her. She’s been trying to stop the distribution of the drug on the streets of Central City and they’re not going to have that. The Spirit finds her and has to carry her through Damnation Alley, the seediest and most dangerous part of town to a doctor that can save Ebony’s life. The only problem is, every gangster and bad guy that The Spirit has ever had locked up or crossed paths with has been tipped off to the fact that the hero is walking through the main streets of their hood and they all want a piece of him.
Writer David Hine does a great job with carrying the story forward and building suspense. He puts The Spirit in very believable predicaments in his journey across town. You can also really empathize with him as he literally carries the burden of saving Ebony’s life. Hine does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat and flipping the pages.
The art for the issue continues with the same feel established in the last few issues. It’s got a grimy and gritty feel to it but somehow still manages to be smooth and polished at times. The coolest part of this issue is when artist Moritat gets to stray from reality and draw what Ebony is seeing through her eyes while hallucinating on Frost. There’s a two-page spread that is beautiful and puts The Spirit in a mythological world that we would never get to see him in otherwise. It’s very fun and the coloring by Andre Szymanowicz is a real treat.
I still go back and forth with the way Chief Dolan is portrayed in this new series. I’ve always thought of Dolan as pretty straight. A good cop trying to make a difference who always stays honest. The First Wave books make him out to be kind of crooked. He lets things slide and turns his head to some criminal activity for the “sake” of the city. I just can’t see the original Will Eisner-penned Dolan doing that.
The Second Feature in Issue #5 definitely takes us back to the Eisner-period of The Spirit in every way. It’s a good old-fashioned 8-page story that pits The Spirit against a religious psycho that thinks a baby is the Devil incarnate because it was born on June 6th and is six months old. They never tell us where the third six comes in to play to form the 666 that sets the religiously misled man off. I have to give writer David Lapham props for his tribute to The Omen movies by naming the baby Damian. Michael Wm. Kaluta’s art is definitely an homage to Eisner.
The Spirit #5 is definitely a worthy purchase and a great continuation of the “Frost Bite” storyline. There’s really nothing to complain about. The Second Feature: The Spirit Black & White once again just adds extra value to an already smart buy for fans of the great hero.
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