Matt Wagner Resurrects ‘The Spirit’ at Dynamite
Every now and then, an announcement comes along that seems so perfectly natural that you start to wonder why it hasn't happened before. Case in point: Dynamite announced today that they are reviving Will Eisner's The Spirit as an ongoing series written and drawn by Matt Wagner, set to launch at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego.
The Spirit is, of course, one of the most groundbreaking comics of all time, originally appearing as a newspaper strip that in many ways reads like it was 20 years ahead of its time (while also, it should be noted, featuring the problematic elements of its era). With over 30 years of experience writing and drawing some of the best comics around, Wagner is a natural choice to put his spin on the character.
Dynamite's revival of The Spirit marks the first time we're going to get a monthly comic about Denny Colt's seemingly immortal alter-ego since 2011, when DC canceled the short-lived First Wave imprint that focused on pulp heroes like Doc Savage --- another character that Dynamite currently has the rights to --- and a more Shadow-inspired take on Batman, who I believe is still being published by DC. We might want to check on that, though.
As a cartoonist known for crafting groundbreaking stories like Mage and Grendel, I suspect that Wagner's run will draw comparisons to the 2007 relaunch of The Spirit by Darwyn Cooke, a modern take that revitalized the character with new adventures. Whether Wagner will bring the Spirit up to date (as with Dynamite's take on Flash Gordon) or set his adventures in the past (as with Doc Savage) remains to be seen, but that cover certainly looks like it's placing Denny Colt's first death in 1940.
Either way, the real draw here is Matt Wagner, and getting to see what he does with a character who always brings out the best and most innovative work in creators makes this a book that I can't wait to pick up.