Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Batman and The Spirit

I recently found myself in the position to read the recent "floppy" where Batman meets The Spirit. As one ignorant of so much of comics, I can only assume by the tone of this that usually these two live in totally different worlds making their meeting very unusual. So, of course, it's a gimmick. It's out to launch the new series of The Spirit with maybe a little help from newly introduced Batman fans, and there really are a lot of Batman fans. Also Loeb fans since a lot of the Batman fans who read nothing else have read the books by Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb.

So as one of the intended audience, I've got to say it's a sensible thing to try to introduce Batman fans to The Spirit. We like Batman because he's only human, but also because he's the Detective. He's thinking about the clues and anticipating. We may like him dark, but we're still not ready for the total antihero and we like the strict moral code as well. He's just sweeping the streets, someone else has to be judge and jury.

As such, The Spirit is also our kind of hero. We see he's out of a detecting tradition as well. He's only human, indeed more of an everyman than the eccentric billionaire. An all around good guy. The issue really makes a lot of effort to point out the parallels between the two heroes. It should be enough to get a few of my fellow only Batman fans to look at more, if we ever get to looking past the books of collected issues to the actual issues, although The Spirit doesn't really get any characterization in this one and the Batman we know, of course, has a lot of character.

It does end on the wrong foot for me, but I think most people aren't maniac anti-superman weirdos like I am. Not even among the only Batman crowd.

Meanwhile Darwyn Cooke's art... the man knows how to draw. I want to see more of that man's work. The man really knows how to draw. Most people probably already knew that since he's been showing off that talent for years.

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