Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Detective Denny Colt was supposedly killed in the first story of The Spirit (June 2, 1940), but he was actually put into suspended animation by the evil Cobra.  When he woke up in a cemetery, he decided to use his apparent death to adopt the crime-fighting persona of The Spirit.

The Spirit began as a 16-page newspaper comic book insert -- the first eight pages (later to be seven, then twelve pages) containing a Spirit adventure, followed by other comic books stories, usually about Mr. Mystic or Lady Luck.  "The Spirit Section" eventually ran in 20 newspapers (with about five million readers), ending in 1952.

Eisner himself was drafted in late 1941 and the government gave him about six months to wrap up his affairs, so this episode was probably written by ghost writers hired by the The Register and Tribute Syndicate newspapers (the distributors of the comic book), most likely either Manly Wade Wellman or William Woolfolk.  Throughout the run of the comic book, a number of artists assisted Eisner, including Jack Cole, Jules, Feiffer, and Wally Wood -- Cole or Lou Fine are the most likely candidates for pencilers for this issue.

Let's travel back almost three-quarters of a century for a look at one of the greatest comic book characters ever.  As a bonus, S. R. Powell's Mr. Mystic tackles a Fascist spy in a story narrated by a dog!


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