I really like this series. With each issue it seems to only get better and better, and this fourth instalment is no exception. After a long absence The Spirit is finally back and this issue is devoted to beginning the slow reveal of what exactly led to his disappearance. Of course, writer Matt Wagner isn’t going to lay all his cards on the table straight away, and by the end of this issue there are still plenty of unanswered questions. Fortunately this mystery has been so much fun to watch unfold that I don’t mind if it stretches to another issue or two, although admittedly it would be nice to move on to a new arc at some point in the near future. In this issue we’re introduced to another member of The Spirit’s rogues gallery in the form of Miss. P’Gell, while the emotional impact of The Spirit’s sudden return is also explored. I continue to be impressed by the way Wagner manages to give each villain that appears in this book their own distinctive voice, and despite the limited space each is allowed not a single one has come across as one dimensional or boring. It is then with great anticipation that I await the introduction of the next villain, who the Spirit warns is one of the worst members of his rogues gallery.
It’s getting to the point now where it’s tough to review this book without delving into things I’ve already said – that is perhaps the only downside to how consistently strong this book has been as of late. But indeed the story is gripping, the characters are well developed and the artwork by Dan Schkade continues to inject this book with the energy it thrives on. Schkade and colorist Brennan Wagner are an excellent duo and the scenes they create in this issue are very engaging; the art frequently spills out of the panels which is a nice touch that gives the impression that this book can’t contain the thrills printed on its pages.
If you are not reading the Spirit you are missing out on a good time. This book is among my favourites on the stands, and has been firing on all cylinders lately. While this issue may not be a great jumping-on point, I would highly recommend catching up with this book either in back-issues or upon the eventual release of the trade paperback, as it is one of the most promising series being released at the moment and I worry that it’s being overlooked.
The Spirit #4 Writer: Matt Wagner Artist: Dan Schkade Colorist: Brennan Wagner Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/21/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital