By Chris Tresson
This week I’m going to be reviewing The Spirit: The Corpse Maker #1 which is wrtten and drawn by Fransceso Francavilla for Dynamite entertainment. Having read the previous Spirit series from Dynamite (written by Matt Wagner with art by Dan Schkade)and I quite enjoyed it, so I was quite happy to see that they were putting out another another Spirit series. I was happy at first, and then I saw Francesco Francavilla’s name attached to it, decided I was completely in and here we are. This is my review of the first issue.
After getting past the splash page in the front of the book (I was stuck for a couple of minutes there) I flew through this book and I really enjoyed it. The issue is slow with its release of information but the journey towards the last page of this book is absolutely brilliant. The artwork is fantastic and it’s the art that really makes this one. There are so many visually-striking panels in this book that you’ll probably spend more time ogling at the art (or you’ll go back and look at the art after you’ve read it like I did) than you will reading the words. The words aren’t too shabby though either, and this first issue looks like it’s going to be the set up for a great series.
If you read the Wagner/Schkade series, this one has a completely different feel to it both story-wise and art-wise. This one seems a bit darker than the previous series, a bit more of a ‘hardboiled detective’ story drenched in the noir style. Francavilla plays it straight with the dialog and there’s less of the slang of the time period present (though I will say I think Matt Wagner nailed the dialog in the previous series.)
I really like Francesco Francavilla’s artwork and this issue was top notch for me. Sometimes you get the right combination of things on a book and it immediately does more for you than when you’re going in blind with only a name or a character that you recognize. I like the character, I like the artist (and writer in this case) and I like the tone of the story. I might be a bit biased in my opinion of how great this book is because of those things but I’m usually right when I have an opinion on something… ha-ha.
But if I take away the fact I like everything about this book. Technically and storytelling-wise there’s nothing glaringly wrong within the pages I read in this issue and I can’t really see many people having a problem with it. Both Francavilla fans and fans of The Spirit will likely enjoy this offering, and I’m sure it’ll pick up some more fans if they take a chance on it…
So, don’t be a palooka, get yourself down to your local comic shop and grab yourself a copy of it. Even if you don’t like the story he’s written, Francavilla’s art is enough of a reason to have a flip through it. You might just find you like it.
The Spirit: The Corpse Makers #1
Writer/Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment