Will Eisner’s The Spirit is turning 75 this year. To celebrate the anniversary, Dynamite Entertainment is giving The Spirit new life.
Dynamite has announced that it has gained the publishing rights to The Spirit and it will launch a new ongoing series written by Matt Wagner. The Spirit was created by Eisner in 1940 and it followed Denny Colt, a man who narrowly escaped death at the hands of a criminal before he adopted the heroic persona known as The Spirit to fight for justice.
The Spirit is one of the most influential characters from the early days of superhero comics, but the character has struggled to catch on with the general public. Frank Miller directed a live action feature film adaptation of The Spirit in 2008 that bombed at the box office and it was also widely criticized for Miller’s deviations from the source material.
Despite that high profile box office failure, The Spirit retains a cult following among comic fans and DC Comics was the publisher that most recently had an ongoing series devoted to The Spirit.
“I discovered The Spirit via the black-and-white, magazine-sized reprints of the mid-70s. It was the first time that I truly perceived sequential narrative as a legitimate art form, of the immense creative power of a comic-artist in his prime,” said Wagner in a statement. “I can honestly say that seeing and experiencing The Spirit in my formative years ultimately led to my career as a comics author. It’s such an immense thrill and a professional honor to have the chance to contribute to Will Eisner’s legacy on the milestone 75th anniversary of his most influential and iconic character.”
The Spirit # 1 will be published this fall with covers by Wagner, Alex Ross and Eric Powell.