The Spirit: The Corpse Makers #2 – Review
Writer/Artist/Letterer: Francesco Francavilla
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
While Central City deals with the issues of Crimson Coal and armed robbery, a more sinister plot rears its head. Certain individuals are murdering criminals and vagrants, while also acquiring the recently deceased from the morgue. The Spirit begins to find himself drawn into this web of intrigue while dealing with the aforementioned robbers and searching for Ebony White’s missing cousin. What the Spirit may find remains anyone’s guess, but chances are it won’t be good.
Francesco Francavilla and the Spirit are a match made in heaven. This issue really showcases how great of a grasp Francavilla has on Will Eisner’s Central City. Where I feel another writer may have been tempted to take the Spirit in a darker direction, Francavilla manages to imbue the character with just the right amount of clever lightheartedness that keeps this dark story a fun read. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world where comics have been weighed down with such seriousness to have it juxtaposed with a fair bit of fun.
One could sing the praises of Francavilla’s art all day, as well. The line-work and panel layout very much evokes Eisner’s work on the Spirit. While all of it is quite impressive, I was particularly taken by how Francavilla incorporated “The Spirit” name into the scenery. As homage, it is phenomenal. One thing that definitely sets this take on the Spirit apart from original is the color palette. As opposed Eisner’s bright four-color world, Francavilla employs heavy blue hues. There are a few exceptions, such as light sources and the Spirit’s red tie, but that’s it. This really helps to up the noir atmosphere that a story such as this one requires.
If you’re a fan of the Spirit, you certainly should be checking out The Corpse Makers. In fact, you should be reading this book if you’re a fan of mystery and noir media in general. What Francesca Francavilla is crafting here is shaping up to really be something special and out of the norm for a character some may consider a “super hero.” With the set up out of the way, this issue has left me hungry for answers that I hope we’ll receive in issue three.