TUESDAYS TOP TEN

TOP TEN STORIES STARRING THE SPIRIT

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In honor of the return of Will Eisner’s the Spirit, the NBC team has put together a list of our favorite Spirit stories old and new.

10.Last Night I Dreamed of Dr. Cobra

“Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Daniel Torres, this story propels the Spirit into the far future but not in the way you expect. A third gender tour-guide gives a hover craft tour over the ancient ruins of Central City, and they marvel at the strange shape of the buildings that spell out ‘The Spirit’, ‘Will Eisner’, etc as a lonely man in blue watches. The man is the Spirit, who still watches over Central City from Wildwood Cementary and dreams constantly of the accident that led him to this. It’s a meta-type story that acknowledges everything Eisner and the Spirit were, but with Moore writing the final Spirit story. “- Josh

9. The Christmas Spirit of 1948

“With help from Santa Claus, Basher Bains gets his wish of escaping from prison. As Saint Nick asks that he return by Dawn with his uniform, Basher vows never to return to prison and to get revenge on the Spirit. Finding his hidden stash of money and a gun, he comes across a trio of children who (because he is wearing the outfit) believe he is Santa Claus. Taking pity on a boy who is blind and has no money for surgery, he decides to become Santa for one night and help the boy regain his sight. Giving up all his ill-gotten gains, he pays for the boy’s surgery and returns to prison to let Santa Claus return to the North Pole. A touching tale of redemption and hope for the holiday season.”- Josh

8. Lorelei Rox

“A secluded hideout, a crafty criminal, and a gold-haired siren plague a truck shipping company, drawing the Spirit’s attention. As the Siren’s voice weaken’s him, the Spirit fails to capture her. The truck robberies stop, and the company hires its first female driver, the beautiful Lorelei. Proving a woman is never to be underestimated, its a clever story about one that got away and moved up in the world.”- Josh

7.El Morte

“On the fateful night where Denny Colt became the Spirit, he wasn’t the only one affected by Dr. Cobra’s nerve gel. One of the henchmen, Alvarro Mortez was buried alive, but, unlike the Spirit, he was resurrected as something more than human. As the arc comes to a close, things become apocalyptic as the dead rise from their watery graves, and El Morte, the monster that Mortez has become, hits the Spirit harder and more personally than any other villain in Darwyn Cooke’s run. The sense of dread inspired by El Morte is visceral and makes him one of the greatest foes the Spirit has ever faced.”- Katharine

6. Satin

“A former flame asks the Spirit for help in clearing her husband of murder, to which he begrudgingly agrees. As Satin’s husband plays around and plots to tamper with evidence, he grows very distrustful of the Spirit’s presence. Despite attacking him, the two set aside their differences to save Satin’s child from being trapped in a hurricane. A despicable human in life, his last act is to save the child’s life. After the Spirit recovers the evidence, Satin asks him if her husband was innocent and his reply that he died a hero. Alone, he destroys the evidence considering the case closed. A tale showing the power of love to make people do crazy things, and sometimes the right decisions.”- Josh

5. The Crime Convention

“A police convention held at the same place as a crime convention? What could possibly go wrong? This crossover between the Spirit and Batman has it all: humor, action, fantastic art, and a rogues gallery team up that has to be seen to be believed. What more could you possibly want?”- Katharine

4. The Story of Rat-Tat, the Toy Machine Gun

“You’ve heard of boys and men learning the consequences of guns, but never the guns themselves. Rat-Tat dreams of being a real gun, and being part of a gang. After a young boy takes him and joins a pair of robbers, Rat-Tat learns that his fantasies are not in realty as glamorous as he thought. As he and the boy see their decisions come to a head, Rat-Tat’s dream of really shooting comes true when he stops the real criminals. After that, he and the boy leave the life of crime behind forever.”- Josh

3. Ten Minutes

“Published in 1949, I first read the Spirit story ’10 Minutes’ in 1989, found in a library book with an unremembered title that proclaimed it collected the ‘best comics ever.’ Of all the great comics in that book, the strip that still haunts me is ’10 Minutes.’ Eisner makes it clear that it should only take the reader about 10 minutes to read the story, 10 minutes of comics escapism that explores 10 minutes in the life of Freddy, a character who makes some bad decisions that lead to a robbery and then homicide, 10 minutes worth of bad decisions and tragic consequences with the Spirit only making an appearance towards the end. Eisner makes you aware of the passage of time in a comic, putting a ticking clock atop each page, and gives you a protagonist who isn’t a costumed mystery man but a flawed human being who makes a big mistake. The strip ’10 Minutes’ was unlike any comic I had ever read before, and contributed to my early interest in the medium.” – Reed

2. The Story of Gerhard Schnoble

“A man caught between the mundane limits of society and the lives of men more violent than him, Gerhard Schnoble is a man who can fly but has chosen not to. After a life-shattering night of bad luck, Gerhard decides that flying is the only way to get the world to finally notice him and make a come back. However, he gets caught between the Spirit and a group of robbers. He saves the Spirit’s life at the cost of his own, and the world fails to take notice of his miraculous flight as he falls from being shot. A tragic tale of a man crushed by the unkind way of the World.”- Josh

1. Croaky Andrews’ Perfect Crime

“My favorite Spirit story of all time, it centers on Croaky Andrews as he manages to do the impossible: he gets away with it. Stealing $100,000 and escaping the Spirit’s pursuit, he and Poison Maggie go to a secluded Caribbean island to live out their days. However, a dying man’s words haunt Andrews and drive him to madness, certain the Spirit is closing in on him. As all his plans and dreams are shattered from his mad ravings, he admits defeat to the visage of the Spirit before dying. Miles away, the Spirit believes Croaky Andrews outwitted him and got away scott free. Despite the Spirit failing, Justice is found against Croaky Andrews’ for his thievery and pride. Truly epic storytelling…”- Josh