The Spirit (Denny Colt) is a crime-fighting fictional character created by writer-artist Will Eisner. He first appeared June 2, 1940 in "The Spirit Section", the colloquial name given to a seven-page insert into American Sunday-newspaper comics sections. In the 2000s, following Eisner's death, the Spirit appears in comic book published by DC Comics.
The Spirit chronicles the adventures of a masked vigilante who fights crime with the blessing of the city's police commissioner Dolan, an old friend. Despite the Spirit's origin as a detective named Denny Colt, his real identity was virtually unmentioned again, and for all intents and purposes he was simply "the Spirit". The stories range through a wide variety of styles, from straightforward crime drama and noir to lighthearted adventure, from mystery and horror to comedy and love stories, often with hybrid elements that twisted genre and expectations.
The feature was the lead item of a 16-page, tabloid-sized, newsprint comic book sold as part of eventually 20 Sunday newspapers with a combined circulation of as many as five million copies. "The Spirit Section", as it was colloquially called, premiered June 2, 1940, and continued until October 5, 1952. It generally included two other, four-page strips (initially Mr. Mystic and Lady Luck), plus filler material. Eisner worked as editor, but also wrote and drew most entries — generally, after the first few months, with such uncredited collaborators as writer Jules Feiffer and artists Jack Cole and Wally Wood, though with Eisner's singular vision for the character as a unifying factor.
In late 1939, Everett M. "Busy" Arnold, publisher of the Quality Comics comic-book line, began exploring an expansion into newspaper Sunday supplements, aware that many newspapers felt they had to compete with the suddenly burgeoning new medium of American comic books. Arnold compiled a presentation piece with existing Quality Comics material. An editor of The Washington Star liked George Brenner's The Clock, but not Brenner's art, and was favorably disposed toward a Lou Fine strip. Arnold, concerned over the meticulous Fine's slowness and his ability to meet deadlines, claimed it was the work of Eisner, Fine's boss at the Eisner & Iger studio, from which Arnold bought his outsourced comics work.
Read more about The Spirit at Wikipedia
Official Site: DC Comics
Researched by: dustinprewitt