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The Spirit: Femmes Fatales

by Will Eisner

Publisher: DC Comics

Format: Softcover, full color, $19.99

ISBN: 978-1-4012-1973-4

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Vampy dames lit up the comics of yesteryear—we recall Terry and the Pirates' Dragon Lady from the 1930s. In that pre-Princess Leia era, many feisty femmes were evil or at least "grey" characters while the hero's girl appeared as a sweet but boring lass always in need of rescuing. Here, we meet the curvaceous and underhanded Silk Satin and P'Gell, among many others, dropping in to distract—they wish!—the Spirit from his faithful crush, increasingly gutsy good-girl Ellen. (Since Ellen is not a "femme fatale," the stories relating to her running for mayor are unfortunately omitted, as are the Sand Seref episodes.) All of these 1940s tales incorporate Eisner's trademark style of lighthearted noir with plenty of action, plot twists, and distinctive personalities. The well-regarded collection The Best of the Spirit (LJ 3/15/06) includes five of these stories already, but that leaves 18 more romps with lethal lovelies. Buy if your clientele is mad for the Spirit, especially in the wake of the recent film. Certainly consider the new Spirit series (LJ 11/15/07), updated variations on the characters and setting, and an homage indeed to the spirit of creator Will Eisner. Teens and up. —Martha Cornog