Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone (finished art), Dave Stewart(c)
This is a beautifully self-contained Spirit story focusing on my favorite female character from the new tales: Silk Satin. The gorgeous, devastatingly bright CIA agent takes a page from James Bond stuntwork to infiltrate the Octopus' latest doomsday plot. The Spirit however has already beaten her to the punch.
If I were to hazard a guess, Silk Satin is also Darwyn Cooke's favorite character out of The Spirit's secret black book. He portrays her as tough, flinty and cunning. These aspects come through in scene after scene of stylish spy games that climax to a startling and sparking siesta when the Octopus strikes.
Cooke lives up to his goals. This issue of The Spirit could have been the first or the fiftieth. It wouldn't have mattered because faithful fans and newcomers alike can quickly grasp what's being offered. The narrative in the opening scenes takes things for granted. It seems a little confusing. Why for instance does Silk Satin call The Spirit "Gainsborough?" More questions get raised as the story continues, but the difference in this book is that those questions get answered.
The answers to the readers' questions do not only serve as mere explanations. They create a backbone for the rationales of the characters. They strengthen the relationship between the characters. The fact that The Spirit knows Silk's history and his reluctance to remind her of that pain speaks well of him. They play an important part in the visual cues of Cooke's and Bone's animated series sensibilities. The answers in addition simply work well within the context of the plot and add complication without making it seem artificial. This issue of The Spirit is easily one of the best.
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