RARA-AVIS: Re: The Horsemen

From: JIM DOHERTY (jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 10 Mar 2009

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    Re your question below:

    "Didn't Will Eisner use John Law as a title? Wasn't it a precurser to The Spirit?"

    Eisner's use of John Law as the name of a one-eyed police detective didn't originate the use of the term as a slang expression for cops. That goes back to the 19th Century I believe.

    As for the character, he actually came AFTER Denny "The Spirit" Colt. Eisner created him in, I believe, 1948.

    What happened was that, when the character failed to catch one, Eisner adapted several of the plotlines into Spirit stories, fairly easy to do since Law and Colt were so similar looking that all he had to do was redraw an eyepatch into a domino mask.

    The famous Spirit cover, with a giant Spirit figure, arms akimbo, standing over a scene of some miscreants committing a murder, which you can see here:


    was originally a John Law cover. The John Law version can be found here:


    In fact, the actual John Law stories weren't published as Law stories (as opposed to readapted Spirit stories) until and Eclipse comics edition in 1983. Since then, an Australian writer/artist, Gary Chaloner, has been licensed to continue the Law series.



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