The Spirit was created by Will Eisner and debuted on June 2, 1940 in a Sunday newspaper insert known as 'The Spirit Section' published by the Register and Tribune Syndicate.
The Spirit's alter-ego is Denny Colt, a masked vigilante who fights crime, encouraged by his friend Dolan, the city's police commissioner. In the first story it appears Denny Colt is killed, but in fact he was in suspended animation caused by his arch-enemy Dr. Cobra's experiments. After regaining consciousness in a cemetary, he uses this as his HQ and begins his crime-fighting career, using the proceeds of his rewards as funding.
The Spirit was the lead on the insert which was eventually sold as part of 20 Sunday newspapers, achieving a circulation of around five million copies. The section continued until October 5, 1952.
The stereotyping of the character Ebony White, who was the Spirit's African-American sidekick, could by today's standards be considered offensive. Examples of other strips that appeared in the section are Mr. Mystic and Lady Luck.
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