YMMV: The Spirit

  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In 1941 (after Adolf Hitler had established himself as a tyrannical conqueror, but before the true scope of the Holocaust had become public knowledge), the story "The Dictator's Reform" had a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Hitler get taught a lesson by The Spirit, who showed him that people who have lived under free regimes will never stop fighting against oppressive conquerors. Hitler's response? "I ... I never thought of it in that way ... I ... I would have to kill all the once free people in the world before I can be absolute master!!" In 1941, this is supposed to signify Hitler having an epiphany about how futile his goals are and pulling a Heel-Face Turn. To later audiences, it seems uncomfortably close to what Hitler actually tried to do. Nice Job Inspiring the Holocaust, Spirit.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Ebony White in the reboot.
  • Tear Jerker: Many, most are obvious, others can be with reflection. Hell, with some thought, stories like 12/8/46's story "The Killer" can be heartrending, especially since it can actually happen in real life.
  • Values Dissonance: In the early strips, Ebony was a rather... broad stereotype. Fortunately, when Will Eisner joined the army, he realised he was being unfair to blacks, and Ebony was Put on a Bus, and when The Bus Came Back, he was toned down a lot.
    • Also, The Spirit didn't really have much trouble over fighting or hitting women. Even worse, sometimes it was played for laughs.
      • The reboot seems to have the unwritten rule that The Spirit can beat up any woman so long as she throws the first punch.
    • Considering most of the women he meets are criminals and routinely try to kill/kidnap/sexually harass him/others, and most are far from defenseless, this comes off to some as more him avoiding Double Standard. The hammer of justice is unisex, after all.
    • Interestingly, Ebony White is—if you can make it past his accent—actually pretty consistently shown from the start to be very intelligent with good street-smarts, just not well-educated...which makes perfect sense once you consider he's driving a cab at odd hours and is very likely supporting himself that way. When is he supposed to be attending school, anyway?