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  • Complete Monster: The Corpse Makers: Mark Hooper, head of Central City's Energy Department, seeks to mine the unsafe Crimson Coal mineral for a massive profit. Injecting chemicals into the homeless and derelicts to fake their deaths, Hooper has them turned into brainwashed slaves so they may work for free, with the deadly gasses placing them at risk of death, which Hooper disregards callously. Consumed by Greed and targeting the most vulnerable, Hooper is one of the Spirit's most vile enemies.
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  • "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.
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  • 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.
    • The "Gerhard Schnobble" story, especially the ending.
    And so, lifeless, Gerhard Scnhobble fluttered earthward. But do not weep for Schnobble. Rather, shed a tear for all mankind. For not one person in the entire crowd that watched his body being carted away...knew or even suspected that on this day, Gerhard Schnobble had FLOWN
  • 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. 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?
    • 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.
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