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One of the most unusual new Spirit tales appeared in 1973 - During that year Will Eisner gave a course in cartooning at Sheridan College in Canada. The story of "The Invader" was developed during the course by Will and the students and the sponsor asked if Will could finish the tale so that it could be published. Thus, in August of 1973 Tabloid Press printed the story which soon became out of print.

The story begins with an arrival at Kennedy Airport (which suggests that the story is set in New York City although this is not confirmed) of the mysterious "Isobar J. Nimbus". Travelling to a nearby hotel he reports in with a radio in his suitcase that he has arrived and is ready to carry out his mission..

Asking at the reception for the whereabouts of The Spirit, he is disappointed to find that the receptionist does not know and instead heads towards a street which is haven to thieves. After Nimbus leaves, the receptionist contacts The Spirit and informs him of where Nimbus has gone..

Apprehended by some hoodlums, Nimbus is taken to their boss who has him strip searched - to their amazement they find that Nimbus has no genitalia! Throwing Nimbus out, a couple of hippies find Nimbus on the floor and take the body to their apartment. In the meantime The Spirit bursts into the boss' apartment and a fight ensues with the hoodlums. Recovering, Nimbus tells of the plan to take over the planet which the hippies are happy to go along with... until they find out that it will take five light years for the plan to come to fruition. At this point they beat Nimbus up and throw him out..

Returning back to the hotel, Nimbus reports that his mission was a failure and then dissolves - moments after The Spirit enters his room and finds no trace of the mysterious Nimbus.

This story mixes many elements of Eisner's trademark work:

The rain pouring...

the rain pouring when Nimbus enter the taxi

A street scene

the city street on the second page

The scene on the stairs

the stair scene on the third page

as well as the obligatory Spirit fight scene.

The five page story has rarely been reprinted although it remains one of Eisner's most intriguing single short stories involving The Spirit.

The Spirit

A copy of this story can be requesting a download by clicking here (size is 742Kb). The file is in Adobe Acrobat format, of which an Adobe Acrobat viewer can be downloaded from here.

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