The first issue of DC's Will Eisner's The Spirit is a good comic book story, but it doesn't really capture the spirit (sorry about that) of Eisner's work.
For one thing, the story's too long. At 22 pages (OK--two of them are a useless double-page spread for the splash page), it's almost four times as long as one of Eisner's eight-page classics. And, yes, Eisner would have managed to get in the same plot in just those eight pages. This would have worked much better with two eight-to-ten page stories (make them related, if you must) with the kind of tight plotting Eisner excelled in.
While the art, overall, captures the sense of Eisner's work without slavishly aping his style, the coloring is horrendous. What Eisner would have accomplished in his line work--blending black and white to create a noir-ish look to the page--artists Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone have left to colorist Dave Stewart to achieve. The result is just muddy, not shadowy. If the dialog didn't, at one point, tell us that the Spirit is dressed all in blue, we'd never know it. Except for the cover shot, his outfit looks grey throughout.
And that's another thing--the exchange between the Spirit and newscaster Ginger Coffee about his outfit is just too fanboy-oriented. It sounds like the kind of discussion two guys in a comics shop would have about why the suit, mask and hat work as a disguise. Eisner never explained why nobody recognized the Spirit as the "late" Denny Colt--they just didn't. It was a given, part of the willing suspension of disbelief needed to make the stories operate.
Oh--and the villain seems far more Chester Gould/Dick Tracy than Eisner/Spirit in tone.
On the other hand, there are a number of nice touches in the story--the opening sequence, showing the cable news coverage, is very good, right down to the throw-away partial stories we see in the "crawl" at the bottom of the screen. ("...wo headed puppy killer captures jurors' hearts..." "...ited Nations officials finally admit they're 'basically useles...") Ginger Coffee's narration of her own rescue--which the Spirit originally thinks is just an annoying habit--is brilliantly funny.
This wasn't a total disappointment...just not a complete success. I look forward to what this team does in future issues.