2008 Inkworks The Spirit Trading Cards Review

So the movie was a bomb. I can't say I'm surprised. The Spirit looked a little too out there for my liking and I'm probably the target audience. I love my superhero films, I love Samuel L. Jackson going over-the-top and I love the look the film had. Yet I was sceptical from day one.

Even still, I was pretty excited about Inkworks' spin on the project. While the movie might be a bit too much for me, a card set is perfect as it can visually capture a moment of the movie in a single frame without the added noise of a messed up story and bad acting. And that's exactly what 2008 Inkworks The Spirit does. It's a gorgeous take on a crappy film that follows the Inkworks formula, but here it's a good thing.

2008 Inkworks The Spirit arrives with a smallish but appropriate 72-card base set. It's broken down into a header card, nine character cards, 53 story cards, eight dedicated to the Will Eisner comic and a checklist. The film's strange look is captured beautifully with lots of black and red. The characters all look like some out of a fetish-themed Halloween party. I certainly haven't seen any other sets that look this way.

2008 Inkworks The Spirit Base

The inserts are headlined by a triple threat of autographs, Pieceworks costume cards and sketch cards. Each box should have two of the three. The autograph and costume card checklists are both excellent. Signers include Samuel L. Jackson, Paz Vega, Jamie King and Dan Lauria, perhaps best known as Kevin's dad from TV's The Wonder Years. Pieceworks cards include costumes from the above as well as Hollywood beauties Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes. Yowsa!

2008 Inkworks The Spirit Pieceworks PW4

Like most of Inkworks' other recent sets with sketch cards, the artists' work is overall excellent with many coming in full color. And those that aren't don't really fall under the term "sketch" as they're much more detailed than most other sets. There are 24 artists on the checklist, with each being serial numbered to a very reasonable amount (no more than 246 cards per artist).

The chase program is rounded out with the familiar nine-card foil puzzle (Spirit of the City), six-card chase (Good Guys, Bad Guys) and three-card chase (My City Screams).

I didn't originally plan to buy anything from this release save for a couple of autographs if the price was right. But late one night I happened to be browsing on eBay and found both the box and a binder for $30, I couldn't resist. In fact, I bought two. The bad news is that if a product is being discounted this deeply so soon after release (just a couple of months), then there may be a bigger problem on the horizon.

My box went exactly as I figured it would. I put together two complete sets and have a handful of doubles left over for helping some people finish their sets. My hits were an autograph redemption for Gabriel Macht as the titular hero (all autographs are via redemption) and a piece of Eva Mendes' wetsuit. I also received two puzzle cards and one of each of the other chase cards.

While the movie will be forgotten very quickly, Inkworks has to be given credit for doing the best they could with the dud of a property. If it weren't for the autograph redemptions then I'd put the set in an even higher bracket. I'm also very bored with Inkworks' standard chase programs and wish things could be changed up a bit.

2008 Inkworks The Spirit Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 7
Total cards: 167

Cards in set: 72
Singles: 72
Doubles: 72
Triples+: 17

Inserts: 6

  • Autographs (by redemption): 1 (Gabriel Macht as The Spirit [Redemption])
  • Pieceworks Costume Cards: 1 (PW.4. Wetsuit worn by Eva Mendes as Sand Saref)
  • Sketch Cards: 0
  • Spirit of the City (1:11): 2 (SC.4, SC.5)
  • Good Guys, Bad Guys (1:17): 1 (GB.5)
  • My City Screams (1:23): 1 (MC.3)

 

Sarah Paulson as Ellen Inkworks THE SPIRIT Costume Pieceworks Card PW7
Sarah Paulson as Ellen Inkworks THE SPIRIT Costume Pieceworks Card PW7
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Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus Inkworks THE SPIRIT Costume Pieceworks Card PW6
Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus Inkworks THE SPIRIT Costume Pieceworks Card PW6
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The Spirit Movie SK22 John Watkins-Chow Sketch Card
The Spirit Movie SK22 John Watkins-Chow Sketch Card
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The Spirit Movie SK5 Kevin Graham Sketch Card
The Spirit Movie SK5 Kevin Graham Sketch Card
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The Spirit Movie A1 Autograph Card Gabriel Macht
The Spirit Movie A1 Autograph Card Gabriel Macht
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The Spirit Movie PW4 Sand Saref Pieceworks Costume Card
The Spirit Movie PW4 Sand Saref Pieceworks Costume Card
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The Spirit Movie SK20 Steven Miller Sketch Card
The Spirit Movie SK20 Steven Miller Sketch Card
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The Spirit - A.4 Paz Vega as
The Spirit - A.4 Paz Vega as "Plaster of Paris" Autograph Card
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The Spirit - PW.6 Samuel L. Jackson as
The Spirit - PW.6 Samuel L. Jackson as "The Octopus" Costume Card
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SEAN PENCE 3 SKETCH CARD LOT THE SPIRIT ALL 1 OF 1.
SEAN PENCE 3 SKETCH CARD LOT THE SPIRIT ALL 1 OF 1.
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The Spirit Movie A2 Autograph Card Jaime King as Lorelei
The Spirit Movie A2 Autograph Card Jaime King as Lorelei
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2008 INKWORKS THE SPIRIT #PW.11 SCARLETT JOHANSSON / SAM JACKSON PIECEWORKS CARD
2008 INKWORKS THE SPIRIT #PW.11 SCARLETT JOHANSSON / SAM JACKSON PIECEWORKS CARD
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