Before the 1950s, there was -- surprise! -- the 1940s, where the same dilemma of identity choice faced the American male, especially upon returning in droves from fighting the second world war, and discovering a newly empowered female whose taste of (relative) freedom and independence in the males' absence made some of them less enamored of a life of submissive domesticity than before. This "new" woman was often perceived as a threat to male and so that staple of the noir era, the femme fatale was born (intriguing that this period is so closely associated with terms of French origin, non?) Thus the choice, for a man, between what kind of life to lead came to be identified with the choice between what kind of woman to desire: the "good" woman -- here clearly identified as Police Commissioner Dolan's daughter, Ellen -- and the "bad" women, of which there are, invariably, many and whom the Spirit has many a run-in. This is the second affordable, softcover edition collecting the creme de la creme of Will Eisner's classic series. Published by DC, this 192 page full color softcover collects 23 frankly fabulous tales. If you have yet to experience these era-defining comics, this is a good place to start.