The creators had been told it wasn't happening. That the series had been cancelled. That their hard work, although paid for, would not be seen.
And then DC changed their mind. At least a bit.
In the solicitations released yesterday, not given that much publicity, is The Spirit #17, listed as having work by Howard Chaykin, Will Pfeifer, Paul Levitz, Brian Bolland, P Craig Russell and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez with a Ladronn cover. A special black and white extra sized issue of The Spirit, featuring work originally intended for the eighty page special.
Okay, it's not quite going to be the eighty page special originally planned. Bernie Wrightson's name is missing for one. But it's possible more of those strips may emerge in months to come.