The Wordy World of Spirit #9
The Spirit #9
October 2007 Cover Date
DC Comics $2.99 Cover Price
Darwyn Cooke's strengths has been his simple-looking, clean design sense and his brevity in writing. In The Spirit #8 and now with this issue (#9) that brevity is pushed out of the way, and a wordy, text heavy story swarms over these pages. Cooke is making single panels do double and triple duty supporting all this verbiage, and its just a hard slog to get through this story.
And what is the story? The origin of the character "El Morte" who is a cliché from a zillion zombie movies. It doesn't really make a lot of sense, though, as Cooke wants it both ways: he has a zombie with feelings (tears even!), dialogue lines of articulation, and he also has a zombie-slave that does the foul deeds commanded of it. As if to get the point across that the zombie angle is right out of Hollywood, the four-panel a page grid looks like a stack of letterbox movie stills.
Cooke's artwork is well done, as usual, though there are still instances when his tendency to make his cranial proportions get out of whack and the characters look like they have huge doll heads. It draws me away from the story and makes me ponder the mechanics of the images, and not the tale.
There are good things about this title, and I look forward to every issue, but this series needs an editor.
Below are a couple of pages from the issue. Click to view enlarged views. Notice on the bottom of page 6, the text says the Spirit "screams" - - but the panel art doesn't support this.
Spirit Artwork Pages
Original Page Thursday, August 23, 200 | Updated Dec 2011