"Morte" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Source Point Press
Written by Kevin Joseph
Illustrated by D.A. Bishop
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 11th, 2018
If you were the last man on earth, what would you do all day? Morte shows one possible activity. The unnamed survivor makes his way through a world left in ruin. Bodies lay in the streets, at home, or at jobs. Whatever killed them did it quickly. People didn’t even get a chance to contact their loved ones. That’s where this man comes in.
Instead of reading every book ever written or building a throne out of unused gaming consoles, the survivor works to reunite families. He drags a make-shift wagon around, picking up a corpse at random and putting together the pieces of their life. This involves looking through their wallet, not for cash or credit cards, which are obviously useless, but for IDs or pictures of loved ones. Then he finds their house and works on tracking down any significant others or children too. This is what he does and it is the most touching and heartbreaking thing.
Morte is presented almost entirely without dialogue. There is literally one word balloon in the entire comic and that only has a single word in it. That comes at a particularly sorrowful moment where the survivor is moved to tears by what he sees. He wishes that what he’s witnessing isn’t real or maybe he hopes that he doesn’t have to go through with this part of the job, but he soldiers on.
D.A. Bishop’s artwork does the heavy lifting on Morte, and it is a powerhouse. You don’t need an explanation as to what happened or why all these people are dead. We just know that a bunch of greenish corpses are all over the place and this one guy is the only one still walking around.
For the most part, the survivor appears rather stoic. He has an almost bored look at times, like he’s just going through the motions. This is not the first time he’s done this, nor will it be the last. He handles corpses like they’re nothing, checking to make sure he’s found the right one before continuing on.
This isn’t to say that this doesn’t get to him. The really emotional moment mentioned above (which I won’t spoil here) hits the survivor hard. He’s overcome for a minute and it matches up to what I was feeling at the same time.
Bishop’s colors paint a somber tone over the entire comic. It’s like the world is constantly at sunset, creating a yellowish hue over everything. Could this be a side effect of whatever killed everyone? It could be. It also doesn’t matter to the story as it stands on its own without an origin.
Morte cuts deep. It is a powerful comic that presents a new spin on the last man on earth. It will frighten you and break your heart at the same time. This is an incredible example of what the horror genre is capable of.