onsdag 1 juni 2011

Morvan, Bessadi & Trannoy: Zorn & Dirna #3

Zorn and Dirna are two kids who live in a world where Death has been imprisoned and nobody fully dies – if they're killed by decapitation, however, their soul goes into the person who killed them. This has created all sorts of havoc in the world, and to get rid of what is essentially moving, rotting corpses, a "death factory" has been created where such decapitations are done on an industrial scale, by unfortunate people who have to do this sort of slaying until they just can't take it anymore – and they're slain themselves, their souls going into their killer.

Now, Zorn and Dirna have been born into this world with a very valuable talent: together, they can kill somebody properly, releasing their soul from this world. This makes them very valuable, of course, and a lot of players are out to get ahold of them, but as the third album begins, they are together with their father Seldnör – who became a vicious bounty hunter in his grief when he lost his family (before Zorn and Dirna were born) – and the soul of their mother Splata – in the body of the hugely muscular person who decapitated her in the "death factory". Meanwhile, they are being hunted by the evil Crown Prince's army, full of vicious sadists... (My review of #s 1 & 2 is here.)

So, the family is reunited at last, and Zorn and Dirnas mother's soul has become dominant in the body of the man who decapitated her – the shock of seeing her children catapulted her consciousness to the top. Seldnör's love for his wife is reignited, but she is  alas a man now, and this creates some awkward situations. (There are also some sentimental scenes that actually approach "sugary-sweet", which doesn't really fit with the harsh bleakness of the rest of the album.) The kids learn how to use their power for good purposes, like freeing the soul of a tortured, dying animal, but they have other problems than the soldier horde stalking them to deal with: The other souls inhabiting the same body as Splata are getting annoyed with her hogging the body and calling all the shots, and the kindly old lady offering the family shelter from a mountain winter storm isn't all she seems to be. Well, she's an old lady, but she's not exactly kindly.

There is good and bad in the Zorn & Dirna series. The art is good, if occasionally overwhelmed by the coloring, and the world that writer Morvan has created together with Le Gall, Bessadi and and Trannoy is impressive and works very well as a setting – a little bit too well, even, as the full measure of its viciousness is shown to the reader, with the cruelty and gruesomeness shown in explicit detail. It's very unpleasant, and it detracts from my reading experience as I feel it to be more exploitative than honest – especially in conjunction with the sugary sentimentality and melodrama of some other scenes. The subplots hinted at in the third paragraph above are resolved well, however, and overall I consider this a good read worth your while. I just wish they'd toned down the melodramatic parts, both the violence/gore ones and the sentimental ones. There are still ample possibilities to show that a world is horrible without getting quite so gory.

So: Recommended, if not as wholeheartedly as I'd like to – and not for young kids.

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar