Today, I’ll be reviewing the graphic novel “Mort Cinder” by Alberto Breccia and Héctor Germán Oesterheld. These two are significant figures in Argentina’s graphic novel scene, active from the 50s to the 80s. Oesterheld, a critical voice against the military dictatorship and capitalism, was even kidnapped and disappeared by the Argentinian government in the 80s.
Breccia’s name stands out more on the cover, emphasizing the artistic nature of the book. Unlike Oesterheld’s other works, like The Eternaut, Mort Cinder leans more towards an artistic endeavour, lacking a strict narrative structure. Breccia, a revered inker and penciler, influenced even Frank Miller, making him an inspiration for generations of comic creators.
The protagonist, Mort Cinder, embarks on a journey through short stories blending science fiction and the supernatural. The mix mirrors Oesterheld’s style, creating an intriguing and sometimes chilling atmosphere. The story begins with Ezra, an antique dealer well-versed in ancient artefacts, who eventually crosses paths with Mort Cinder.
Mort Cinder, initially an enigmatic immortal, travels through different historical periods, from being a slave in ancient Egypt to a Roman soldier and, eventually, a modern-era assistant in an antique shop. Despite his immortality, the character faces adversity, portraying the human condition throughout history.
While character development might be lacking, the well-fleshed-out personalities of Mort Cinder and Ezra provide a sense of their roles in various events. Mort Cinder’s immortality serves as a juxtaposition, highlighting his struggles and human suffering throughout history.
What truly shines in this graphic novel is Breccia’s artwork—beautiful, highly detailed, and hand-inked, displaying contrast and emotion. The variety in the story, ranging from ancient Egypt to modern times with a touch of science fiction, showcases Breccia’s artistic range.
In conclusion, Mort Cinder offers an exciting experience, showcasing one of the graphic novel masters at work. The link to purchase the book is below.
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