Nine Lives #1 Review

By | Tuesday, December 05, 2023 Leave a Comment
Nine Lives is about nine incarnations of the same woman throughout history, each with different magic powers, and a reincarnated killer that targets each of them. Cleo, the sixth incarnation, is a flapper in 1920s New York with the power to turn water into gin, and that's just the beginning.

That is the official description of the issue on the Zoop page where Nine Lives first got crowd-funded early this year. Last week, I got my copy in the mail. What's immediately noticeable on cracking the book open is the style that Chris Peterson is bringing to the table. Part of that is the limited color palette and block shading, but Peterson also makes use of some bold linework as well. Much cleaner linework, too, than the preview art that got floated around previously would suggest. While not as sublimely minimalist as someone like, say, Alex Toth, the art does veer a bit in that direction.

And that notion of minimalism is perhaps the most immediately noticeable thing from the writing side of the house. Steve Horton's script -- at least in terms of the text that made it to the printed page -- is relatively spare. I understand that the script that he provided to Peterson was pretty well detailed, such that Peterson was able to depict everything very clearly and Horton's need to actually go back in with verbose dialogue or captions was largely unnecessary. I think a lot of comic book writers feel the need to justify their their role by putting in lots of words on the page, so I always have a great deal of respect for comic book writers who are able show some restraint and just let the art tell the story.

So what about that then? The actual story in the comic? As this is the first issue, it's obviously mostly an introduction to Cleo and (briefly) the man who's trying to kill her. Though not spelled out explicitly, we get a decent sense of who Cleo is through her actions and reactions; we get a taste of the magic she has; and we get a nod to her past lives. Although, again, since this is the first issue, there's still a fair amount more to learn. I don't think it would be much of a spoiler to say she does survive the assassination attempt on her, and we'll see more of her personal character as she has more of a chance deal with that.

As they are just getting the original crowd-funders' orders fulfilled now, I don't know that they've made Nine Lives #1 avialable yet for post-campaign orders, but I suspect that will be coming shortly. And I hope that a new funding campaign for #2 will start up in the not-too-distant future as well; I think there's a lot to like in the first issue here and I'm eager to see where this goes.
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