Richard Corben adapts Edgar Allan Poe’s poem in The Conqueror Worm. The poem, reprinted at the end of the comic, doesn’t have much narrative (if any). So Corben stitches the poem his own narrative, which feels a little like Hamlet, but it all fits. Corben does well with angry men and forbidden lovers.
There’s a lot of design to Worm. Corben meticulously composes the panels–one can tell, without even reading the afterword, he feels strongly about Poe and wants to do it right. There’s a lot of mood to the comic, but not necessarily the space; Corben uses smaller panels for mood and action.
The end of the story comes with a morale… or at least the implication of one. The poem itself does not and Corben has a complicated finale, which leaves Worm to sit with the reader after he or she has finished.
It’s an excellent comic.
Writer, artist and colorist, Richard Corben; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Daniel Chabon, Shantel LaRocque and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.