The story in House of Whispers 9 is reminiscent of many old issues of House of Mystery, or The Witching Hour. The concept of having rival hosts competing in storytelling shows up in dozens upon dozens of DC horror books.
But aside from that format, Hopkinson and Watters sail into different territory here. Mistress Erzulie and Ananse are the two pitted in competition, but unlike the old tales, there are some genuine stakes involved here.
As well, the stories break from the standard format. Ananse’s tale involves the humans in New Orleans that are a part of this book, and Erzulie finds herself cutting in to Ananse’s narrative in order to alter it. This brings it own repercussions.
Playing with the format is a great way to look back at the past, but do something original at the same time.
And speaking of looking back at the past, there is a cameo by another of the supporting cast from Gaiman’s Sandman, who makes an appearance in Erzulie’s tale.
I admire the varying ways that this book weaves together the events in the material world with those in Erzulie’s realm. The effects move back and forth, influencing each other.
Art-wise, I guess I would have to admit that this issue is a tiny step down. A very tiny step. I say that only because no single page or panel really stood out and grabbed me. I have come to expect some very dynamic visuals in this book. Yes, it still blends realism and fantastical art exceptionally well. There is not one page that isn’t of high quality. But Stanton has already set a very high bar with the art on this book. I really can’t complain if it doesn’t surpass itself.