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Argo Bones & Kimball Richards

Argo (Argonaut) and Kimball are at home in Central City (this being the location used by Will Eisner for the Spirit, not the Flash’s Central City) one night; Argo is deeply involved with a book about the occult he’s writing and Kimball tries to distract him into spending a little time together. Moments later their doorbell rings and Argo opens it to find Ellen Dolan, his former college girlfriend. Argo introduces Ellen to Kimball as a best friend.

Ellen has come to Argo in desperation to find help fighting El Morte who has plans to kill the Spirit. An early issue recounts how a gangster was killed and raised from the dead to become El Morte. Argo is surprised to find Ellen on their doorstep and introduces her to Kimball as his college best friend. She figures Argo’s interest in the occult and zombies will help her to save the Spirit, who’s also her boyfriend.

Argo remains quite skeptical after hearing Ellen’s story, emphasizing that there aren’t any proven cases of zombie phenomena. His attitude changes when Kimball turns on the TV and draws attention to a news report of some incident at the Central City bridge involving men wearing what reporters assume are monster costumes. Masking his concern from Kimball, Argo announces he’s driving Ellen home. Instead, they drive into the city. On the way, Ellen reminds Argo that they were engaged in college. It leads to a little heart to heart talk between them.

Argo stops the car near the bridge and admits to Ellen the existence of zombies, and persuades her they can save the Spirit. His plan is to stop the source of power that raised El Morte, the villain’s own mother. They bravely fight their way through the zombie mob to confront her in the guardhouse sitting atop one of the bridge support columns. The mother proves to be as determined to keep her undead son on Earth, as they are to stop her. She also has no compunction against murdering Ellen to achieve this. Fortunately, Argo acts by stabbing her with a knife, which blinds her with pain, and crashing through a window to her death. Argo collapses from wounds and Ellen cradles him in her lap, gratefully kissing him on the forehead for his bravery. She runs off to find the Spirit and the story closes.

This is the first and to date only appearance of Argo and Kimball. In a very few panels Darwyn Cooke and inker J. Bone depicted a happy, loving, and normal gay couple. They did not return in the few remaining issues Cooke and Bone worked on, nor to my knowledge again in the rest of the series.

Argo and Kimball’s first and only appearance is in The Spirit #11.

© and ® DC Comics. Used without permission.

July 1, 2021
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