Story: Dennis Culver
Art: Justin Greenwood
Colors: Brad Simpson
Letterer: Pat Brousseau
What They Say:
Bloody Bliss stands defeated by her greatest enemy, D’Kayde! But the lord of death has an offer for the old crone: A new lease on life as his queen!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Dennis Culver has crafted a pretty fun tale here about the end days of a group of warriors in a way we don’t usually get. There have been plenty of familiar plot points and character elements along the way but I really like how it all comes together and how Bliss at the end of her life is handling the results of all of her choices. Justin Greenwood has given all of this some real weight with the visual design, be it Vor or Bliss or Gaspar in how they look or the setting where things take place and that really makes the story work better. Brad Simpson’s able to elevate it all the more with the color design since there’s just so many scenes where it adds to the power of the moment beautifully.
What’s making matters worse at the start here, beyond being in Vor’s dungeon, is that Bliss is learning that Gaspar knew even more about the truth of this D’kayde and didn’t tell her. That’s something that comes up quickly when they’re brought before him on the bridge where D’kayed was killed oh so long ago and Vor does his victory lap. Painting his past in harsh colors, he makes it clear that his search for the kingdom that he believes he should rule is what took him all over the place. The idea that he’d find it fighting alongside Bliss and the others is what drove him for so long but also the idea that Bliss would make a proper queen for him. When she makes the final forceful rejection in that distant past, it’s what pushes him over the edge because he simply can’t handle being told no and to forge his own path in a different way. Bliss is trying to figure out her own feelings toward heading home and this just made it all the more complicated.
I did like seeing Vor’s path and the kind of bloodshed that came with it. It doesn’t paint him as a villain in full until he ended up at this place again and saw D’kayde’s mask, but there are hints along the way that show him going down this darker path, especially when on board the ship. But the most noteworthy moment, and the one he foolishly says out loud, is when he came across Bliss’ love when she had left for a while and was trying to figure out how to deal with things. The two have a good time together for a while but his wondering if she knew the truth of what happened between him and Bliss is right at the forefront of his mind. And what drives him to eliminate what he sees as competition. That’s such an incredibly hard yet freeing moment for Bliss, to finally know the truth of her love… it’s got a power to it that he doesn’t comprehend and watching that unfold at the end here is impressively laid out.
Crone continues to hit all the right marks with me as the tale unfolds. While you can see how a lot of it is unfolding and where it’ll go, there’s a delight in seeing each piece fall into place, each new reveal, each new ramification. Culver delves into the villain’s monologue well here and having his backstory exposed is important to him in how he views himself. But Bliss is where the story shines and I’m excited to see how this all wraps up. Justin Greenwood is at the top of his game here and delivers a fantastic looking book with Simpson that makes me thoroughly enjoy each and every page of it with all of its details.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 5th, 2020