Published on September 30th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Rasputin #9 Review
Blue Fairies, Ice Kings, mystic battles and slug fests between immortals; no it’s not an episode of Adventure Time, it’s the latest issue of Rasputin.
Alex Grecian focuses the majority of the story this month on Prince Koschel Makarov’s quest to win a Princesses hand but first he must face her father who proves to be a bit of a challenge. All of this feeds into the action in the modern day where Rasputin is fighting for his life (sort of). The secret to beating the immortals is explained in the ‘mythical’ story and then played out once more in the present.
Markarov’s struggle is also a reflection of Rasputin’s; he went in search of one thing, love, and found another in everlasting life. The Prince sacrificed one for the other whereas Rasputin lost love when he discovered his immortality and didn’t get that choice but of course he still has to make sacrifices.
The story is exciting and Grecian revs up the violence; necks get slit, guns get fired and a hammer gets a good working out. And through all of this violence the characters become less likable, especially Rasputin who loses himself in the fight and becomes nothing more than an animal. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. Although Rasputin’s darker side is important to who he is, by expressing it in this issue, where there are no real contrasting characters or narratives to show the humanity in the titular characters world, all of them get lost in the blood and the anger. The modern day fight scene is relentless but not in a good way; it takes up so much of the issue without really progressing anything.
The best thing about the action is that it allows Riley Rossmo’s Art work to shine. The strength that he draws into his characters and the expression of physical flexibility is both impressively realistic and poetic. He gives the impression that the characters are taking part in an ancient dance where their bodies flow together and their blood is spilt. This is in contrast to the Prince’s adventure that ends almost without bloodshed despite his seeming insistence for a fight.
The difference between the two narratives is illustrated best by the wonderful colouring by Ivan Plascencia. The castle of snow and ice is beautiful but cold, coated in an ice blue wash that makes you want to pull a blanket closer around yourself. The modern day setting is much greyer with mundane architecture and the blandest of household goods. There is nothing of the excesses of the giant Ice Lord and maybe that’s why the violence is so brutal and base. How cruelly the poor treat each other.
As an issue on its own, this month’s Rasputin leaves a bitter taste and lacks the warmth of previous chapters but it is merely one dance in a ballet and the final showstopper is surely yet to come.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Alex Grecian
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colourist: Ivan Plascencia