Friday, 22 August 2014

Supreme: Blue Rose #2 Review (Warren Ellis, Tula Lotay)

An alcoholic writer called Storybook Smith drinks his last drink in his beach house, talking about the time years ago when he met a beautiful woman in a bar – to that same woman sitting opposite him who hasn’t aged a day! Meanwhile, there’s a weird Doctor Who-ish interlude called Professor Night, Diana Dane goes on a stellar limo ride courtesy of Darius Dax, and a mathematician called Chelsea receives a communication from the future.

It’s hard to believe this is supposed to be a Supreme book. Supreme was Rob Liefeld’s Superman analogue back in the ‘90s before Alan Moore rewrote the character entirely a few years later. Now it’s Warren Ellis’ turn and it seems he’s decided to leave the superhero totally out of the story (so far we’ve only had brief, blurry glimpses) and do a kind of arty story about… things? It’s definitely unexpected from what I thought we’d be getting with a new Supreme series and I’m not sure yet whether this is a good thing or not.

Mostly this issue is table-setting. Having accepted Dax’s assignment of investigating some weird events, Diana’s beginning her journey before she realises the limo driver’s taking her somewhere very strange. Elsewhere the random scenes don’t gel as a coherent story yet and, to be totally honest, I wasn’t that interested in half of them. Like his other Image series, Trees, Ellis has seemingly written this comic as a novel and then chopped it up into separate issues, so it’ll probably be a more satisfying read in the collected edition – probably!

Tula Lotay’s art is fantastic though. Because of the theme of other worlds trying to contact the characters, she draws those messages as swirling lines on the page so every scene has this feeling of sound and movement, even in the most static scenes. It’s definitely, and surprisingly given Ellis is scripting this, the highlight of the comic so far and has a unique look from all of the other comics out there at the moment.

Supreme: Blue Rose continues to puzzle in a mildly interesting way while looking quite pretty and #2 is no different. I wouldn’t say I love this series but I’m certainly intrigued and willing to give Ellis the benefit of the doubt for the time being. But is this a must-read series for everyone? Nope! Even Ellis fans will struggle with this and if you’re still unsure whether to get the monthlies, I’d probably wait for the trade.

Supreme: Blue Rose #2

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