CRONE #2, out this Wednesday from Dark Horse comics, is a poignant reminder in time’s eternal march forward. It’s also the tale of love, loss, and regret. And it’s a strong reminder that there’s more than one type of battle in life.
The Crone and Bloody Bliss are one and the same. And yet there’s a lifetime between the woman she was, and the woman she is today. Once she was a fierce warrior. Now she’s waiting for death. It’s not the ending most would expect for a warrior such as she.
And yet, that is the tale unraveling before us. Or rather, it would be that tale, if not for some outside interference. For Bloody Bliss’ job is not yet done. A task she believed completed back in her youth has turned out to be false, leaving her to once again step in and pick up the pieces. Or rather, to strew them across the ground.
Crone #2 continued the tale we were introduced to in the last issue. Dennis Culver has done an interesting job of weaving this tale – the tale of the old Crone and her days long past. Only they aren’t that long past, now are they? It would seem even great warriors (or perhaps especially them) cannot run from their pasts.
This issue is told largely in two parts, Bliss’ past and her present. In her past, she was a woman in love. Yet not so in love that she would consider ending her career as a warrior. Now she’s old and alone, missing the love she had failed to treasure.
There’s a lesson to be learned there. And it’s not what readers might have expected from this tale. But that makes it all the more impactful. Bliss’ story may be more dramatic than anything most of us would face, but there’s still a common thread that any one of us could face if we’re not careful. After all, love and loss can strike us all.
Crone #2 also managed to weave in some tongue in cheek humor, mostly in regards to the outfit she used to wear. The commentary is very much appreciated. And it helps to explain the reasons for her outfit from so long ago. This is quickly followed up by a depressing – yet oddly satisfying – fact of life. You can’t neglect your weapon and expect it to be there when you need it. It is not every day you can find a comic series that acknowledges this truth, so we’re really loving this little touch of reality here. Even if our Crone is cursing that fact.
Crone #2 had some truly memorable moments tucked within the pages. The first noteworthy element is, of course, the fact that the past and the present are two totally distinct pieces. The color palettes play a huge part in that, with the past being painted with warm tones and the present with cooler tones.
Then there are the battle scenes. There are less in this issue, and yet they’re as dramatic as ever. And then there are the expressions of our leading characters. They’re intense expressions, as one might expect thanks to years of facing danger. But when Bliss smiles, her whole face lights up. It’s actually refreshing to see a different side of her. It reminds us that she’s more human.
Justin Greenwood (pencils), Brad Simpson (colors), and Pat Brosseau (letters) teamed up to bring us this issue. And it’s safe to say that they went above and beyond in their work here. Here’s hoping that this team stays on for the long haul.
Crone #2 was a shockingly moving series, as it told us the story of Bloody Bliss’ past. It explained how she ended up in this place, as well as showing us all of the reasons she is so bitter and eager for death. And yet there’s still a spark of life to be found in her.