CRIMSON FLOWER #2, available February 24th from Dark Horse Comics, continues the tale of one young woman, and her bloody path towards revenge. It’s a dark story, one seeded with folklore and surprises.
Crimson Flower is one of those series that demands attention. The style and aesthetic alone are eye-catching, especially when in combination with the heavy use of Russian folk tales. It is reminiscent of a fractured fairy tale, but with a few unique twists.
This is not one of those happy fairytale retellings. This is the story of a young woman who watched her father get brutally murdered. Now, she’s using her love of those very tales to shield her mind as she hunts down his killer.
While not a happy tale, it does fit in rather nicely with some of the more classic fairytales out there. The original versions that is, not the versions we so commonly see these days. This is the setting from which Crimson Flower #2 springs out.
Crimson Flower #2 is every bit as dark and twisted as its predecessor, if not more so. The hunt continues, and thus we’re about to see another round of desperation and violence, as more killers enter the fray.
Matt Kindt really does an excellent job of using folklore as a lens here. It translates all the horror and pain one character is experiencing and turns it into something else entirely. It’s fascinating, and more than a little bit horrifying.
Which makes it a great read, when you think about it. Now that we’re done learning the backstory of this character (and her late father), there’s more room to focus on the here and now. Mostly, it’s starting to look like a series of increasingly dangerous situations for her.
There are a lot of interesting questions and debates raised by this issue, and arguably the series as a whole. Discussions about loss and grief, and how toxic it can become. Not to mention a dozen other concerns that have already been raised as well.
Crimson Flower #2 is the second most visually unique comic I’ve read this year. The first being Crimson Flower #1, in case that wasn’t obvious. The artwork itself tells its own story, one that is likewise steeped in the tales of old.
Matt Lesniewski (art) and Bill Crabtree (colors) really brought something new to the table here. The intentional plays with proportions are fascinating, giving the series such a unique look. Because of this, the series gets away with many stylistic decisions that wouldn’t work anywhere else.
The end result? A striking collection of panels that somehow manage to feel brand new and ancient all at once. Then there’s the addition of texture, which brings the imagery to a whole new level, making it feel like something you could run you could reach out and physically touch.
Crimson Flower #2 is another dark addition to this series, one that dove headfirst into the hunt – and horrors. It’s been a fascinating read, one that isn’t afraid to combine the past with the present in such a twisted way.