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Dark Horse’s CRIMSON FLOWER #4, available now, continues the dark and twisted tale of one young woman and her quest for vengeance. Her story is full of folklore and surprises, not to mention a fair bit of gore.
Crimson Flower is the story of one young woman, Rodion, and the dramatic quest she has taken up. Years ago, she watched her father get murdered, and now it is finally time for her to get revenge on the man that did it.
So far, her quest has been heavily infused with Russian folk tales. It’s a trend that gets stronger the closer she gets to success, with each battle creating a new spike in creativity. Crimson Flower #4 is going to continue that trend, as she finally nears the end.
Crimson Flower #4 is the darkest and most disturbing issue of the series, which is entirely appropriate, given that it is also the conclusion. Written by Matt Kindt, this is not a series that pulls punches.
Rodion’s quest has been full of pain, bloodshed, and determination. She has somehow found peace with it all, thanks heavily to the folklore elements already mentioned. It translates the horror and gore and turns it into something else entirely.
That’s been a running theme, yet somehow Kindt managed to twist even that. Now the presence of those stories feels horrifying instead of comforting. Yet even that feels right at home with the story that has been created here.
The implications of the conclusion are…heavy. They’re thought-provoking as well, leaving the readers to think about the story that has been told and the lesson that it was trying to teach. After all, don’t all folk tales have a lesson in their core?
I’ve said it before, and I will happily do so again. The artwork inside Crimson Flower #4 is one of the most visually unique comics I’ve read. Probably ever. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but that would be underselling this series.
The infusion of folk tales and fantasy elements utterly changes the story. The world, proportions, and characters warp depending on what tale Rodion is leaning into. It’s disturbing in some ways and fascinating in others.
Matt Lesniewski (art) and Bill Crabtree (colors) did an excellent job of running with those intentionally off-putting elements. Rodion’s world comes alive here, and yes, I did specify ‘her’ world with intention. It’s been part of the story this whole time, and the artists were clearly trying to telegraph that right from the beginning.
Crimson Flower #4 is every bit the conclusion that this series deserved. It was intelligent and creative, and not afraid to take some major risks in both design and storytelling. I can’t speak for everyone out there, but the ending to this series will leave me unsettled for quite some time – something I’m sure was intended.