CRONE #4, out February 5th from Dark Horse Comics, provides a series of dark revelations courtesy of one mad man’s monologue. How will the once Bloody Bliss handle the truth of what has come to pass?
Crone has been a deliciously dark and disturbing series from the start. But it’s also addressed several important factors along the way, making this series unique. While also being full of battles and blood (what else would you expect, with a main character named Bloody Bliss?).
Bloody Bliss is bloody no more, being an aged and old crone waiting for death. She was content (mostly) to stay up on her mountaintop, waiting either for death or the return of her loved one. It was only the revelation that her job wasn’t truly done that got her to come back down to earth.
Now the Crone is not the Bloody Bliss that she once was, while still being perfectly capable of putting up more of a fight that her frail body may hint towards. But that doesn’t mean she’s up for what’s about to happen next: mentally or physically.
Crone #4 is arguably the most disturbing issue in the series so far, but perhaps not for the reasons one might expect. Bloody Bliss was a maiden who stood up for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. But if we’re being honest, she was also a woman who loved violence and fighting.
Now that arc has come full circle. Major revelations are made in this issue, as Bliss finds out the truth of what had happened in the past, and what it cost her. It turns out that this one final and epic quest of hers was based on lies and trickery, though it might still give her the end result she was hoping for.
Dennis Culver has written a beautifully tragic plot arc here. In one issue he revealed all of the tragedy that Bliss had been unaware of. And that is the sort of thing that will always take a toll. Always. Combine that with a brutal man bent on owning everything his corrupt heart desires, and you can almost understand the cliffhanger conclusion to this issue.
The artwork behind Crone #4 is just as impressive as ever. Once again we’re regaled with Bliss in two forms: Bloody Bliss and the Crone. The past and the present, merging into one bloody tale. The two simultaneous portrayals have done so much for this story, and it’s really all thanks to the artists that it had all the impact it did.
Justin Greenwood was the lead artist for this issue, working alongside Brad Simpson for the colors, and Pat Brosseau for lettering. Together they brought a bloody palette to the pages, showing us the true horrors of this newly risen monster (or was it always there, lurking in the shadows?).
What really hit close to home in this issue had to be the expressions. Here we see characters seeing the depth of their loss, and dealing with those emotions accordingly. Rage, desperation, despair. They’re all portrayed in agonizingly beautiful detail in this issue.
Crone #4 was a dramatic issue in which we learned the truth about the quest. It had all of the impact we were hoping for – perhaps more than even that. Bliss’ tale may be close to an end, but that won’t stop her from stomping on our hearts at least one more time.