Rasputin #2 Review

Russia’s favorite mystical madman final has a title of his own — and the creative team of Grecian and Rossmo spend the bulk of issue #2 laying a careful foundation for (what hopefully) will be the long journey ahead.

The official description from Image:

With the ghost of his dead father for company, Rasputin leaves home for the monastery, where he fights monks, has a chat with God, and meets the man who will eventually murder him.

RASPUTIN_02Writer Alex Grecian has taken an interesting narrative approach to the start of his new title. For the second issue in a row he offers a laboriously slow front story, but an incredibly rich backstory. Careful readers of issue #1 might remember that the front story was simply this: Rasputin drank a glass of wine. In issue two, the wine is knocked out of Rasputin’s hand and some hulking guys commence the beat the snot out of him. Paper thin, yes, but it luckily Grecian leaves *plenty* of room to explore Rasputin’s mystical origins through a series of flowery flashbacks. In this sense, issue #2 really offers the tale of how Rasputin shifted from a small town hick to a healer on the rise, after saving the life of a Russian officer passing through his hometown bar. While Grecian’s style is unique enough to keep the reader going, it still doesn’t feel like we’ve started the real story yet (if that makes any sense). Maybe this is a better way to put it: we’re still in set-up mode — learning the characters, seeing the stage, but not getting any real story here. While this is fine in many ways, issue #2 lacks a real sense of drama. Yes, Rasputin is getting the snot beat out of him but we don’t care yet, because we don’t know him. Hopefully by issue three readers will get a sense of what this new title is really all about.

Riley Rossmo’s style, which has always been haunting and beautiful, lends itself nicely to anything that’s strange. And so Rasputin #2 is once again a perfect fit. Of particular interest in this issue is the stunning two-page spreads — Rasputin is full of them. One of the best parts of this issue was just lingering on the images that Rossmo created. It’s a joy.

Rasputin is full of promise and blessed and offers a wonderful premise. It’s still too early to tell if it’ll deliver.

  • + Budding Story
  • + But Awesome Art

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