Supreme Blue Rose #2 introduces readers to more character than just Diana Dane and continues to plant seeds for issues to come, rather than developing much plot on the page.
SEEDING THE PLOT
Warren Ellis writes dense comic books filled with worlds and characters that often take several issues to come to full fruition. In the case of Supreme Blue Rose #2 it’s nearly impossible to recommend as a stand-alone issue. The handful of details readers were given in issue one develop further here, with the barest of hints at what the plot is going to be. This is an extreme example of a writer planning for the trade and, while not altogether unejoyable, that makes Supreme Blue Rose #2 a slow issue only for the patient reader.
Supreme Blue Rose #2 focuses on exclusively on three characters. The author from the last issue is given a name: Storybook Smith. A little more information is given about who the red-haired woman is (who also features on this issue’s cover), and the question as to whether or not Storybook Smith is dead or alive is firmly answered once and for all. Smith’s storyline seems destined to remain the most cryptic of everything going on throughout Supreme Blue Rose #2 and I would not be surprised to learn that the events of this series are revealed to have been penned by this character.
We get a brief check in with Diana Dane in the middle and end of Supreme Blue Rose #2. Her lack of exposure and development in this issue seems counter to the narrative of the first issue where Diana was very much the protagonist. Her storyline here focuses on her removal from the city at the hands of Darius Dax (also: is there anything to these characters with DD names?), this also lends Ellis the opportunity to sow more information about NPC and their various undertakings.
Thirdly, readers meet a young, beautiful-if-somewhat-disgraced female scientist named Chelsea. Chelsea seems to be the only character present in the modern day timeline of Supreme Blue Rose #2 who understands – or even recognizes – the time travel phenomena that have thus far been eluded to. The work that she is presenting has apparently consumed all aspects of her life – most notably her personal life wherein readers get to see Diana’s roommate Brit once more. Brit and Chelsea’s relationship having been sacrificed for Chelsea’s scientific research. Despite having just been introduced in Supreme Blue Rose #2 Chelsea is already the most interesting character on the page and I cannot help but hope that we see more of her in coming issues.
Supreme Blue Rose #2 is Warren Ellis at his most Warren Ellis-y. The narrative is dense with the promise of a later payoff that is frustrating to even the most invested reader. The prose is lovely in itself and none of the characters really speak like a real person, but it works for the hyper-stylized story this is obviously developing into.
In order to get something out of Supreme Blue Rose #2 you will have to be a reader like me who has already strapped in for the entire ride of this series or a longtime Supreme fan because this is going to be a slow burn.
LOVELY PEOPLE SCARY WORLD
Tula Lotay populates the strange, fluid world of Supreme Blue Rose #2 with beautiful people and beautiful colour. Storybook Smith, despite his age, is wise and striking on the page. Chelsea and her girlfriends past are all beautifully tragic in their fine bone structure and emotional damage and even Diana’s chauffeur could have walked out of any fashion designer’s look book working today.
The contrasting colours and designs that overlay the art itself serve to add to the unreality of the world Supreme Blue Rose #2 is taking place in, while simultaneously lending the sensation that all characters in all plains of existence are being observed for a greater purpose.
In especially dense narrative moments of Supreme Blue Rose #2, while the art does not necessarily provide clarity it is nothing short of a feast for the eyes.
Have you read the issue prior to Supreme Blue Rose #2? Do yourself a favour and start there before you tackle this issue. It’s dense and beautiful, but will almost certainly frustrate you as you experience it.