With an old enemy returned, an aged hero must decide whether to take up the sword again or welcome the embrace of retirement. Your Major Spoilers review of Crone #2 from Dark Horse Comics, awaits!
Writer: Dennis Culver
Artist: Justin Greenwood
Colorist: Brad Simpson
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Brett Israel
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 4th, 2019
Previously in Crone: Bloody Bliss has retired to a quiet life on a mountainside after having killed her mortal enemy D’Kayde. Her exile from the adventuring life is interrupted by the arrival of her old friend Gaspard and his daughter, who brings dire news. D’Kayde is back and forming an army.
Back At It
Crone #2 kicks off with a flashback, just moments after Bloody Bliss had slain D’Kayde. With her enemy vanquished she turns her attention to freeing the slaves that the evil warlord had taken. That’s where she sees Ella, whom she immediately falls in love with. In the present, Gaspard tries to convince her that D’Kayde has returned, but Bloody Bliss still has her doubts. It’s only when he evokes a blood pact that they had made that she comes around. But before she commits fully she tells her tale. Her adventuring life put a strain on her relationship with Ella until it reached a breaking point and that’s why she laid down her sword in the first place. She agrees to train Gaspard’s daughter and set out to finish off D’Kayde once and for all. The first obstacle they meet is a group of D’Kayde’s men harassing travellers. Bloody Bliss confronts them but her once great sword is broken in the first skirmish.
Unclear About This
I really don’t know what to think about this issue. I was under the impression after the first issue that this was going to be a tongue in cheek satire of the Conan/Red Sonja type of story, but this issue is rather sincere. All of Crone #2 is filled with old tropes and cliches from the high fantasy genre, but no real self-awareness of them. A clear example of this is when Blood Bliss suggests that Gaspard’s daughter wear her old outfit, a leather bikini. The interaction starts out as if it’s going to be a criticism of the silliness of female clothing in fantasy stories, but it quickly becomes a defense of those types of outfits. Now the defense is silly, but I can’t shake the feeling that the writer really believes in it. Ultimately, what we get is either a send-up that lacks any biting commentary, or a tone deaf homage that is just a rehashing of old tropes and cliches.
We Got Some Face Problems Here
Plain and simple, there’s a distinct lack of facial expression in Crone #2. There’s roughly four different facial expressions in this issue and characters spend the whole issue trading them back and forth. There’s just variety there and it has a negative effect on the plot. There’s a disconnect between the dialog and the expressions and it creates a barrier to enjoyment.
The Bottom Line: A Hair Below “Just Okay”
Crone #2 has identity issues. It lacks any commentary, subtle or obvious, to be a deconstruction or satire of the genre But, it also doesn’t utilize the established tropes and hallmarks effectively enough to be an homage or new take. 2.5 out of 3 Stars
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Any interesting aspects to the story that were laid out in the first issue are buried here in cliches and odd defenses of the troubling parts of the fantasy genre. .