In Feral City, sometimes bad things need to happen. But, you don’t always need to remember them. Your Major Spoilers review of Bliss #1 from Image Comics, awaits!
BLISS #1 (OF 8)
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky
Colorist: Caitlin Yarsky
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 22nd, 2020
Previously in Bliss: There’s a drug called Bliss wiping away memories in Feral City. A good-hearted young man, overwhelmed by a deathly sick child and distraught wife, makes a deal to become the personal hitman to three gods.
Bliss #1 opens up with what appears to be a courtroom in the middle of the trial of a mass murderer. One man stands in front of a judge and begins to tell the story of his father. Things then flashback to when the man’s father was younger and his mother still pregnant with him. The young family is forced to move to Feral City, a rough town. Turns out the boy is very ill and requires constant medical attention. When the hospital bills pile up, the father goes out in search of a solution. He finds himself in front of three monsters who claim to run the city. They give him a gun and Bliss, a drug that wipes people’s memories. Back in the present the judge calls attention to the victims’ families of which there are a lot.
A Strange and Fascinating Shade of Fantasy
Bliss #1 is one of those rare cases of a comic that doesn’t really fit into any conventional genre, but rather has a little bit of a few different ones that combine into a sort of funhouse mirror version of all of them. There’s clearly some supernatural and fantasy elements here especially towards the end of the issue, but they’re not overstated, just as the more realistic portions of this issue are just a bit skewed like they’re being viewed through the edge of a windshield. While this makes for an interesting reading experience, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s an excellent one. Once you get through some of the weirder layers here, this is not a very original story. So far, it’s just a dad who’s doing bad things for his sick child. We’ve seen this before. Now there’s some little bits and pieces here and there that suggest there’s much more going on in, but this particular issue doesn’t really show any of it in any meaningful way.
A Distinct Look All Around
While the art itself has a unique look on its own, the coloring in Bliss #2 is something worth pointing out. There’s a conscious effort here to give each scene and locale its own look and feel. The scenes in the hospital are pale blue monochromatic sequences, while all the panels in the courtroom are washed with a sickly yellowish-green color. Speaking of panels, they pull off an interesting technique here where in certain moments, round panels are introduced some of which actually fit the curves of the background scenery. At other times the pages are laid out in such a way that they become reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts. All in all, this book benefits from its art style in that it gives it depth that the plot hasn’t yet.
The Bottom Line: Worth a Few More Issues
There’s something going on with this book that I can’t quite put my finger on yet. While the plot here in the first issue isn’t going to blow anyone away, there’s enough going on around the peripherals, especially visually, that I think it deserves a few more issues to see where it goes. 3.5 out of 5 stars
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