Written by Alex Grecian
Art by Riley Rossmo
Colors by Ivan Plascencia
Published by Image Comics
Release date: October 29, 2014
Rasputin is a comic well, about Rasputin the mad Russian Monk. Not exactly normal subject matter for a comic however, it is clear to see that Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo have poured a lot of love and research into this book and it makes for a captivating read.
Flashing back between Rasputin’s early life and one of the many attempts to kill the man, Grecian spends a lot of this first issue fleshing out the character. No overarching story arc is presented to the reader and that may put off a few readers and after this first issue I felt very unsure as to where the book is going, is it an origin story? A character study? Both? Grecian describes the books as a complete reimagining of the man’s life and even though this first issue feels a little unfocused I am really curious to see where it goes.
Much of this issue is silent, as such you can read it very quickly, but you will lose a lot of the subtle storytelling that Grecian and Rossmo pour into the middle section of this book. Taking a look back at a young Rasputin every panel drips with intense emotion and movement that you will find yourself spending a lot of time just looking at the these panels. I am in awe of Rossmo’s ability to tell a story, as he puts so much emotion into his work, you can feel the characters anger at his father in every panel, from facial expressions to even just the way the young Rasputin carries himself echoes pure hatred. Rossmo also depicts one of the most brutal fight scenes in a comic I have seen in a while between man and bear in a fight that is so fluid and brutal you can really feel every blow.
Rasputin is an interesting book, the subject matter will I don’t think be for everyone however, Grecian and Rossmo are creating a stunning book and are pulling out all the stops to make probably the definitive fictional work on Rasputin for years to come.
By Matt Deery