SERIES REVIEW: Supreme: Blue Rose

WRITER: Warren Ellis
ARTIST(s): Tula Lotay
LETTERER: Comicraft
COLORIST: Tula Lotay
COVER ARTIST(s): Tula Lotay
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE DATE: 2014-2015

Beautiful confusion.

If I had to describe Supreme: Blue Rose in two words, it would be those.

Seriously, this book is as mindthrobbing as it is gorgeous. Starting with the art, my review is pretty simple: perfection. This was actually Lotay’s first foray into sequential art apparently, and she delivered a masterpiece debut. Blending her abstract, dreamlike style with colors on par with the industry’s best, like FCO Plascencia and John Higgins, Lotay perfectly drives the narrative forward whilst still creating an artistic experience that can be enjoyed on its own.

In terms of story, I’m a bit divided. On the one hand, I knew, coming into this story, that Warren Ellis is notorious for his complex parallel narratives and abstract storytelling abilities (Grant Morrison, anyone?). So while I knew that, and thus powered through the confusing moments earlier on in the series, I can’t say that new readers won’t be discouraged by them. Even at the end, when the mystery is “solved,” you’re still left with a feeling of confusion, as there’s so much more there to explore that is left up to the reader. But then again, I’d be remiss not to mention that the explanation of time travel and alternate universes in this book is the craziest and most enjoyable one I’ve heard yet (and I read DC stories). As someone who has never read a story about Supreme, I find myself not caring one bit at all about him, but, strangely enough, I feel connections to the other characters in this book, all of which I’m introduced to in roughly the same period.

The lettering is perfect in this book, blending together the writing and art in a smooth and enjoyable way that doesn’t feel out of place the way that a lot of lettering does in these more complex books.

All in all, this book is amazing. It’s a headache at times to comprehend fully, and it can probably be better enjoyed by fans of Rob Liefeld’s Supreme, but even for a first-time reader, it’s a trip that is accompanied by lovely artwork, and is definitely worth the read.

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