Hiatuses. They sure do stink when a comic series is running on all cylinders, but can we really expect greatness on a monthly basis? Saga is probably better for it, and so too is Rasputin, which won’t be back till June. But how is issue #5? Is it good?
Rasputin #5 (Image Comics)
This issue opens where we left off with Rasputin nearly dead on the ground after being shot full of bullets from his “friends.” In customary fashion (for this series anyway) the comic flashes back for most of the issue revealing another relationship that started as friend but ended with him pointing a gun at Rasputin.
War is hell.
The issue spends the majority of its time following Rasputin as he tours the front. Many are dead, but he’s brought in specifically to heal the tsar. Alex Grecian writes an emotional yet slightly vapid issue here. There are key moments that are covered to show animosity towards Rasputin, but Rasputin doesn’t do much beyond smirk and shuffle through the issue. Throughout this series we’ve been told Rasputin knows when he’ll die, over and over really, but a major event happens near the end of this issue that’s confusing. I won’t ruin it, but it’s safe to say Rasputin has died a lot of times now and yet we’re told he’s only really going to die once. If that’s confusing it should be, but this issue leaves us frustratingly confused rather than perplexed yet wanting more. Ultimately I have no idea how the present timeline and past timeline are supposed to fit. One might say all will be revealed in due time, but there isn’t enough there to warrant at least some thoughtful conclusions.
The art by Riley Rossmo good as always, with a continuing cinematic look and feel to this issue although much of it is in longer panels than cinematic widescreen. Colorist Ivan Plascencia casts much of this issue in a pea soup green hue which gives it all a sickly, disturbed feel. This of course is on purpose as the front, in all its horror, should be disturbing. Rossmo does some wonderful stuff as far as making Rasputin’s magic so otherworldly, thanks to everything outside of his magic being so realistic and drab.
Is It Good?
Not the best of issues to go out on for a hiatus, but there are a few character moments fans will want to check out.