The concluding volume of a story of a god named Thorn set in Glasgow comes out this week in comic shops. Is it good?
Red Thorn Vol. 2 (Vertigo Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
With the “Glasgow Kiss” epic finished, Isla must pick up the pieces of her shattered reality. How will she cope with the devastating consequences of her greatest trial? Evil forces are at play and no one is safe as the legends of Scottish mythology collide with the modern world. Fans of FABLES and THE SANDMAN won’t want to miss this riveting dark graphic novel series! Collects issues #8-12.
Why does this book matter?
This is a writer that understands how to write mythic tales that feel historical, ageless, and real. The style of art, in a cartoony cel-shaded style, helps make the adult themes even more shocking. It’s a book that shouldn’t be missed by those who love storytelling.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Time to kick ass.
Writer David Baillie and artist Meghan Hetrick craft a solidly paced volume two as Thorn kicks ass with all the arrogance a god should bestow. The setting in Scotland helps set the stage for a tale that belongs in the pantheon of stories of the gods. There’s an ancient Greece vibe that makes you wonder: If this story was told 2,000 years ago maybe we’d be learning about it in the history books. Surprisingly by the end, Baillie and Hetrick make you actually like Thorn, even though he’s a bit of a bastard.
The book is paced rather well from cover to cover too. The story builds towards big moments that feel important. Want to see Thorn take on ancient gods? How about with a lot of blood thrown in? You get that in this volume.
Hetrick draws a very good page indeed. There’s nudity in the book, though it’s done tastefull. I can’t wait to see what Hetrick does next as her style is very appealing and easy on the eyes. It’s also good at capturing the fantastical moments in a believable way.
There’s also a bonus section which contains sketches from Hetrick (along with some notes too!) which is a nice addition to the book.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Once finished, you get the idea that maybe this story was wrapped up sooner than it should have been. The events culminate and conclude in a way that feel rushed. Outside of this, there are exposition heavy moments that bog down the reading experience.
The art jumps a bit near the end of the volume with Ryan Kelly filling in. The style is much more high in detail with a thin line that doesn’t jive well with the art in the rest of the book.
Will she bite?
Is It Good?
If gods existed, how would we coexist? This series captures the strangeness of two worlds so very well, making for a mythical type of tale that’s hard not to enjoy.