Review: The Crimson Blade Issue 2

Review by David Ferguson

Art by David O’Sullivan
Written by Robert Curley

I have to start this review with the cover. I love the use of colour. It is kind of the opposite of issue one which used a simple monochrome pattern broken with one brilliant splash of crimson showing one hero standing out amongst a gang of characters. This cover shows the monochrome hero fighting against characters coloured in red (or crimson) which is suggestive of the character fighting in the middle of a violent conflict, in this case the French Revolution.

This issue is set in the France of 1798 (the year the French revolution began). Once again, Robert Curley is making use of history to colour his characters (and vice versa). The thing that I like about this book is that it takes a broader view of history (with the French Revolution being an element of the story). It makes the story feel more authentic as Irish history was constantly influenced by various events in Europe (an element also touched on in Glimmer Man). I think it also makes the secret organisation that the Crimson Blade comes in contact a more believable concept as France is a more obvious place for them to begin their meddling. It feels authentic.

David O’Sullivan’s art is beautifully detailed and I love his use of shadows (especially the night scene). He creates settings and characters that make every page feel straight of the 18th Century. Although he uses a lot of detail, he isn’t afraid to use a “less is more” approach when he feels it is necessary. With a historical setting it would easy to become a slave to authenticity over art but it never feels that way with this book. I think that would be thing I take away from this book, it is a book that takes from history but never becomes a slave to it.

[Side note: The back cover shows the cover to the League of Volunteers issue 7 also by David O’Sullivan (with Alan Nolan and Robert Carey). I’m really looking forward to seeing more of O’Sullivan’s League]