Bliss #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 20, 2020

Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky

Bliss is the latest comic from the creative team behind Coyote, Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky. Set in a world which at first glance feels very similar to our own, the titular Bliss refers to a drug that can wipe away memories. It’s an interesting concept, and asks questions of the reader, if you could do anything then forget it, living life guilt free, would you? Bliss introduces us to a rich mythology but barely begins to explore it. There are strange creatures which aren’t explained or explored in any great detail, yet promise to be incredibly important to the plot going forward.

But that’s only just scratching the surface of this comic. Really this is a comic about love. About how far a man would go for the love of his son. It looks at how, when all other options have been extinguished, sometimes the wrong thing is the only thing to do. It asks the question of the reader, is someone a monster if the reason they’ve committed monstrous acts is all in the name of love? How far is too far? Sean Lewis’ writing is so good, the characters feel so real, that readers find themselves sympathising with Benton, the father and main focus of this first issue. Is it possible to be a good man in a bad world? Can the love of a father ever justify doing appalling things?

Lewis takes pains at every step to show us what an abhorrent place Feral City is. This place makes Sin City look like an excellent holiday destination. If you could take a drug to help you forgot the terrible deeds you’d committed, would you do them? This comic asks some hard questions and shows just how easily even the best people can be corrupted.

It’s also a really good, compelling story. The reader will find themselves rooting for the main characters and desperate to find out what happens next. It’s excellent writing which will keep you lost in this world long after you finish reading the comic.

Caitlin Yarsky’s art is on top form here. She brings the depraved Feral City to life naturally and organically. All of the people she draws are well crafted and feel real, even if they only appear in one panel it’s clear time and effort have gone into creating these people, and the art tells as much of the story as the words do. She captures characters' emotions perfectly and tells as much of the story as Lewis’ does. Just as chilling as some of the scenes that Lewis’ describes are the bored and disinterested faces that witness them, as though these horrific scenes are commonplace and just part of society. Then we have the look on Benton’s face. Every panel shows us the depth of his love for his son and wife. We see the moral quandary tearing him apart.

It’s a surprisingly emotional comic, with excellent writing and a unique and exciting concept at its core. This first issue only just introduces us to the world and the characters and while it’s an excellent and entertaining story it feels like this issue is only setting us up for the larger story. There is a rich mythology that is just begging to be explored. Yarsky’s art brings this story to life and makes the world and characters feel real and alive.

Our Score:


A Look Inside