Bliss #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on September 21, 2020

Story: Sean Lewis
Art: Caitlin Yarsky

The first two issues of Bliss were something special, one of those comics that make you sit up and pay attention. The third issue takes everything good and special about those first two issues and ramps it up a notch. This is one of those comics which only come along occasionally but will stand the test of time as something truly special.

Central to the whole story has been the lengths that Benton will go to for his son. The first issue introduced us to that, with Perry dangerously ill, and Benton making that deal with the devil to save his son. It’s a choice that no father should ever be forced to make, and makes it easy to sympathise with Benton even as he commits more and more atrocious crimes. But if you thought this concept was introduced in the first issue to justify his actions and to make the reader empathise with him, only to be left alone after that, you'd be wrong. In this issue Sean Lewis decides to REALLY explore the lengths a father will go for his son. How deep that bond and love goes, and if there’s ever a line which shouldn’t be crossed. The series dives ever deeper into increasingly murky moral areas and each panel is compulsive reading.

All of that and we haven’t even touched upon the titular Bliss, the drug which lets its user forget. Can you justify ever worse deeds if you don’t remember them after? And of course Bliss is also key to the present day trial that Benton faces, and this much larger mythology of Gods which is expertly weaved into the story. There is a lot packed into this series, but each issue puts our characters even further through the wringer. Lewis also manages to find a bit of time to explain to the reader why this morally corrupt man is also key to saving the world. There is so much going on here that readers will be left debating the moral quandaries this comic raises long after the comic has been put down.

Then there’s Caitlin Yarsky’s art. She’s collaborated with Sean Lewis before, and the two are great collaborators. This issue embraces some of the more monstrous elements of the story, and really builds up the horror from the first couple of issues. It helps to build on the mythology as well as setting the tone for what future issues will bring. There is so much to like and admire in Yarsky’s work, from the way she captures the characters and their emotions, to the way that she shows us Benton’s past haunting him, to the way she brings this world of Gods and monsters to life. Like the storytelling, the art is also something special.

So, in summary, we’ve got ridiculously complicated and morally grey quandaries, a rich mythology which the reader is just dying to explore more of, all told against the backdrop of one of the more compelling stories to be published this year. The storytelling, the art, it’s a cracking combination and there’s not a single thing to fault in this comic. Every once in a while a comic comes along like this which is truly special, a combination of an incredible idea, brilliant storytelling and collaboration between the writer and artist, it’s not to be missed.

Our Score:


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