Bliss #5 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 09, 2021

Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky

Wow. What an issue. After a brief hiatus between the first and second story arcs Bliss is back with a boom. One of the biggest strengths of the first four issues revolved around the main theme of the love between a father and a son, the lengths a father will go to, and the sacrifices he makes in the name of said love. And of course there was a cracking story about Gods, and the importance of memories, building towards a battle between our heroes and Lethe. From the cliff hanger ending with Benton going after Lethe it is an easy assumption to make that this second story arc would follow a more traditional heroes vs villain storyline with less of the emotional impact of the first. That would be a grave underestimation of what an excellent story this fifth issue gives us.

All of the previous themes are still present, explored in ever greater detail, but now we’re delving into the realms of addiction, and failure, and redemption as well. Twists and revelations abound, everything that worked so well before but turned up a notch. It’s impossible not to sympathise with Benton, and the bad choices he makes. During the flashback segment of the story we really explore what redemption is, and how it’s achieved. It’s incredible storytelling which works on so many levels. Sean Lewis has, with the creation of the drug Bliss, managed to come up with an excellent way to explore some really complex themes. Above all this is a story about being human, with all the ups and downs that entails, and striving to be better. It’s about the love of a father and a son. But even without all of that it’s an entertaining and interesting story in its own rights, and the twists and turns will keep readers coming back for more. Then long after the comic is finished it’ll leave readers pondering some of the deeper questions it asks.

Caitlin Yarsky’s art has complemented Lewis’ writing from the get go, with some fantastic work on capturing the characters emotions. Watching Bentons facial expressions as he begins on his path to redemption is incredible, and if the writing hadn’t got you emotionally invested in the story then this will, it’ll capture you hook, line and sinker. She brings this well realised world of Gods and monsters to life in such a brilliant way that each page looks stunning. The creature designs are excellent and very unique to the world. And she uses colour to great effect in this issue, really changing the colour pallete depending on the part of the story she’s telling.

Everything which worked so well about the first story arc of Bliss is back, and even more complex themes and ideas are explored without losing any of the emotional connections that readers will have for the story. Twists and turns aplenty, stunning artwork, fantastic storytelling. There isn’t enough praise that can be heaped on this comic. If you’ve managed to sleep on this story you need to get caught up then dive head first into this one, you won’t regret it.

Our Score:


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