Bliss #3, Written by Sean Lewis, Art & Colors by Caitlin Yarsky.
We pick up just after the events of issue 2. Perry, the judge and the “god” are discussing all the wrongs that Benton has done. Perry, not knowing all the details, wants more information. The god is willing to fill in the blanks but needs help from both Perry and Benton in dealing with a greater evil. However can we fully get behind someone who has done, what the “god” is about to reveal to us?
This series seems to go from strength to strength, creating such a beautiful tale yet so violent and disturbing at times. With the graphic violence being displayed, it never feels gratuitous. We have some very gory panels, yet it’s not lingered on to draw things out. It’s shown to highlight the seriousness of the situation. Sean Lewis is somehow able to craft this hauntingly deep character of Benton who just wants the best for Perry. To what end we start to discover with the pages of this issue. Yet all the way through we are given a true representation of the pain he goes through. Still masterfully dividing the audience between both guilt or sorrow for him, and disdain and hatred for the things he has done and is yet to do.
Caitlin Yarsky’s art and colors are truly mesmerising, showing off her full talents. Not just with the intensity and emotion of the characters (as seen above) but also with the beautifully worked scenery. We shift in tones from a picturesque landscape showing off the countryside that’s so quiet and peaceful. Even using the soft yellow and green tones to accentuate the tranquility of the situation.
Then also showing off her Buton-esque German expressionist gothic style, utilising the harsh edges with dark colours and a small amount of lighting to emphasise the shadows. Which is both elegant and creepy, exactly what it’s meant to be when traversing the spiral staircase to the jail cells, where Benton is being kept.
This series is becoming a quick favourite of mine. This tale of redemption for what could only be described as an irredeemable character has been truly compelling. To me, Sean Lewis proves how much of an incredible talent he is, by the fact that as of this issue's end, I’m fully torn between caring deeply about Benton, knowing that he could be the only salvation for Perry and this “god”, yet I’m also disgusted by what he does and says in this issue. This is beautifully worked to a great cliffhanger crescendo, which only has me disappointed at having to wait a whole other month for the continuation.
As this series progresses, I find myself only disappointed by the length of it. Being a 8 part miniseries has both advantages and disadvantages, but when the story and the art is this good, I don’t want it to end. This team have been able to craft a sci-fi story that seems so realistic and grounded due mostly to the emotions of the characters. Even the god characters have a human side, both good and ill, that gives each of them a depth that heightens the story being told.
Bliss #3 from Image Comics is released on 23rd September from your local comic shop as well as comixology