Written by Sean Lewis, Art by Caitlin Yarsky.
We pick up pretty much where we left off, Perry is pleading with the court that his father, although he has done questionable things in the past, no one is truly innocent. The book then continues to show us some of the more questionable things that Benton has done. All while trying to keep his professional and home life separate; but how long can he keep this façade up? Will Perry be able to convince the courts that his father deserves a second chance?
This book still looks absolutely stunning. The opening page is a full page of the god of oblivion (see below). This does set the tone for the book, as it’s both beautiful and deep. Caitlin Yarsky's pencils and her colours are stunning. They fit the strangely dark and poetic narrative.
We are looking at something so complex with the narrative, the art really needs to reflect that. At what point is someone damned? Is there any coming back from some actions? These kind of questions are not just hinted at, they are quite clear within the story. Can rehabilitation work for either a case of a murderer or someone who’s deeply dependent on drugs? These deep questions are perfectly reflected within the art.
Now for a book that deals with violence, drugs, and what can be some disturbing gods, none of these are ever seen to be over the top or gratuitous. Even when we see a montage of some of the brutal things that Benton has done, it never feels excessive. There’s also always an emotional toll to the actions. Which is part of the story, Benton is trying his best to provide for his family and yet he also needs to protect them from the harsh reality of what he does. This balancing act is shown in the art as well as the beautifully crafted script. Nothing ever feels false or over the top despite the presence of gods in alien shapes. You can see both the brutality and the emotion portrayed in this one panel below.
We are two issues into this series and I thought I knew what kind of series it would be. By the end of this issue, I was wrong. There are so many great aspects to this book. The deep moral questions that it brings to the table, through the exceptional writing. The imaginative use of colours and pencils that produce something both dark and yet mesmerizing, violent yet companionate. There is only one thing that I’m slightly worried about. The story so far is set in two different time periods, Perry as a sick boy and then Perry as an adult, defending his father in the court. I’m hoping there will be something more that connects the two than just backstory for Benton. Other than that, there’s not too much to complain about. Now we are still early on, into the series so it’s still too early to judge whether it will be anything special, but it’s looking good so far. It’s also impressive that with only one writer and one artist that they kept the schedule.
Bliss #2 was released on 26th August from Image Comics and your local comic shop and at comixology