Curiouser and curiouser and . . . WTF?
I had no previous experience with Rob Liefeld’s Supreme before venturing into Supreme: Blue Rose and, truthfully, had no idea what I was in for. Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay have created a vibrant mix of The X-Files, Fringe, and Twin Peaks. This book is not for the faint of heart (nor anyone who had trouble with Inception), but for those who love a good, non-linear mystery or fans of the long and varied run of Supreme will love everything this volume of a self-contained, seven-issue run has to offer.
It’s a little hard to review this title without explaining Supreme a little: Created in the ’90s by Liefeld, many authors and artists contributed to the run of this Superman-imprint series, including Alan Moore. Each new team behind the title would reboot the character, creating new versions of the hero and the surrounding cast. This happened so much that the multiple versions became the fabric of the story, with different incarnations meeting and working with or against each other. This is what I didn’t know walking into Blue Rose, and it made for a wild experience, as our main character, Diane Dane, has no knowledge of Darius Dax and what he wants investigated; I was in the dark as much as she was. The story is rich with the world of the Supreme and yet able to stand entirely on its own. When I finished I was intrigued enough to want to learn more about the characters and their world, which I feel speaks to the power of the story here. Ellis has shown definite love to the world and made a story easy enough for most anyone to jump into. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to take more than one pass through and may end up introducing you to a whole series you may not have otherwise found.
Lotay’s work in this book has a mostly realistic style overlaid with watercolory, impressionist backgrounds, where parts leak into each other, much like the multiverse that it’s showing us. The art really speaks to the mystery and draws us in as easily as the story it’s paired with. Once things really get moving, we are treated to more clear visions of the world and the characters we’ve been interacting with, and the reveal is really something else.
I dug the hell out of this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes to piece a world together from the miasma. It’ll make you think, and each read will surprise you with details you’d overlooked before. A wonderfully layered tale that’s atypical of the Super-set fare.
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