Published on December 12th, 2018 | by Dana Folkard
ROSE #15 REVIEW
Summary: New complications develop for Dante.
Great character dynamics
Disease spreads through the land of Ttereve, forcing Will and Artus to seek a cure to stem the growing plague. Meanwhile, Rose is still trapped in Drucilla’s dungeon, with Dante searching for a way to free her from the Queen’s evil clutches…however, unbeknownst to them, something in the dark depths is waiting for them.
The issue begins with Ila, alone in a tent with Fel, who is dying from the illness that infects the camp. Upon leaving the tent, Ila is confronted by a dark and shadowy figure from her past, revealing that there is more behind the evil that controls this land. She may be old, but Ila is still powerful, and with a grand sweep of her staff, she banishes the creature from the rebel campsite. We then jump to the city of Venta Belgarum, where we see Will and Artus seeking a safe way into the city. Using the sewers, they eventually come to Artus’ mother’s lab, whereupon they begin searching for particular notes relating to the disease they are trying to cure. Time is of the essence, as the city guard is slowly closing in. Meanwhile, back at the castle we see Dante and Drucilla together, talking about their past and Dante’s “ever-reliable loyalty”. Drucilla then takes Dante down to the dungeon, wishing to show him her most valuable prize: a defeated and shackled Rose. Dante is stoic as ever, trying not to give away his true emotions, however, Drucilla is smart and sees right through his poorly veiled attempt at trying to hide his true loyalty. The cat is out of the bag, so to speak.
So, we have finally reached the point I’ve been waiting for, the moment where Drucilla sees right through Dante and his affection for Rose. I found this conversation very interesting and revealing, and thought that Meredith Finch captured Dante and Drucilla’s strained and fractured dynamic perfectly. Drucilla is clearly hurt by this betrayal, which is obvious from her petty remarks towards Rose and Dante, yet she still tries to be strong despite this. Drucilla is smart and cunning, so there is a good chance she’s known about Dante and Rose for a long time, and has just been waiting for the perfect moment to spring it on him.
I also want to mention how much I love the dynamic between Artus and Will. Their banter is fantastic and sometimes quite funny. I really enjoy seeing these two develop and grow, as they acquire a deeper understanding for one another during their fight against adversity. What I really liked during their scenes were the light-hearted moments that we get to see between them. Sometimes when there are a lot of bleak elements unfolding throughout a story, it’s always refreshing to see relaxed and amusing interactions between characters.
Ig Guara’s art is once again on point and wonderful. I was particularly fond of the scene in the beginning involving Ila and Fel. Seeing Fel’s sick filled with torment and anguish was really quite tragic. Contrasting to this was Ila, who looks incredibly determined and powerful during the encounter with the shadowy figure outside the tent. She may be old, but Ila is still a powerful and formidable practitioner of magic, and this was evident during this sequence that Guara illustrated perfectly. Like I’ve mentioned, this issue was really about intense emotional interactions between characters, which means that we get to see a lot of emotive expressions and reactions. From Artus’ concerned and perplexed eyes, to Drucilla’s crafty and shrewd smile, it all comes together to create a highly immersive visual narrative. The colouring really shines in this issue, helping to reinforce these tonal shifts, as we jump from the austere rebel camp, to the imposing city and then cheerless dungeon.
Overall, I thought that this was a slower-paced issue that really struck some important emotional chords. We see a major shift in the story, as a new development harks the arrival of further complications. Definitely keen for the following issue to see what will unfold in the next chapter.
I’m giving this issue 4.5 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Meredith Finch, Ig Guara, Triona Farrell, Cardinal Rae and Andy Schmidt
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
GENRE: High Fantasy
PUBLICATION DATE: December 12, 2018
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard