Review - The Crimson Cage #1Comic Reviews 

Review – The Crimson Cage #1

Review - The Crimson Cage #1

Review – The Crimson Cage #1

Story: John Lees

Art: Alex Cormack

Colour: Ashley Cormack

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: AWA Studios/ Upshot Studios

Available: 8th November 2021

Review - The Crimson Cage #1

Issue #1 (of 5)

Double double toil and rumble…Brace yourself for a No-Holds-Bard reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth from the critically-acclaimed creators of Sink. New Orleans, 1984. Chuck Frenzy is the main event star of the local Louisiana pro wrestling territory but yearns for something greater. A fateful encounter with a trio of terrifying beings in the Bayou gives Chuck a glimpse of championship glory beyond his wildest dreams…if he is willing to do something terrible to achieve it. Join writer John Lees (Hotell) and artist Alex Cormack (Sea of Sorrows) for a thrilling new vision of the classic tale of ambition and madness, starting with this special, oversized first chapter.

Story: John Lees

I don’t know why nobody has ever mixed the genres of Shakespeare and American Wrestling before, from the first image Lee conjures up a fully rounded and well-known world. Chuck Frenzy is actually a nice guy, working his way up the billing in a local Wrestling Club. His wife, Sharlene is his partner and feels he is setting his sights too low. After an incredible local fight with his friend, Abominable Grudd, he heads to a bar and later that night in the Bayou they encounter a group of twisted beings who predict that he will become the world champion, but he must first kill the current champion, Van Emerald. Sharlene pushes him but when Frenzy and Emerald have a night on the town things start to come to a head.

Lee takes the well known “rigged” wrestling matches and links them to the central idea of Macbeth that he is fated to be king (or champion) creating a curious question if you know the outcome why is still amazing to watch? The majority of the issue is within the ring and the final showdown between Frenzy and Emerald doesn’t disappoint. The quiet nod to films like Rocky is not missed as well.


Art: Alex Cormack

Cormack most have watched a tonne of materials to get every angle, and posture right during the wrestling action. It doesn’t feel like a comic, and as you read it you actually feel the actual throughout the tense matches, rigged or not it seems that there is a little more that goes on both in and out of the ring.

Overall Thoughts

If you want to get kids interested in Shakespeare what better than merging it with some of the greatest theatres of all time, American Wrestling. Lees knows both his bard and his squared circle and Frenzy is both a tragic and inspirational character and like Macbeth, the real architect of the saga is our very own Lady Macbeth Sharlene. Will we get an “out damned spot” moment in a future issue?

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Michael Lennox

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T'was a cold dark night in East Kilbride... and below the roundabouts, something old and ancient began to shudder awake. The world would rue the day that it gave the Green Jaguar comics to read!

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