Review – The Crimson Cage #2

Review – The Crimson Cage #2

Review – The Crimson Cage #2

Story: John Lees

Art: Alex Cormack

Colour: Ashley Cormack

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: AWA Studios/ Upshot Studios

Available: 19th January 2022

Act II: Kill The Town

The blood-drenched pro wrestling retelling of Macbeth continues. World Champion Van Emerald is in Louisiana, and Chuck Frenzy is destined to be his successor. But is Chuck really willing to do what is necessary to make the prophecy a reality? Sometimes, to be the man, you gotta kill the man…

Story: John Lees

“Is this a dagger?” So begins Act II of the Crimson Cage as Lee mirrors the protagonist’s struggle with his actions. Egged on by his ambitious wife, Sharlene, Chuck doesn’t just stab Van Emerald he eviscerates him. Struck with the horror of what he’s done he freezes but Sharlene won’t back down and frames an unconscious Rubie for the crime.

The issue’s first page is a classic rastlin’ monologue with Chuck posturing and emoting for the cameras, it’s perfect to show the conflict he’s facing. As his dreams come true though, Chuck starts to see visions of a hooded figure while his wife plots her own moment in the sun.

Lee really knows his genre and the balance of wrestling and Shakespearian tragedy is balanced perfectly on a dagger’s knife edge.

Art: Alex Cormack

Cormack soaks this issue in gory blood, from the brutal murder of Emerald to the nightmarish dreams of Frenzy the pages are almost dripping with it. On top of this stunning artwork, Cormack’s colouring and Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering create the perfect vehicle to showcase the decent of Chuck Frenzy. It’s shown to perfection here with the brutally violent murder of Van Emerald. The fluid motion of the blood, the inhuman noises coming from Frenzy and the slicing, tearing noises of the dagger blows all come together as a masterclass in horror.

Overall Thoughts

This series is bloody brilliant! The characters are instantly recognisable but over the top pantomime actors (as all wrestlers are) update the Macbeth tragedy for a whole new audience. I’m still on the edge of my seat after reading it and can’t wait for the next instalment. 100% perfect!

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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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