Image Comics Review: Supreme Blue Rose 2
“It is like a bullethole in the world.”
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Tula Lotay
As with the first issue, Supreme Blue Rose 2 seems to begin in a dream. An aged writer named Storybook Smith sits in a beach house with a drink and a couple of his books, discussing a woman he met in his youth with an unseen person. The woman appears to be the princess of Saturn that was introduced in issue one. Her hair is bright red and haloed by swirls of a washed out red energy and she wears a pearl necklace that doesn’t seem beholden to gravity. She tells the writer that he can rewrite reality. As conversation continues, we find out he is talking to this woman he met in his youth, though she appears the same age. She tells him there isn’t much time left and then we see the beach house ablaze with a spiral staircase to the sky nearby. After an ad for a show about Professor Night, we catch up with Diana who is preparing to go off in search of who or whatever destroyed a small town in upstate New York. She is picked up in a limo sent by her employer, Darius Dax. As the limo drives past a woman on a sidewalk, the words THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE appear across the page. As the woman walks down the street, her clothes begin to change color in a shimmer of light and she passes a man in a helmet named Enigma that we met in the first issue. The woman stops outside of a restaurant and peers in through the window with red triangle irises. She appears to be watching herself having a conversation with a man about how science has proved that the future has already happened. We later see the woman from the restaurant writing out equations on a bored in red ink. She draws an upside down triangle when the words THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE appear across the page again. She begins to speak in some sort of code and starts hearing a message from… the future? She starts to blur into a negative of herself as her eyes become red triangles. The red triangle on the white board opens up into space and the woman disappears. Meanwhile, Diane Dane continues her limo ride down a golden road in space where she appears to be dreaming.
The first issue of this series had a few elements that could be described as “a little odd”. Supreme Blue Rose 2 moves begins to move into “down right trippy” territory, which is Warren Ellis’ forte. This sort of out-there, high concept sci fi stuff is right in his wheelhouse and seems to be his focus in the series right now. Two issues in and Supreme, the title’s namesake, has yet to make an actual appearance. Instead it seems that Ellis is busy world, or perhaps more accurately, reality building. Characters are being introduced like puzzle pieces that we know will fit together at some point, we just don’t know what the finished picture will look like. The princess of Saturn is a complete mystery so far, only appearing to people in dreams. At least I think that’s where she’s appearing. In fact, there’s a lot about the story that I’m not really clear on at this point. I feel like we’re going to continue getting bits and pieces of disparate info for a bit, before we really begin to come together.
Tula Lotay’s art continues to impress. It’s detailed, but almost blurry at times, adding a dream-like haze to the whole book. The effect reinforces the fact that we are apparently dealing with multiple levels of reality that may or may not be blurring together. In the scene where the woman whose clothes change as she walks down the street, she and Enigma seem to be much more in focus than their surroundings. Perhaps this means that they are the only thing that’s real? The color scheme of the book is mostly muted, earthy tones with splashes of brighter color: the washed out reds in the flashbacks to Storybook Smith’s memories, the vivid ad for Professor Night, and the angry red equations that open a hole in space/time. The wavy blue lines that permeated the first issue also return, adding a bit of additional color, at times looking like stray crayon marks or music notes on a flexible scale.
As it moves into weirder, denser material, it become obvious that Supreme Blue Rose is going to be a mystery that unravels slowly and screws with our heads while it does. I can’t say I’m terribly invested in any of the characters right now, but my curiosity has been piqued and I want to see where this story leads.