Bliss #8 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 01, 2021

Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky
Colours: Ari Pluchinsky

This isn’t an issue to be read in public. Even the most cold hearted of readers will be sitting with a tear in their eye when they reach the end of this story. What a roller coaster of a story Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky have told over these 8 issues. In a typical comic series the previous issue would have been the conclusion to the story, maybe a page or two at the end to act as an epilogue of sorts. But not here. Lewis’ story was never really about Goddesses, a drug that took your memories away, or saving humanity. All of these things featured but really this story is about a love between a father and a son. About how you redeem yourself after committing atrocities. About forgiveness, and absolution, and vengeance. These are all big, powerful themes to explore, and he does them justice. The world he’s crafted is morally grey, no easy answers, much like our own. In this world which is so recognisable to our own he gives a perfect ending to this special and unique story he’s crafted here.

This issue serves as the trial for Benton. Except this is a trial by the people rather than in a court of law. Led by Wren, all of Benton’s victims are here to try him and get resolution. He gets a defence from an unexpected quarter, and we get to see the various sides arguing his crimes and good deeds. All through this Benton is wide eyed, his memories gone, as he learns of the man he was and the atrocities he committed. His answer to it, to all of it, says more about the man than anything else he’s done. Strip a man of his memories, these things that have shaped him, and what’s left is just the core of who he is. Like all of us he has good and bad in him. And the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It’s powerful storytelling, there is real resolution to not only Benton’s story but also the relationship between him and Perry. And the message on the final page is very moving.

As if all this fantastic storytelling wasn’t enough for readers there is also a five-page coda to the story, which is a very revealing and touching addition to the story which focuses on Sean Lewis’ relationship to his own father and son. It goes a long way to explaining where a lot of the themes and stories explored in this series come from and is incredibly personal to Lewis. The series as a whole, this final issue, and the coda at the end have a very important message to tell. It’s powerful, will resonate powerfully with readers, and linger in the mind long after the comic is put down. It’s a message about hope for the future, and in these trying times is there anything more important?

Caitlin Yarsky’s art has been stunning throughout the series, and this issue features some of her best work yet. While Benton is on trial and numerous witnesses tell their stories of Benton, of the good and bad he brought into their lives, each panel tells a story. The appearance of each new character during this section tells a story, their faces wrought with emotion, which only enhances the words on the page. The story that Lewis tells is emotional and powerful, but with Yarsky on art it amplifies this and takes it to a whole new level. And that’s just one part of the issue. The lair of the Goddess is brought to life in all of its alien glory. The final page is stunning in its simplicity. The illustrations she uses during the Coda tell an incredible story. An incredible artist who has elevated this series to another level.

Bliss has consistently one of the best and most unique stories on the market. This issue is a touching and emotion filled issue which concludes this unbelievably good story in a fantastic way. There is so much to recommend in this story, and it is guaranteed to end up populating so many ‘best of’ lists as time goes on. But it’s not just a good, entertaining story. The themes explored here and the message it tells will linger on long after the reader has finished.

Our Score:


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