By Ben Snyder
As Beautiful Canvas continually unfurls, the chaotic super powered world and the people who inhabit are revealed as well. Once again we are left with little definitive answers regarding any major characters, but inexplicably Beautiful Canvas #3 does a better job than the prior issue in handling the chaos.
The issue begins teasing us about Lon’s past. Once again we are led to believe that she murdered a child in the past and is still dealing with the emotional and psychological repercussions of it. However, this may all, in fact, be a purposeful misdirection due to Ryan K. Lindsay’s hesitation in confirming it. Lindsay has teased with Lon’s guilt since the beginning of the series, and it seems to be a main plot thread as the story continues so perhaps there is more to the simple surface story.
This issue splits cast into two main plot threads. Lon and Asia attempt to track down Alex in order to help him and protect him from the gang of sleeper agents Milla awakened in the surrounding area. And Milla and Eric begin a conversation that brings hope that finally some answers will be fulfilled, however in doing so only more questions are brought up.
Milla and Eric’s story this issue is increasingly frustrating, simply for the lack of answers. While Milla cements herself as the central antagonist of this series, we don’t really know why besides her desire for the chaos. She sees all of this as a form of art without ever explaining what “This” is. We still don’t know why Alex is so important to her or why or if Eric is. Eric also discovers that they have footage of Eve Robinson, a girl we’ve never met, to which Milla claims, “Now you appreciate our back Catalogue.” What exactly does Eve have to do with the main story and who exactly does Milla reference by “our”.
I feel redundant because in every review for this series so far I’ve been complaining about the lack of concrete answers and have been met with simply more questions. But it has been a recurring complaint I’ve had with this series and they still have not fixed it in fact I believe they’ve only made it worse. Once they close this storyline next issue, I’d prefer a totally new story simply focusing on Lon and Asia.
Asia was finally provided a moment to truly shine in this issue as her empathy powers were seemingly the only thing reaching Alex. Seeing the panels transition into a darker coloring and Alex transforming into the dragon that Asia sees was clever and showed the fear that Alex is feeling. Not only is locked in a fire battle with one of Milla’s sleeper agents, but he is also frightened and (like the reader) has no idea what is happening exactly.
Artist Sami Kivela truly shines in this issue specifically in how she conveys the emotions on each of the characters faces. In the scene in which Lon shoots the sleeper agent, the internal anguish and pain is ever present on Lon’s face and the reader truly feels for her. Lon does not want to kill, but it is seemingly the only thing she can do to help the situation and it pains her to know that. Kivela also nails the scene in which Asia enters the flames to comfort Alex. I loved how Asia literally walked through fire to get to Alex and it really shows her comforting nature.
The cliffhanger is aptly poetic and does a good job of setting up the finale next issue. While I do love the Lon and Asia aspects of this story I am becoming more and more frustrated with any lack of answers given so far. Seeing as the story is wrapping up next issue, I am worried they wont have enough time to answer each question sufficiently. However I am willing to grin and bear it because the payoff is bound to be intensely emotional and suitably beautiful.
Beautiful Canvas #3
Black Mask Studios