I enjoyed the opening of this chapter of Grindhouse. The fairy tale feel of the story transformed the book into a medieval version of I Spit on Your Grave. Unfortunately, the closing part of this arch left me a little unsatisfied. This is the second time I felt the ending part of an arch in Grindhouse didn’t seem to close properly—the first being issue four, the end of “Prison Ship Antares”. There were some good scenes like the result of the boar hunt. For all its macabre tone, the issue, though, didn’t leave me with a jaw dropped from a particularly grizzly or nasty scene.
Part of the problem comes from an absence of the boogeymen of the last issue: the Reavers. Those bestial attackers have no threat factor since Branwyn removed them with great efficiency. Most of the issue deals with exposition from Lord Callyreath and Lord Sucherin.
Branwyn’s revenge happens too quickly and with no resistance. Two more issues in this arc would have made the story more fleshed out and effective. With such a compact and quickly met end, “The Bride of Blood” doesn’t have the bite in its shocker of a last panel because there was no slow burn to make the clincher so jolting.
Federica Manfredi pencils some wonderful blood and guts, and I particularly enjoyed the snow scenes in the forest. I got chills from the look of the cold; I then got pleasantly nauseous from the great depiction of gore.
This continues to be an outstanding series with a masterful use of its tone. No book better understands or utilizes a theme like Grindhouse. Some of the endings could be a little better, but that’s a simple observation on an otherwise fun comic book.
Writer: Alex De Campi Artist: Federica Manfredi Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/5/14