Rasputin has been a series I’ve really struggled to get excited about from the very first issue and frankly I’m glad to see the back of it. This final issue was probably the most coherent we’ve had in some months but the damage has already been done. Having said that I am starting to doubt myself: is Rasputin better than I’ve been insisting it is these past few months? Am I just so dim that a brilliant plot is eluding me? It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but the fact that I have no desire to give this series a second read just to check I think is evident that Rasputin was lacking in something. I maintain the belief that the biggest problem with this series was its lack of characters. The first volume saw very little progression or development thanks at least in part to a script with a relatively low word count. The second volume has made more of an effort to develop the characters, but it is instead the plot which has spiralled downwards with the culmination of that being last month’s utterly nonsensical instalment. Indeed, with this issue a sense of coherence does return to the book, something which I think is helped by the decision to return to the factual roots it arguably should have stuck with more closely. Seeing the Romanov family meet their grisly end is quite an emotional moment, not because we’ve become attached to them over the course of this book but more because they were real people who actually existed, and so their terrifying final moments feel real as opposed to the unbelievable aspects of the other plot threads in this series.
As for present day Rasputin things end on a whimper. He tells the reporter who has been hounding him his life story and then drives off. The anticlimactic feeling this brings leads me to wondering what exactly the point of this story was. Again, perhaps there was a grand philosophical message to all this that went completely over my head, but from my perspective this series has just been anti-climax after anti-climax with few memorable moments coming to mind upon reflection.
The art in this book by Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia has consistently been an oasis in this barren wasteland of poor storytelling. With this tenth issue that continues to be true, but as we’ve been in the same situation for about ten months now it feels like there’s little left to say that hasn’t already been said.
To conclude, Rasputin #10 is the last in a line of disappointments this series has handed us since it began about a year ago. While the art has been a pleasure, there’s not a single other aspect of this series that I will miss. None of the characters made an impression and the plot was uninteresting with few memorable moments. I really am just glad I don’t have to read another issue of this book.
Rasputin #10 Writer: Alex Grecian Artist: Riley Rossmo Colorist: Ivan Plascencia Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: 11/04/15 Price: $3.50 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital