By Cat Wyatt
It’s time for the fourth and final issue of Twisted Romance. I’ll admit I’m sad to see it go, but all things must come to an end, right? In this issue we once again are gifted with three stories, Treasured is the first story (also the one shown on the cover), followed by Unbound (the text story for the issue), and finally, Legacies finishes off the series.
Treasured is an interesting sort of story, it almost reads like an inverted fairy tale (and likely was intended as one). It’s about a princess who was of average looks (a scandal in any fairy tale, to be sure) who desperately hated balls and the fancy (uncomfortable) dresses she was forced to wear during them. I suspect she hated the whole concept of being a princess, as an annoying dress was likely not enough to make the girl wish to run from home. Which is exactly what she did.
While on the run she came across a snake, who promised to help her run away if she would only kiss him (before you start thinking this is like the Princess and the Frog, remember that this is meant to be a twisted tale). I find it oddly appropriate that the animal trying to trick the princess is a snake – it’s reminiscent of the supposed snake that talked Eve into falling for temptation; much like what is happening here.
Upon their kiss, the snake turns into a massive dragon, and for a time they’re happy. That is until he brings her home and adds her to his hoard. Being somebody’s treasure may sound romantic in theory, but in practice, it’s anything but. It’s no small wonder that the girl quickly becomes even more miserable than she had been at the palace, but here there’s little chance of escape (being kept in a locked cage would make it difficult).
It isn’t until she has the help of a friend that the little princess (now grown) has the courage to try and rescue herself (there’s a morbid joke earlier in the issue about how only pretty princesses get knights rushing out to save them, which is sad but potentially not inaccurate, based on the fairy tales). I’m always a fan of the concept of the princess saving herself, so I was pretty happy with this conclusion.
But wait, you’re probably wondering how this is a twisted romance, are you not? She certainly never loved the dragon, and the dragon only ever loved her as he could love any other possession. Which leaves us with limited options, but I’m sure you could guess if you wanted to (hint: her friend that gave her the courage to escape).
It’s a cute ending, if a little too fairy tale-esque for my taste; though I am pleased that they went through with having her save herself, followed by her finding peace outside of the castle and dragon’s lair. In many ways I feel that the more important part of the story was the tale of a little girl finding herself, and doing what was necessary to be happy in life.
The artwork is an interesting choice; many of the characters, buildings, and items are not colored in, instead being left white (with the exception of the line drawings adding detail), while the backgrounds are more solid colors and hues. I found myself enjoying the style more than I would have anticipated. It fits the fairy tale aspect quite nicely.
Unbound is the obligatory text based story, which again is a bit odd to see in a graphic novel collection, but by the fourth issue I was expecting it. It’s about a young man, Delio, discovering a new side of himself through bondage. It’s a really interesting (and dare I say needed) perspective on bondage. Unlike popular media right now (as in any of the Fifty Shades stuff), this story actually portrays a healthy relationship and exposure into that world. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the subject, this may be a good way of getting your toes wet (so to speak).
Legacies is a rather quick story, all things considered. It starts in the middle of everything, but it has an actual conclusion to follow. It’s an interesting choice, and once I adjusted to the idea I quite liked it. It appears that most of the characters in this story have a current and past life, and are trying to find the best course of action to appease both sides of themselves. That’s no easy task I’m sure, especially considering the time difference between the two lives (and I believe there’s a prophecy as well, which would likely add even more pressure).
The girls seem conflicted in their loyalties; should they be honoring their past lives wishes, or should they be enjoying their second chance? What is the right move here? It’s all wonderful food for thought, which I appreciated. In the end it was their leader that helped them find the right conclusion, as she chose to follow her heart.
This was an interesting tale, though I’ll admit I would have loved to see more context and information about what was actually going on. This story has a lot of potential, it just needs to fill in the gaps and give us a proper start. It feels a lot like a teaser novella, one designed to pull you into a series. Who knows, maybe that is what it’ll become?
I loved the bright colors for the images, but would have liked a bit more detail in the artwork at times. On the whole the characters drawn seem to match their personalities, though the style might be borderline too bubbly for the heavy internal debates going on.
Twisted Romance #4