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Warren Ellis continues his mind bending Supreme saga with Supreme Blue Rose #3. This is quickly becoming a must read title for this year, and maybe into the next. Either way, it’s a series that Supreme fans must make a must.
Supreme Blue Rose #3 is the sort of issue that punishes the reader for thinking that they have been able to follow the plot. Yet it is also an amazingly simple and clarifying issue nonetheless. Ellis takes the time to delve deep into the mysteries that he has set up, but not too deep. In fact Ellis also throws out maybe twice as many subplots and questions at the reader at the same time. This is one of those series and it can be extremely off-putting.
Often I have seen this series be shamed for being too esoteric and vague. These are valid points, in some cases extremely valid, and ones that should be kept in hand. Blue Rose is becoming more and more clearly being written for the old fans. Yet, in making the series this way, it’s alienating of any new blood. As a fan of the Moore tenure as well, it’s also a strike against it that whenever Ellis uses a previous concept he sees the need to complicate it with obtrusive language.
The story itself, point blank, is shaping up very nicely. Ellis does something that not even Moore dared to do and explains the “Revisions”. It’s a fairly entertaining explanation and doesn’t mess with what has been established before. It brings together a lot of the distant pieces of the rather stylistically scattershot narrative. It sets up a race against time and actually makes the urgency of finding Supreme an actually important part. Up until now it’s just been a premise, but now it’s the forefront.
A big part of the issue follows what is apparently Ellis’ own feelings on metaphysics and architecture. It’s a scene that sounds cool, but it comes off as really unnecessary. It may come to importance and relevance later, almost definitely considering the source, but it’s the first entirely UN-Supreme thing Ellis has done. Ellis has changed a lot but it’s usually had some sort of base in Supreme lore. Adding this in is just obstructive.
Tulay Lotay is consistently on form however. The art is the smash hit of this series. Her alien landscapes are superb, as are the Professor Night segments. The latter has become an almost welcome non-sequiter. There’s a lot of raw power flowing through the art and it makes up for the series’ weaker moments. It’s still one of my favorite pulls each month, and hopefully it ties itself up by the end. Too many subplots could sink the ship, but the sailing is too fun to miss.