The Glory Days Are Long Gone In Crone #1

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Bloody Bliss was once the most feared warrior in the Three Kingdoms. Her most famous victory was fighting alongside Vor the Lion and Gaspur Rogue against D’Kayde and his Harbingers. However, that was years ago, and Bliss now lives atop a cold mountain with naught but bears to keep her company. However, Gaspur Rogue has returned; he and his daughter need Bliss’ help. Their village was raided and slaughtered, and Bliss is the only one who can help them take back their home–or at least get vengeance upon those who drove them out.

Crone #1 cover by Justin Greenwood and Brad Simpson
Crone #1 cover by Justin Greenwood and Brad Simpson

Crone #1 is another entry in the post-modern hero story we’ve seen from the likes of Old Man Logan, Old Man Hawkeye, Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows and others of their sort (for movie comparisons, think John Wick and Unforgiven). It’s a story where the glory days are long gone, and all that remains is unfinished business and trying to find a quiet place to wait for death.
It’s a deliberately depressing genre, but it’s one I’ve found myself enjoying a lot. Oftentimes the hero finds the hollowness in their past victories and now seeks only to find meaning before the end. Now, Crone could still go in a million different and unique directions, and I greatly look forward to where Dennis Culver and Justin Greenwood go with this tale. My comparisons to those other stories isn’t intended to belittle Crone but give a frame of reference for the kind of tale it is.
As for the quality of Crone #1, it is quite good. Bliss is a likable character. Her past is a Red Sonja-esque tale of legendary battles and high fantasy. I think I can guess at some of the twists that are yet to come, but I still want to see how well they can play out.
Some of the plot beats in the present are a little predictable as well, though such things will hopefully be ironed out in the issues to come.

Greenwood’s art is great. There’s a visual distinction between the glory days of yesteryear and the cold and haggard present. The character design of Bliss, both then and now, is solid and thematic for the kind of story being told. Also, D’Kayde looks pretty damn cool. Brad Simpson’s color art is moody and atmospheric while also just looking good.
Crone #1 is a sad travel through a warrior woman’s legendary past and her isolated and sad present. It tells the reader what kind of story this will be and how tragic the ending will likely be. Bliss is a solid character, and I’m left looking forward to how this tale will progress. It’s a good read and is easily worth a recommendation. Check it out.
Crone #1 comes to us from writer Dennis Culver, artist Justin Greenwood, color artist Brad Simpson, letterer Pat Brosseau, and cover artist Justin Greenwood with Brad Simpson.
Final Score: 7.5/10

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