In quite the surreal issue, Rasputin heads to the Tura River to see Ded Moroz and learn more about his power of healing. The first couple of issues of this series were pretty straight forward. Here, it gets more into Russian mythology and connects it to the history of Rasputin. Writer Alex Grecian does this in a seamless way and it feels like a natural progression of the story.
There's still a lot to figure out about this world and this version of Rasputin, but the way this issue and the previous have come together, it's completely engrossing. Each issue gives away just a little bit of the mystery that is this character, but leaves the reader wanting more. As far as month to month reading goes, this is something that works exceptionally well in that format. How this will read in trade is yet to be seen, but the month to month waiting is something I find very endearing about this book.
I'm loving the little things getting added to this book like Rasputin's father's ghost following him around, which is a big part of this issue. Grecian is doing a fantastic job building this character and world slowly. Sure, this issue does drop a lot of Russian folklore onto the reader, but it's done so in a way where it doesn't feel like you're getting a whole bunch of folklore dropped on your head.
There is very little dialogue or captions in this issue. The art is truly something that moves the narrative forward. Dialogue is used to enhance the scenes as well as explain things that just can't be explained through the panel to panel storytelling. The writing and art are in perfect sync with each other.
Riley Rossmo on art with Ivan Plascencia on colors truly put together something special that straddles the line of reality and fantasy. Ok, so it's a bit more fantasy, but it's based loosely on a real guy, right? What these two creators do is magical and breathtaking. The character designs are real cool looking and there's one page in particular that is fantastic: it's a splash page with Rasputin and the Snow Maiden sharing a kiss as moments from Rasputin's life float into the hair This is the first time in the issue that the color palate changes and it's startling but looks wonderful.
I hate saying "there's nothing wrong with this." However, if there is something off about this book, I'm not seeing it. RASPUTIN #3 is a wonderful issue and reminds me a lot of 80s fantasy films I watched growing up.
RASPUTIN #3 is a bit different than the first two issues but in the best way possible. It delves a bit more into the world of fantasy and integrates Russian mythology to explain a bit more about who Rapsutin is and why he can do what he does. This creative team is killing in on this book, and RASPUTIN is quickly jumping up to be one of my favorite on-going series. You need to read this series.