National Comics: Rose & Thorn: Tom Taylor, Neil Googe, Jim Charalampidis, Patrick Brosseau, Ryan Sook
Wow this was surprisingly good. I wanted to check this book out because I’m somewhat familiar with this character (or characters?) and the whole personality disorder thing. Wait, that makes it sound like I’m personally familiar with personality disorders. …Yeah, that’s about right.
So we meet Rose as she wakes up in the morning, remembering something about someone screaming, that she thinks is her. Well, that’s fitting because she’s covered in blood.
This first scene is pretty funny, what with her shouting about spiders, and the facial expressions of the cat. Some of the dialog is pretty corny, but it mainly comes from the mom…which actually makes sense. My mom has a corny sense of humor. It feels real here in the book.
When Rose gets to school, she finds out pieces of what she did last night. It mainly involved possibly hooking up with popular girl’s ex-boyfriend, Troy. Rose thinks the blood’s his because Troy didn’t come to school. While it wasn’t explained why he didn’t show up, it’s actually not his. But she did have some fun with Troy as Thorn’s Facelook pictures suggest. Yes, her other personality has a Facelook page (and, no, I’m not spelling that wrong).
Next Rose’s friend, Mel, talks about Rose getting new popular friends and dissecting frogs (another really great scene), before Rose passes out and skips school. She goes to Troy’s house and remembers, as Thorn, getting a tattoo from Troy’s father before tying him up and carving “MINE” into his chest. This explains the blood.
Why did Thorn do this? Well it has to do with dear, dead Daddy. Yes, it’s always about the daddy issues, isn’t it? So Rose’s dad died recently and apparently Thorn is the mental response this poor girl’s having in order to deal. Thorn remembers more about what happened than Rose, and is hunting down the people involved…Troy’s dad included.
Finally, Thorn video-messages Rose and tells her all this, and gets Rose to agree to go along with it all. It’s a really cool concept, and I love the story and characters. What’s special, as well, is that the dialog reminds me very much of Whedon shows like Buffy. It definitely seems like a show he’d have written, if this were ever a show.
The art took some getting used to. Rose just makes some really goofy faces on the first three pages that I was not digging. But once I got used to the style, it seemed very cartoony, which I can do. I like cartoons. I found I started really liking those crazy expressions, and the overall style. I have to really hand it to Charalampidis for the color work, especially the blood. Awesome job NOT making it look like jelly. It’s fantastic.
National Comics: Rose & Thorn, the verdict: I’m really bummed this is only a one-shot. But it’s cool seeing this character back in continuity. I hope we get to see more of her somewhere. What’s a real bummer, though, is that because Alan Scott is gay now, and Rose doesn’t seem to live on Earth 2 here (check the Wonder Woman and Flash dolls she has), Rose isn’t the mother of Jade and Obsidian anymore. At least not this version of Rose Canton. Perhaps Earth 2 has one too. Perhaps her name’s Ralph there.
(Photo Source: Major Spoilers)