Dynamite Entertainment 2021
Written by Ray Fawkes
Illustrated by Álvaro Sarraseca
Coloured by Salvatore Aiala
Lettered by Tom Napolitano
Purgatori on the Nile! It’s time for a game of crocodile-and-mouse in Africa with the coven of Purgatori’s least favourite witches, and the river’s going to run red with someone’s blood. Purgatori knows that killing her enemies isn’t a problem -- it’s what they’re doing to her mind after they’re dead that might very well destroy her. Maybe there really is no way for her to win this fight. Maybe it’s time to change the rules of the game.
I am more than a little fascinated by the premise of this story as a coven of witches plan to be killed, see drunk dry, by Purgatori so that their essences are inside her where they can combine their magic to permanently take control of her body. It is a very ingenious plan actually and considering how hot headed Purgatori is and how little she regards those whose essence she’s absorbed over the years is one that might actually work. If it weren’t for Darwish who as a monster hunter has an idea about what is going on and will actually help Purgatori, who has never been on his killing radar. Ray really pulled this idea out of the magic hat instead of a Rabbit and I have to hand it to him for its originality and its uniqueness.
I am a complete and utter fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does this magnificent job in continuing to flesh out the personalities that we see. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story the more we are caught up in the denizens of this world and how the story unfolds.
I am extremely impressed with how we see this being structured as well as how we see the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see these layers open up new avenues to be explored. Between the coven, Darwish, the fantastic shape changing creatures I wasn’t aware existed and more add so much great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. The way we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
The interiors here are stunning. The linework is amazing and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of detail within the work that we see is phenomenal. How we see the level of work in the backgrounds is equally as stunning and they really expand and enhance the moments, which is why I wish we’d see more of them. How they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is remarkably well rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show an extremely talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a stupendous eye for how colour works.
There is something about Purgatori that I am utterly obsessed with. She’s crazy, interesting, powerful and doesn’t take shit from anyone which is what usually gets her into these situations she finds herself in. Thinking she’s invulnerable and untouchable she doesn’t think about consequences and this story is a great example of that. With some seriously interesting writing and crazy good characterisation that are wrapped up in these bloody beautiful interiors make her precisely who she is and doesn’t apologise for it.