Bliss asks the ultimate question in life. If you could do anything you wanted and live guilt-free, would you? Benton is struggling with this very question as his son sits in a hospital clinging on to hope and life. Benton struggles to give his family everything that he possibly can. Now that the opportunity has shown itself will Benton give in to the bliss?
Merriam-Webster defines “bliss” as complete happiness. We use the word to describe multiple things in our life that bring us happiness. A book, a concert, or any number of things that bring us complete happiness but what if complete happiness came with a moral price-tag. That is the question Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky ask in their splendidly dark and beautiful book Bliss.
Biss #1 is set in a world of dark characters and even darker circumstances. Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky pose an age-old question and put one hell of a twist on it. What if bliss was a drug? What if you could do you wanted and felt zero remorse? All you have to do is take the bliss. Now upon the first time reading this issue I was overcome with asking myself that very question. After a few more reads I realized this book was about another subject that is hidden in plain sight. Love.
How far would you go to protect those you love? As the book progresses, we are introduced to various patients who have endured awful life-threatening injuries giving us a glimpse of what the outside world has to offer. Are these malicious attacks due to bliss? Is the guy describing why he did it drinking a vile of bliss? The writing of Sean Lewis does a remarkable job of getting in your head and living rent-free. Every single time I have read Bliss #1 I have gone back to certain pages and re-read or looked deeper into the art on the panel to see if I missed something.
Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky have constructed something so beautiful yet so dark with Bliss #1. Caitlin Yarsky has an uncanny ability to tell her own story with her art. The depth that she gives the characters brings them characters to life in such a way that you feel their pain and struggles when you look into their eyes. I found myself sympathizing with Benton who I feel is a good person stuck in a bad world. Benton reminds us all how easy it is for good people to become corrupted when they are desperate, and options are slim.
Throughout Bliss #1 we are confronted with the question of how far is too far? Whether it’s the opening panels with Benton’s future father-in-law, the hospital, or the underbelly of Feral City we are in the presence of a father and how far he will go for the love of his son or daughter. If you kill for the love and protection of a loved one, are you a monster for doing so? How far would you go to experience bliss?
Bliss #1 is such an emotional trip through your feelings and takes you to the deepest and darkest parts of your mind. At times I found myself getting emotional and putting myself in Benton's position. Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky have created something very special with Bliss.
Bliss #1: What Would You Do For Bliss?
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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