Rasputin: The Road to the White House

The twist ending of last year’s gorgeous, haunting Rasputin flug the titular character into the future. Now working for a famous politician, Rasputin works from the shadows to ensure she stays alive, even if it means bringing her back from the dead. But a reporter puts the clues together and confronts Rasputin. Not the wisest of plans.

It’s hard not to compare this book to the first one. While the original featured sparse dialogue and rich storytelling through images, The Road to the White House contains lots of text dumps. The reporter exists for Rasputin to unload a bunch of backstory and it does this in the laziest way possible.

It doesn’t help that the comic is a series of flashbacks into Rasputin’s life. While the more modern setting sets up an interesting fish out of water premise, in reality, it hardly factors into the story at all. It would have worked better as simply a series of one-off issues with Rasputin jumping through time each issue.

Riley Rossmo returns on the art and while this book doesn’t star his art front and center, his work is still fantastic. He gives this book a nice, old-school newspaper comic feel even though it’s printed on glossy paper. And the color pallet fits perfectly with the time. It’s the strongest part of the book.

It’s disappointing that the follow-up to one of the best books of last year fails to capture the sparse storytelling that made its predecessor so good. It’s worth checking out for the art alone, but with better writing it could have been fantastic.

© 2016 James Blake Ewing