Publisher: Image
Script/Letters: Erica Schultz
Art: Carola Borelli
Colours: Gab Contreras
Edits: James Emmett

Issue three finds Deadliest Bouquet finally settling in and focussing on the interesting stuff. This issue has a lot of family drama dancing around the central question of the murder. It’s more interesting for it too. This is more about the characters and their relationships which is what I’d hoped for back in issue one.

This issue sees Poppy’s husband Derek and her kids reappearing. It’s good to see them back. It wouldn’t have made sense to have them with this much focus last issue but here it helps build the drama. The reveal of Derek in the house was pretty obvious, I guessed it was him as soon as they noticed the front door open, but it doesn’t detract in any way from the meat of the story and is a neat way of revealing to Derek something about his wife he was ignorant of. Mainly the ass kicking side.

The next generation aren’t forgotten either as Violet, of all characters, draws parallels between Poppy’s treatment of her kids and their past. In many ways Violet is the one who understands the most about family dynamics, even though she’s the most family absent. It’s clear the kids recognise it too as it’s Auntie Violet they call on when their parents fight. They obviously appreciate her that way too.

Most of this issue is about the relationships and Poppy and Derek’s marriage gets some very interesting focus. The husband and kids is Poppy’s way of escaping her past. Except of course she can’t. The juxtaposition of the normality of the family she created is at odds with the family situation she was brought up in. We can see the strain this has on Poppy as she lashes out at Derek. It makes Poppy a bit more interesting now she has this going on.

Rose feels a bit more lost as her role is more background but having said that she’s related more to the plot developments. This makes sense since she’s the one who was closest to the murder. She’s not as clearly defined as her sisters in some ways as she was simply ‘the one who stayed with their mother’. The potential for some development is most welcome.

I will say the art in this issue was also really good. There are whole sections where the art does the work such as when Poppy, Rose and Violet on discovering someone is in the house creep around and make their way inside and tackle the intruder. There’s no dialogue just signs and the tension feels very real. The panels where the art is allowed to tell the story works very well. Also the kids look like kids, not always the case in comics.

This third issue feels like things are settling into their stride. The focus on the family, the dynamics of family works really well. This is where the potential of that first issue really seems to take off. The central murder mystery I am sure will be back but hopefully this importance of family will also be carried through as it works so well.

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