- Publisher: Marvel
- Writer: Si Spurrier
- Art: Kev Walker (pencils), Guru-eFX (colours), Clayton Cowles (letters)
So here we are. The end of Elsa Bloodstone’s Journey to Misery. Everything comes to a head in this issue, and boy, was this a satisfying finish. Fair warning, there will be spoilers in this article.
Last we saw of Elsa and her mysterious companion, the two encountered what Elsa dreads most, her own father, a reanimated Ulysses Bloodstone. Worse still, Mystique and her zombie horde followed them to where they ended up on the edge of the Deadlands. Expecting shit to go down? It does, and it did so gloriously.
The bulk of this issue is an epic three-way confrontation between Elsa and ‘Shuttup’, Ulysses, and the deadheads. To those of you who read the previews? Nope, he’s not dead yet. Along the way, all the loose ends are tied up quite nicely. How Ulysses gained the Bloodstones all over his body, who Shuttup really was, and one more flashback for good measure to hammer the point home that Ulysses is the worst dad of the aeon.
The script, as is usual for Spurrier, has its black humour highlights, but what shines through this issue is the pure emotion oozing from the pages. I freely admit that I was completely in for the ride and went along with its every twist and turn the whole issue, and even was legitimately worried for Elsa at one point. Spurrier once again shows how he just gets Elsa’s voice and tortured upbringing.
Of course, none of this would have the same impact if it weren’t for the art team of Kev Walker and Guru-eFX rendering all the bloody details of this epic fight. From Ulysses’ creepy design to the depiction of the Bloodstone energy coursing through both father and child, everything is spot on. The Scraphead that the rotters brought in to fight the two Bloodstones was also a highlight, what with it being apparently a part of the Destroyer armour and all. A peek into the alternate versions of Elsa and Cullen all over Battleworld was a nice touch as well, and I loved the designs.
If I had to nitpick, it’s that Shuttup’s true nature isn’t explained in more detail, but I could live with it. Other than that, this is a stellar ending to one of Secret Wars’ best books. And it ended happier than I thought it would be, which is a very welcome bonus.
Here’s hoping Elsa Bloodstone will show up again in the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe. If anything, this series shows that Elsa is a deep, interesting character who is sadly underappreciated and deserves to headline her own series and hang with the A-listers. I, for one, would love to see a Bloodstone series starring Elsa and Cullen that explores their sibling dynamics. Or at least have Elsa on a team, maybe even the Howling Commandos? It’s wishful thinking, but it would be awesome if she did.