Synopsis: Continues the story directly after the shocking events of Penny Dreadful’s season three TV finale.
Review: Penny Dreadful: The Awakening #2.3 was my favorite issue of the series so far. Beyond the vague official synopsis above, this installment was almost entirely a flashback to Ancient Egypt. Frankly, I wish we had gotten this opening chapter in the saga of Amun-Ra, Amunet, and Set on screen. This was yet further proof that John Logan’s narrative was rendered without a necessary layer.
Structurally, the story was repetitive. Amun-Ra, who will become Dracula, and Set, who will be known as Lucifer, fought over the body and soul of Amunet, who will become Vanessa Ives. Belial was Amunet’s true beloved as Ethan was Vanessa’s. Readers can sense from Chris King’s script that the author knew that he was creatively mining a different patch of the same ground. However, the reincarnation trope of Egyptian Gothic literature made a virtue of that very repetitiveness. It was why these sequences should have been rendered on screen as soon as the Egyptian connection was initially made in the first season. Viewers who were resistant to Vanessa’s death in the finale would have been more apt to embrace it if they had been allowed to understand the full circle nature of the old-school Tragedy.
I have one quibble with King’s script, though. Narrative economy proved to be a double-edged sword. Belial learned necromancy far too quickly.
The art by Jesus Hervas and coloring by Jason Wordie were superb throughout. I was particularly impressed by the single panel depicting Amunet on page 17 and the panels depicting Belial and Amunet on page 19. Hervas and Wordie turned the night and the sunrise into the perfect foils for the characters.
- Story, Art, Coloring, Lettering
- Belial learned necromancy far too quickly.