My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In this second volume, readers jump to the present day, where Rasputin is alive & well, working as an aide to a presidential hopeful. A savvy onlooker with a camera catches the starets healing his boss after a botched assassination attempt & later confronts him with the evidence. The rest of the story flashes back to how Rasputin survived Yusupov’s deadly dinner party & gives a few hints as to what he’s been doing in the intervening years. The collection ends abruptly but not before planting seeds to an interesting alternate history that I hope the creators get to explore further.
Overall, I liked this volume better than the first; it’s completely committed to it’s alt-history premise which reflects better on some of the event streamlining of the first 5 issues. And what crazy fun some of those alt-history ideas are! Did you know that not only are the Russian royal children alive, they were adopted by the Zapruders. Y’know, like the name of the guy who filmed JFK’s assassination? And, BTW, did you know that JFK is not dead, saved by our starets himself? (Can’t say the same about Jackie though, pity.)
Grecian & Rossimo also return to alternating Russian folklore with the action scenes here, which I like. But it does make me wonder how their story would have changed once they took their character out of his homeland. I can see how future issues could have looked like a slick action-y anti-hero story with plenty of supernatural & mythical touches. But this might be all that we readers get. Definitely a mini-series to check out if you’re curious, but borrow from a friend or the library before totally committing.