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Review: The Crimson Cage #1

The Crimson Cage #1

Take Shakespeare’s Macbeth and put it in the world of professional wrestling and you get The Crimson Cage #1, an interesting debut that should be pretty enjoyable for fans of sports entertainment.

Set in New Orleans in 1984, Chuck Frenzy is the headliner of the local Louisiana pro wrestling territory. He of course wants more. In a fateful meeting, Frenzy comes across a trio of beings who promise him glory, a run as the champion. But, to get there, he must do something horrible.

Written by John Lees, The Crimson Cage #1 is an interesting debut that works in some ways and others it falls a little short. The story takes a lot from Macbeth and that works really well for the overall plot. But, it’s some of the specifics and details that feel a little off.

The idea of a story about the ins and outs of professional wrestling and one doing something horrible to reach the top is a great idea. That stands on its own and has no need of any supernatural elements. It’s the supernatural elements that takes the story out of its focus.

It’d be easy to just focus on the wrestling, and yes the idea of supernatural beings pushing the narrative is part of Macbeth, but the story so far would still work, and work well, without them. I’d argue it’d make some of the decisions and moves even more ominous and cold. It’d be straight want as opposed to being driven by what you’re told is your destiny. There’d be something a bit more dramatic about it all as opposed to just being pre-determined events. Though, for wrestling there’s something interesting there that isn’t quite played up enough.

The art by Alex Cormack delivers all the action and drama with a dark cloud hanging over it all. Ashley Cormack provides the colors with lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The style of the comic delivers a flair for all the characters that creates larger than life characters but at the same time does so in a small time promotion sort of way. Each character has a look and style that tells a story by itself. The wrestling action is captured really well. There’s a lot of emotion as well that plays out in the panels.

The idea of a pre-determined destiny playing out in a pre-determined sport is an interesting concept. That’s what the elements of Macbeth brings to The Crimson Cage #1 but that juxtaposition isn’t focused on enough in the debut. Instead, it feels like a normal story of greed with some supernatural elements that don’t quite fit. There’s something really close to being a hell of a read here but it dances around either its more interesting aspects or dives into them without much need for them.

Story: John Lees Art: Alex Cormack
Color: Ashley Cormack Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

AWA Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Inferno #3

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Arkham City: Order of the World #3 (DC Comics) – Spinning out of “A day” this series narrows in on the former Arkham patients now running around. There’s a solid horror vibe to it all.

Batman: One Dark Knight #1 (DC Comics) – Jock both writes and draws Batman. Nuff said.

Buckhead #1 (BOOM! Studios) – What strange secrets lie in the mysterious town of Buckhead, USA? We want to find out!

Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Buffy is now in her 50s and the last Slayer fighting agains the forces of darkness who prey on humanity in the daylight unimpeded.

Captain America/Iron Man #1 (Marvel) – The two heroes must team up when they find out a villain they’re pursuing is connected to them both.

Crimson Cage #1 (AWA Studios) – A new take on the classic Macbeth set in the world of wrestling!

Daisy #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A horror story of a mother’s search for her missing son.

Dark Knights of Steel #2 (DC Comics) – A fantasy take on DC’s heroes. The first issue had just enough to twist things up and make the series more than just superheroes in a different setting.

Devil’s Reign #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s event kicks off here as Mayor Fisk brings the hammer down on New York City’s heroes.

Inferno #3 (Marvel) – The miniseries is wrapping up Jonathan Hickman’s run on the X world and it’s definitely shaking things up with a lot of interesting maneuvering for power by the characters.

Lady Mechanika: Monster of Ministry #1 (Image Comics) – Lady Mechanika is one of those series we always come back to and enjoy. The beautiful art and the detail packed in is more than enough to make this debut worth picking up and checking out.

Mother F. Goose (AfterShock) – A twisted take on the classic fairytales.

What’s the Furthest Place From Here #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue introduced us to an intriguing apocalyptic world with a solid soundtrack to go along with it.

Preview: Crimson Cage #1

Crimson Cage #1

(W) John Lees (A/CA) Alex Cormack
In Shops: Dec 08, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Double double toil and rumble…Brace yourself for a No-Holds-Bard reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth from the critically-acclaimed creators of Sink. New Orleans, 1984. Chuck Frenzy is the main event star of the local Louisiana pro wrestling territory, but yearns for something greater. A fateful encounter with a trio of terrifying beings in the Bayou gives Chuck a glimpse of championship glory beyond his wildest dreams…if he is willing to do something terrible to achieve it. Join writer John Lees (Hotell) and artist Alex Cormack (Sea of Sorrows) for a thrilling new vision of the classic tale of ambition and madness, starting with this special, oversized first chapter.

Crimson Cage #1
Zeismic