Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Review of "Rasputin #2," by Alex Grecian et. al.

 Review of

Rasputin #2, by Alex Grecian et. al.

Five out of five stars

A comic rendition of an enigmatic figure

 If there is a historical personality that is well suited for a story involving mystical powers, it is Grigori Rasputin. Born is Siberia, he became a celebrated and reviled religious figure. There is no question that he was believed to have a positive healing influence on Alexei,  the only son of Tsar Nicholas II, a hemophiliac. The Empress Alexandra held him in high regard and there seems little question that he did have a positive influence on Alexei’s health. Even one of the doctors that cared for Alexei expressed surprise at some of his recoveries from hemophilic episodes when Rasputin was present.

 What is likely the most amazing aspect of Rasputin’s life is his death. When a group of Russian nobles determined that Rasputin was growing too powerful and must be killed, they decided to do so. They first fed him tea and cakes laced with cyanide, but that had no effect. They then gave him Madeira wine laced with poison and he still showed no signs of distress. Finally, one of them shot him once in the chest. Thinking him dead, one of them donned his clothing and left the building so that onlookers would believe that Rasputin had lived long enough to return home. However, when they returned, Rasputin rose up and attacked one of them and tried to escape before he was shot again.

 This comic opens with Rasputin entering a Siberian drinking establishment and meeting a French officer. A fight breaks out between most of the patrons and the French officer and seeing the mismatch, Rasputin enters the battle on the side of the Frenchman. It is a wild fight, and the two men are the only ones standing and they celebrate by drinking to each other. When the Frenchman is shot, he is healed by the touch of Rasputin.

 It is a great start to a “true-ish” story about one of the most enigmatic historical figures. It is unknown what the true extent of his powers were, but there is no question that they were significant, at least in the minds of people in the royal court.

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