Deadliest Bouquet #2 Review

Script/Letters: Erica Schultz

Art: Carola Borelli

Colors: Gab Contreras

Cover: Adriana Melo & Cris Peter

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: 3.99

Release Date: September 21st, 2022

Who killed Popy, Violet, and Rose’s mother? That’s the big mystery. And when your mother is a Nazi hunter, the list of suspects could be pretty long. But before we get that answer, it’s time to find out the truth about the three sisters.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Deadliest Bouquet #2 Review.

The Dispatch

The mystery deepens. DEADLIEST BOUQUET #1 dropped a murder mystery in our laps on the first page and then let the mystery of it fade into the background as Schultz introduced us to the victims’ three daughters: Poppy, Violet, and Rose. We learned much more about them in the issue than we did about the victim. DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 moves in the opposite direction. With the daughters established as characters and set on a course of uncovering the mystery of their mother’s death all on their own, it’s time to get some clues.

DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 picks up the morning after DEADLIEST BOUQUET #1 ends. Poppy never made it back to the hotel her family is staying at and instead spent the night in their mother’s house. Violet, on the other hand, never made it to bed at all. She followed up her bar fight with an overnight stint in jail.

Schultz peppers DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 with a few more flashback sequences than the first issue–sequences which add greater context to what we saw in DEADLIEST BOUQUET #1. These add little puzzles in each issue. And the little things we learn keep us hooked as the story moves toward solving the larger mystery. Poppy, Violet, and Rose are themselves mysteries and in a way, we’re getting to investigate them while they’re investigating their mother’s murder.

The big revelation in DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 is what the sisters do in their free time–a calling inherited from their mother. I found myself doing a double take here. The flashbacks in the first issue painted a picture of a mother training her daughters to fight but never really explained why. Given their mother’s past, it would make sense that she’d teach her daughters these skills. But that she taught them these things for this specific purpose surprised me. And it presented their dysfunctional relationship in a new light given how differently they respond to what they do.

The police factor more heavily into DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2. This was an aspect I did criticize about the first issue. As much as this isn’t a police procedural kind of mystery (nor do I want it to become one), the absence of the police after their introduction felt like an oversight. As it is, when the police return in this issue and question the three sisters, all of their investigative work has happened between issues. The autopsy and ballistics reports (we are told a rush was put on them) are delivered to the detective as he takes a break from questioning the sisters in a scene that feels like it exists solely for our benefit as opposed to the characters’.

I also criticized the presence of Poppy’s family in the first issue. They appear together on one page with Derek appearing alone in a flashback on another. Given what we learn about the sisters, their inclusion makes much more sense now. It still feels somewhat dangly, but at least not its inclusion looks meaningful.

Schultz’s lettering in DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 also deserves a special note. The convention of the flower corresponding to the sister’s name–Poppy, Violet, and Rose–is on the side of dialogue boxes as they talk over flashback sequences. That, plus the matching color outline, is very effective at keeping the conversations straight.

The Art

DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 includes a greater number of flashback sequences than the first issue, and their placement throughout the issue makes them stand out. Borelli and Contreras really create a separate world in these scenes. The flashbacks use a tried and true method of comparatively faded colors to separate them from the scenes that take place in the present. This has the same effect it often does–giving the past a kind of ethereal, to-be-longed-for era when things were simpler. Granted in DEADLIEST BOUQUET the sisters’ childhood may be more complicated, but the feeling holds.

Borelli’s art is solid once again, and–as with Contreras’s colors–it shines especially bright in the flashback sequences. The sisters emote more and possess softer shells than in the present. This makes sense now that we know what we know. And the sequence with the sisters’ parents is especially intense.

Final Thoughts

There was not much that I felt needed to be improved after DEADLIEST BOUQUET #1. Part of those could be attributed to the first issue needing to get the series going. Even so, DEADLIEST BOUQUET #2 managed to address those very things. Poppy’s family and the police still need to be better integrated. They’re not quite smoothed out. But the story remains a compelling mystery and absolutely worthy of your attention.

9.7/10

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