Writers: Chrissy Williams
Art: Lauren Knight
Colors: Sofie Dodgson
Flats: Shayne Hannah Chui
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: September 7th, 2022
Golden Rage #2 continues the story of Jay, Lottie, Rosie, and Caroline, exiled to an island with other post-menopausal women and having to struggle and fight to survive. Imagine “Battle Royale” or a bloodier, more brutal version of “Hunger Games”, but with women aged 41 and over. They can never leave the island and have to survive the best they can. The island is split into different factions and tribes. The Red Hat faction is the most savage, and as the story continues, Jay, who has just arrived at the island and been “adopted” by Lottie, Rose, and Caroline, must face the possibility of the Red Hats coming for her at any moment.
Golden Rage #2 is a fascinating read and I’m loving this mini-series so far. The beautiful thing about this story is that you can read it on many levels.
Primarily, it’s a statement on how harshly society treats women, especially older women who have gone through menopause. In the world of Golden Rage, these women are considered useless and are cast aside on a remote island. In the real world, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a faction of America seems to feel that women should be forced to carry babies full-term, and chances are, those same people consider a woman’s usefulness ended once she goes past child-bearing age. So at times, I wondered if this book were fiction or just a prophecy of things to come.
But above all, it’s a very chilling story of survival, where you never know what’s going to happen next. In this issue, we get to see more of the factions on the island. As Jay and her new adopted family walk the island to find a woman simply named “The Witch”, they encounter a group called “The Dead Women”, who have one bone-chilling but necessary purpose on the island, and seem immune from the conflicts going on around them.
Discovering how the different groups on the island interact with each other is fascinating. The island’s become its own country. One that’s constantly racked by civil war.
Equally fascinating are the main characters (Jay and her adopted family).
Jay is the newcomer to the island, tough but not totally hardened by the island yet. She’s still trying to figure out what’s going on. She represents the reader and we discover new things as she does. Rosie is a huge woman, built like a female weightlifter. She’s an older woman with a Chyna-like stature. She likes to strike first and ask questions later, and always seems on guard.
Lottie is the oldest of the four and seems (at least to me) like she’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. She comically frets over her cats and chickens, but occasionally has moments of lucidity where she shows heavy knowledge of the island that she’s lived on so long.
Caroline always has a smart-ass remark or complaint, but is a fighter too. She’s very protective of Lottie and seems to treat her almost like her mother. I found myself hoping they never reach “The Witch”, because I was enjoying reading them trek across the island. With the startling cliffhanger, though, everything’s up in the air, and the story may be taking a deadly serious and violent turn next issue.
Lauren Knight dots the island with lovely scenery and lush landscape throughout Golden Rage #2. She incorporates lots of tiny details in the background of panels, making the world of this story more real, whether it’s Lottie’s cats prancing around their small house or random mugs with “#1 Grandma” written on them.
One beautiful splash page shows Jay and the others leaving their house to head off across the island. In the foreground, Jay and Caroline are walking a long dirt road as the house appears behind them in the distance, showing that they’ve truly left their safe microcosm to head out into a simultaneously serene but deadly landscape.
Golden Rage is great entertainment, with grand world-building, interesting characters, and an overall feeling of dread that will keep you riveted throughout. Golden Rage #2 heightens the tension as we get more insight into the geography and splinter groups dotting the island. Highly recommended.