National Comics is an experiment by DC Comics. You can read my review for the last issue they released: Eternity #1. This time the National Comics imprint has just released Rose and Thorn #1. And like Eternity, it was a great read.
The set is simple and shocking. A teenage girl named Rose wakes up in her very pink, feminine room only to find that she is soaked in blood (not her own). She then goes to school and everyone begins to talk about her bizare behavior the night before. The normally quiet and reserved Rose took on a whole new personality that she cannot remember who called herself Thorn.
Like Eternity, Rose and Thorn is a mystery at heart. And that is part of its great appeal. Both books hit you with a powerful hook in the beginning and urge you on with the deep desire to find out what happens next. This story could have easily devolved into a cliché split-personality story. But writer Tom Taylor keeps the story fresh.
One of the best parts is that we barely see the Thorn personality. And when we do, she feels so completely different than Rose. I don't just mean that she has a different attitude, but they structure the story so that Rose is like a different person. Think Smeagol/Gollum but in the technology age. Thorn feels completely outside Rose that the story feels more like a demonic possession than a split personality.
Taylor keeps the story completely from Rose's perspective, not Thorn. We can easily put ourselves in the place of this main character. He also does an excellent job of hinting at the larger story (the death of a parent, Rose's time in an asylum) without giving away the store.
As I said, this book is essentially a mystery, one with many twists and turns. Art by Neil Googe is fine, but not my taste.
National Comics is wonderful and frustrating. Twice now they have hit it out of the park. And twice I have to sit with the realization that I won't be getting the next part of their story any time soon.