released OUT NOW! Publisher Vertigo
Writer David Baillie
Artist Meghan Hetrick
Best known for penning Future Shocks for 2000 AD, David Baillie has now followed that familiar creative path leading to Vertigo for his first ongoing series, which draws on his Scottish roots.
The first issue opens with main character Isla Macintosh arriving in Glasgow to track down her missing sister. The city is effectively brought to life by Meghan Hetrick’s vibrant, manga- esque art, and Baillie highlights not just its underlying mythology but also its rock and roll history. So it’s almost disappointing when Isla crosses over to an alternate fantasystyle land ruled over by the ancient pagan demi- god Thorn.
Isla’s quest to discover her sister’s fate is swiftly sidelined as she becomes embroiled with Thorn, and Baillie throws too many elements into what’s quite a heady mix, leaving some plotlines and characters frustratingly undeveloped. Isla is endowed with the ability to bring drawings to life, and it’s revealed that one of them fatally stabbed one of her teachers, but three issues in no consequences for those actions have yet been mentioned.
Still, with such an intriguing central promise, Red Thorn is worth sticking with for the long haul; hopefully Baillie will pace his stories better in later arcs. Stephen Jewell
She didn’t take the “No” vote well.