The Crimson Cage #1 (REVIEW)

Dec 8, 2021

Mad Cave Studios


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The Crimson Cage #1 Main Cover

The Crimson Cage #1

Are you ready to rumble? Well, I hope so, because John Lees and AWA/Upshot studios have once again delivered another can’t-miss comic. The Crimson Cage #1 is a wonderful retelling of Shakespeare’s classic Macbeth, but instead of castles and kings, you have turnbuckles and wrestlers. While the retelling may be a little on the nose, The Crimson Cage #1 is still a wildly fun and viscous story that leaves a lasting impression.  

AWA/Upshot Studios
Written by: John Lees
Art by: Alex Cormack
Colors by: Ashley Cormack
Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Wrestling fans will no doubt love this book right from the start. Lees is able to capture the magic of the old school wrestling from our youth and seamlessly blends it into one of the most famous stories of all time. It’s almost as if Macbeth was written with the wrestling fan in mind. Take an underdog who’s never made it big, and tempt them with the magic of the bright lights. Lees simply nails it. 

However, I believe those who are not avid wrestling fans will still enjoy The Crimson Cage #1. As I mentioned above, Macbeth is a classic tragedy with a plot anybody can enjoy. Witchcraft, murder and a thirst for glory, all those elements can be found within the pages of The Crimson Cage #1. Lees does a great job of taking all the classic components of Macbeth and turning it into the perfect wrestling storyline. 

” The Crimson Cage #1 is a wonderful retelling of Shakespeare’s classic Macbeth…”

Another great element of The Crimson Cage #1 is its art. The team of Alex and Ashley Cormack really bring a terrifying and horrific feel to this story. Alex Cormack, who is no stranger to drawing horror comics, really brings that feel to The Crimson Cage #1. His action scenes in the ring look and feel genuine, as well as savage and violent. However, it is the scenes outside the ring that will make you sit up straight and draw you further in. Additionally, Ashley Cormack’s colors perfectly help set the tone of this story. From the bright colors of the ring side action, to the eerie and macabre of the evil that is always lurking.

Overall, The Crimson Cage #1 is a great first issue. Great storytelling, wonderful character development and sets up the next issue brilliantly.  Wrestling fan or not, The Crimson Cage #1 does a great job and will surely hook any reader. 

If you want to learn more about AWA Studios, be sure to listen to TLDR‘s interview with AWA’s Chief Creative Officer, Axel Alonso — where he also talked about his time with Vertigo and Marvel Comics.

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