The Crimson Cage #5: AWA Studios Review

Apr 20, 2022

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The Crimson Cage #5 Main Cover

With the finale issue upon us, The Crimson Cage has taken readers on a wild ride, wrapping up in epic fashion. John Lees’ retelling of Macbeth set to the world of wrestling has been nothing short of stellar. With each page, each panel, The Crimson Cage has been a viscous, well-paced story that has been impossible to put down.

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

It has all led to this, and to say Lees doesn’t hold anything back would be a massive understatement. While there may not be tremendous depth to the character of Chuck Frenzy, it is his descent into madness that gives his character life. His inevitable snap really puts him, and this story, over the top. Lees also brings all the other characters stories full circle, which both adds to and elevates the tragedy that is Chuck Frenzy. 

Enough cannot be said about how perfect Shakespeare is for professional wrestling, especially the story of Macbeth. Here we are in 2022 still finding new ways to adapt a story that was first published in the 1600s. Lees wonderfully taps into his affinity for horror and his love of wrestling and blends the two worlds together perfectly. 

“With each Page, each Panel, The Crimson Cage has been a viscous, well-paced story that has been impossible to put down. “

When discussing The Crimson Cage, it would be a complete failure to not mention the 1-2 combo of artists Alex and Ashley Cormack. Together, they perfectly capture the magic and aesthetics of 1980s professional wrestling. Visually, I feel as though I’m being transported back to my youth watching wrestling and discovering the magic that first pulled me in. However, it is the viciousness of the action — the gory elements of horror — where the art shines the most. 

Overall, The Crimson Cage is an absolute knockout of a series. Lees’ tremendous storytelling and obvious love of wrestling shines through issue-to-issue. Whether you’re a fan of professional wrestling or not, The Crimson Cage really is a story anybody can enjoy.  

Want to hear more about The Crimson Cage? Check out John Lees’ conversation on Geeks WorldWide Radio‘s TLDR podcast. He discussed the series finale with Joseph Gilmore and Nick Friar, along with the upcoming final issue of Hotell Vol. 2.

Listen and subscribe to the show on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Audible — wherever you listen to podcasts!

You can also get more on The Crimson Cage in TLDR #59!

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