Comic book reviews for Cloudia & Rex #1, Cloudia & Rex #2, and Cloudia & Rex #3 by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Daniel Irizarri
Average rating: 4.6/5 stars
Cloudia & Rex #1 by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Daniel Irizarri
This book pulled me in. I enjoyed the concept. I enjoy the issues it’s dealing with — end of the world for polytheistic gods, the domination of monotheism, the death of a parent (the dad), moving, and growing up. However, the issue cover says 1 of 3 issues, and this is an ambitious book. I do hope the creators have structured it well as a teaser, as a market test.
We have two worlds: the human world and the world of gods.
In the human world, Cloudia, her sister Rex, and their mother are embarking on a moving to Seattle journey. It’s pretty typical tweens in this world who aren’t helping with the moving and won’t get off their phones. Cloudia also has a problematic “boyfriend” who her mother rightly doesn’t like, but that just makes Cloudia like him more.
In the world of the gods, Thanatos (Death) and Hypnos are trying to escape the seraphim (angels), who are destroying all the other gods on bestheast of one who wants monotheism to be the only truth. This is an interesting take on the rise of monotheism, especially the Judeo-Christian god. I mean, this must be him with the seraphim and all. If you look at the history of Judaism and then Christianity, the Judeo-Christian god started off as just another jealous male god bent on destroying other gods. Only instead of being a rival polytheistic god, the Judeo-Christian god positions the other gods as the “devil” entity.
Anyway, here Thanatos and Hypnos employ Zurvan (god of time) to help get them the hell out of there. They are successful. Kind of.
Cloudia and family get into a car accident. Their car, and all the boxes, sure get a lot of beating in this book. The accident was caused by the gods, who look to transmute themselves into humans or into the human world however they can. In this case, Thanatos and Zurvan end up in Cloudia and Hypnos in Rex.
This turns Rex into a wooly rhino. Which the family kind of immediately accepts as normal and that she really is Rex. It also gives Cloudia super strength, and she can hear Thanatos and Zurvan talking to her via an app on her phone. We don’t really know if Rex can chat with Hypnos, but we do know that Hypnos spent most of his time on god world asleep, so maybe he is asleep inside Rex.
The mom, though, she’s kind of the best. The best is her shouting at Cloudia to put down the car and not damage their stuff. Which is a scene that shows all sorts of grief on all of them, but is also funny.
The art here is great. I love the reds and pinks color pallette choice. And I love that this story centers around young black girls.
Cloudia & Rex #2 by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Daniel Irizarri
This is a masterful middle issue. It sets the focus to be small enough for a three issue run. It’s not too big or ambitious. We’re close to what ending the gods want for themselves and their continued lives. It’s also very clear how the mom and the girls are still valued players in this story.
Rex and her changing shapes were just so fun. The starfish to save her mother from falling and getting majorly hurt was pretty great. Same with her mom having to tell her not to change shape. Such a typical mom-kid thing to blow up into the absurd.
Cloudia in Atargatis’ form was pretty awesome. How regal and powerful, especially for a teenage girl. No wonder she likes that form. Though Thanatos is right that they needed to be on a better lookout for the angels. Nice twist that if Cloudia’s phone dies, then the gods die.
Not surprising that the angels were able to convince Rex and the mom that they were on a good hunt for Cloudia and actually cared about her safety. It didn’t last long.
Super mom mode got activated. Of course, the girls are great, but there needs to be an adult in this entire situation. Though it’s also not shocking that given powers to travel through time, she’d head right toward when her dead husband was still alive and try to save him.
The art continues to be really great. Love how each character expresses themselves through movements. The details are just devine.
Cloudia & Rex #3 by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Daniel Irizarri
In the end, the gods didn’t matter. It was Cloudia, Rex, and their mother who actually saved the universe. I think that’s a pretty great message.
Wow, the art and storytelling was so painful as the mother relieved her life with their father, Anthony. (I still haven’t been able to figure out if we were ever given a name for the mom.) The creators hit all the right notes of joy and sorrow. We see the mom acknowledging that she’ll have to make the choice to leave. That this is no choice, but to leave the past and move on.
The girls banging on the time bubble around their old “house” was harrowing. They were watching their mother in pain, but also getting to see deep joys and sorrows of time with their father themselves. Not to mention, they were in real danger.
I also liked the subtle message that the girls would always give up their smartphones to have their father back. The angel chasing the phone with the call from Gerard was pretty hilarious, and a nice comedic relief.
There’s no surprise that, in the end, none of the gods wanted to help the humans, especially if it was at any risk for their own wellbeing.
I LOVED the end part where the mother figured out Cloudia had gotten her period and that was the blood sacrifice. So fitting. It’s all about grief, acceptance, and love.
The storytelling remains sharp to the end. This is how you craft a three-party story in a comic book. This is an arc. These are the steps you take to get there and how you create the container. This is just lovely.