REBEL MOON: HOUSE OF THE BLOODAXE #1 Review – A Dull and Unappealing Expansion of the Netflix Franchise

The first issue of the Reble Moon tie-in comic titled House of the Bloodaxe is a dull addition to a dull franchise.
House of the Bloodaxe Rebel Moon

While reading the first issue of the Rebel Moon comic book spin-off House of the Bloodaxe, I couldn’t stop asking myself the same question: Who in the world cares? Also, what is going on?


It wasn’t enough that Zack Snyder’s Netflix film was barely watchable, but the filmmaker felt the need to expand upon the backstory of one of its many underdeveloped characters, Ray Fisher’s Darrian Bloodaxe. Not exactly, though, as the comic, in line with what the title suggests, instead focuses on his family lineage and home planet Shasu.

The Story of House of the Bloodaxe

The first issue begins with what seemed like 20 pages of narration while Darrian’s father mourns his late wife. Writer Magdalene Visaggio wants to introduce the legacy of the house of the Bloodaxe, but we’re never given a reason to care for either character. Darrian and his sister Devra (Cleopatra Coleman) are the only two characters we sort of know from the movie. However, they don’t appear until a few pages in, which is confusing enough because it’s not until I re-read the first few pages a few times that I finally understood the narration was coming from Darrian’s father and not Darrian himself, despite the two children being the characters on the cover of the book.

Rebel Moon - Rise of the Bloodaxe - 1

Why, exactly, are we reading this? The point of the introduction was not for us to mourn Darrian’s mother, but to introduce the characters and ease us into the world. The idea was probably a good one because soon we’re overwhelmed by the large number of names and faces we have to remember to try to keep track of whatever is going on.

Expanding the Mythology of Rebel Moon

Of course, it doesn’t help that the movie couldn’t have been worse in my eyes and that I was not a fan of this galactic civilization going in — so I can’t speculate how someone who liked the movie may feel about expanding the mythology. But I can’t imagine that they’d be at all pleased with a comic that takes a third of its pages with no plot development, and the majority of what’s left with people we don’t know arguing about stuff we don’t know about, throwing names around we’re not familiar with, and just being so dull and uninteresting at whatever is trying to do.

During the funeral, Darrian is angry at her sister, as he thinks he’s not properly grieving their mother. But she’s an adult and has no time for child stuff like shedding tears for loved ones. More important stuff is waiting for them: Offworld communications were lost a few days ago. And as any Star Wars fan knows by now, that can only mean one thing: invasion! (That was a joke, not an accurate plot description; at least not of the first issue.)

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Dissidence is growing in Shasu, the planet of the Bloodaxes, and the argument between the siblings continues over a few pages, soon turning into how capable is their father of taking over the planet without their mother present. But they are all nervous: Will the Motherworld think they’ve betrayed them, given the aforementioned loss of communications?

The actual explanation for that comes in around two-thirds into the story, and it is far and above the most interesting thing that happened in the comic. Too bad we’re only told about it rather than actually shown. We’re simply witnessing the reaction of our main characters to those events (which I won’t get into during a spoiler-free conversation, even if the beans are spoiled by the trailer anyway), and though they are directly affected by them, it’s such a boring approach for the first issue of a comic. The lack of action, or story for that matter, does not incentivize us to come back for #2.

Rebel Moon - Rise of the Bloodaxe - 4

A point could be made that it was not the place of this particular comic to show that subplot, yet when the most interesting development in your story happens off-screen, there might be a problem.

Another massive disappointment of House of the Bloodaxe #1 is the uninspiring artwork. What you see in the pictures in this review is essentially what you get. Of course, it’s not like I was expecting great things from a spin-off of one of the worst-looking films of 2023, but it’s still ironic that a comic run inspired by a Zack Snyder movie, a man who has made a name for himself for depicting all-time great comic panels to such accuracy and attention to detail, lacks any artistic vision or complex design whatsoever.

As uninteresting as I thought the comic was, though, there is enough in the story of a monarch who suddenly feels stuck in a corner as everything around him starts to crumble to make me look forward to #2 of House of the Bloodaxe more than I’m looking forward to Rebel Moon Part Two. I just wish the execution of the overall story was better.

RATING: 3/10

About Rebel Moon: House of the Bloodaxe

Rebel Moon: House of the Blood Axe

Release Date: Jan. 10, 2024 (Issue #1)
Writer: Mags Visaggio; From a story by Zack Snyder
Artist: Clark Bint
Colors: Francesco Sega
Publisher: Titan Comics
Synopsis: As war is looming on the horizon on the planet Shasu, the leader of the Bloodaxe family is conflicted between living up to his father’s domineering legacy and maintaining the peace. It is up to him to settle the conflicts within himself, and his family, before the entire planet erupts in war.

Issue #1 of Rebel Moon: House of the Bloodaxe is out on Jan. 10. Were you looking forward to it? Are you still planning to check it out? What did you think of the movie? Let us know your thoughts on our social media channels on Discord and X.

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