Written by Angela Rairden
Every time I visit my local comic bookstore, I watch out for new comic series that catch my eye. In this case, it was the cover art (by Carola Borelli) for The Deadliest Bouquet #1 that first really caught my attention. This is often the case for me when I’m browsing the new release section at my LCS. The thing that really drew my eye to this particular cover, however, was the juxtaposition of the blood splattered, broken family portrait nestled amongst a bouquet of perfect roses, poppies, and violets. The artwork alone hinted that there was a lot to unravel here and I knew I had to pick it up.
As such, that cover art had done its job perfectly because I found myself bringing it home and eagerly flipping it open.
Written by Erica Schultz, The Deadliest Bouquet is a five-issue series published by Image that begins in North Jersey on February 15th, 1998, with the murder of Jasmine Hawthorn, the owner of a floral shop called Les Trois Fleurs. One of Jasmine’s adult daughters, Rose, has just discovered Jasmine’s bloody corpse and is calling her sister, Poppy, in California in a panicked state to relate the shocking news and beg her to come home. After a brief and somewhat argumentative discussion that reveals that neither Rose nor Poppy know the location of their third sister, Violet, Poppy agrees to return home.
Poppy, Rose, and Violet
Fourteen hours later and the police are investigating Jasmine’s murder in the floral shop. Rose and Poppy are in the backroom when Violet unexpectedly arrives. I love a comic with a good family secret right smack in the middle of it, and the sister’s argumentative attitudes are clearly hiding some serious family dysfunction that began when they were children. Pretty early on in issue one, we learn that Poppy and Violet both left home as soon as they were able to, leaving Rose to take care of their mom alone, a fact which Rose is resentful of. Furthermore, Poppy got married and had two kids, doing her best to leave her past life in the past, while Violet’s activities hint at something a little more treacherous.
As estranged as their relationships have become, one thing that becomes clear is that their shared past seems to be linked to their mom’s murder as it is revealed that Jasmine trained her daughters from a young age to be some sort of assassins. Why and to what end remains to be seen.
Page 1 interior art
I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series is going as these three sisters are forced to try to put past grievances behind them to work together to track down their mother’s killer. On a personal note, my day job is as a florist, so I’m particularly fond of the floral theme in The Deadliest Bouquet and the idea of a floral shop being a front for trained killers. Issue two released on September 24th, so pick up both issues quickly to get in on this mysterious and murderous family tale.
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store as a floral manager, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.