Crimson Flower
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Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Matt Kindt weaves folk tales with super-assassins in first look at new comic 'Crimson Flower'

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Jan 15, 2021, 12:44 PM EST (Updated)

Matt Kindt (Grass Kings, BRZRKR, Bang!) has carved out an impressive niche of provocative material over the past few years, allowing the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated writer/artist to remain an independent wellspring of cutting edge comic book projects drawing the attention of visionary Hollywood producers.

With his Black Badge creator-owned title at Boom! picked up by Netflix for an upcoming TV series and Grass Kings optioned by Legendary Television, Kindt is back heading up a Dark Horse Comics series destined to emerge as one of the year's most intriguing offerings — and SYFY WIRE is striking first with an exclusive six-page preview of the premiere issue which arrives next week.

Crimson Flower is a four-part miniseries debuting on Jan. 20 revolving around a young woman's vengeful quest to unmask a mind-blowing Deep State conspiracy to recruit fairy tale monsters for a force of unstoppable assassins.

Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork provided by illustrator Matt Lesniewski (The Freak) and colorist Bill Crabtree, each subsequent issue in the series will spotlight a revolving guest artist and collaborators including with industry luminaries like Malachi Ward, Patric Reynolds & Lee Loughridge, Marguerite Sauvage, and Tyler Bence & Bill Crabtree.

Crimson Flower unspools as a violent revenge saga centered around someone who finds relief in classic Russian folk tales following the loss of her family in a tragic murder spree. Seeking retribution against the man responsible for their deaths, she embarks on a perilous payback path that finds her uncovering a sinister government plot to weaponize fantasy creatures and employ them to raise children into state-funded super assassins.

"I really wanted to do a story inspired by folktales," Kindt tells SYFY WIRE. "I grew up on Grimm's fairy tales and as I got older I got fascinated by tales from other cultures. There are so many more stories. I've always loved the book Uses of Enchantment and its premise of why we have folk tales and the practicality of their existence to explain and caution children. So Crimson Flower is a kind of mash-up of that with Russian/Slavic folk tales which, rather than being used to warn kids or teach them life lessons - the tales are used to raise them into adult super-assassins. But as a result... the imagery of these folk tales bleeds into their sub-consciousness and twists their perceived reality."

Credit: Dark Horse Comics

"Really - just a great excuse for some amazing visuals," he adds. "I was a huge fan of Lesniewski's first book The Freak - and thought he might be perfect for this. The imagery and the twisted figures and distorted reality and perspective... it dovetailed perfectly with the twisted reality of this story. Definitely the strangest book I've ever been a part of - in the best way. Adding Bill Crabtree's experimental color choices and storytelling - it's the trippiest assassin-revenge-folktale you'll ever see."

Credit: Dark Horse Comics

When Lesniewski read Kindt's original concept for Crimson Flower, it instantly got him psyched to bring this crazy story to life.

"Retired assassins, twisted fairy tale-esque hallucinations, and an ongoing hunt for revenge — my mind flooded with dozens of ways I could attempt to do justice to this genius idea from Kindt," Lesniewski tells SYFY WIRE. "I was lucky to have a real breakthrough artistically while making this book, so I hope that helped illustrate the wild world of Crimson Flower — and I think it was the book that inspired the evolution! So, that should tell you something!"

Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Now enjoy our exclusive peek at Dark Horse's Crimson Flower #1 (Jan. 20) in the full gallery below.