If you are looking for the Purgatori that Brian Pulido created, the one we all know and love, I would not look to Devil’s Due Publishing’s short lived ongoing series. Honestly, if you are up to the task, you will just have to pretend this is an alternate reality. If you make the mistake of comparing the CHAOS! Purgatori to the Devil’s Due one, you will feel bitter about the changes.
When I read the first issue I actually felt sick, but I kept reading to see if the character would have some meaningful character developments. I was enraged when I finished reading because they debased my beloved character, and vowed to never read it again, but I had to admit the story was well-written. Robert Rodi certainly did his Egyptian research and I thought it was an enjoyable story – that is once I pretended that this was an alternate reality/re-imagined version of Purgatori. Purgatori 2.0 is ashamed of her appearance and spends her days going after Egypt’s wild daughters in order to find “the one.” Purgatori would look upon Purgatori 2.0 and laugh because at how she chains herself to finding love, an enslavement in her eyes. She would be baffled that anyone would she ashamed of her appearance, for she is a Goddess! – demanding an audience that both adores and envies in seething jealously the ground the walks on.
As time passed and I thought about it more and more, I realized Purgatori 2.0 was intriguing in her own right. At first I thought her whining was annoying and pitiful but I realized that this was a refreshing (though not necessarily wanted) take on my favorite character. She had this juxtaposition about her that I cannot shake and admire after the fact. She holds an innocence and fragile quality that Purgatori herself does not own. She seeks redemption in a way that makes her feel relatable and to be coddled. What surprised me was even with this sweetness, you are quickly reminded that she is indeed a monster in the next panel. The image that comes to mind is Cliff Richard’s depiction of her feeding on a girl by a dark beach. She sits in a position where her large wings tower around the girl and herself to create a dome. This startled me at first because I had never seen Purgatori depicted in this manner – it was terrifying and beautiful at the same time. While the original Purgatori never shielded her feedings and had taken pride in them. Purgatori 2.0 coveted her victim in a way that you could feel the shame but also understand how monstrous the situation looked – it felt more horrifying than Purgatori had ever been depicted before. Robi and Cliff as a team created some beautiful portrayals of a new character that I have grown to appreciate. By the end of the sixth issue I was actually sad there was not more.
Now I would not completely blame the company for her character change. When I went to Baltimore Comic Con last year I happened to bring up Purgatori at the Devil’s Due table, in an innocent manner, and got an odd almost ashamed look from the man. He claimed that there was not much they could do because the company that owned the CHAOS! characters, Tales of Wonder, had a specific image of what they had in mind for the Blood Goddess. I found this intriguing and it made me start thinking about character rights and what other characters were out there limited to the discretion of those who owned them.
The best thing to come out of the series was the covers. They were beautifully done, by the gifted Alex Horley, sexy and modest just like Purgatori 2.0. I also really enjoyed the Wizard World exclusive covers for the first 4 issues (credit to the incredibly talented Eric Basaldua). They were more risque like the old Purgatori, and I found them appealing to the eye.
Main Covers #1-6
Jay Company Wizard World Exclusives #1-4
There are also variants of the variants, the below one on the right I do not own and could not get good images of (I usually scan my copies in). There are also black and white sketch editions. Note: Wizard World Exclusives come in limited quantities.