Ruled by the Fates. Manipulated by the Gods. Commanded by Caesar. In the year 65 A.D., one’s destiny was not his own. At the height of Nero’s reign, a veteran of Rome’s imperial war machine has been dispatched to the farthest reaches of the colonies to investigate unnatural happenings… In the remote outpost of Britannia, Antonius Axia – the First Detective – will become Rome’s only hope to reassert control over the empire’s most barbaric frontier… and keep the monsters that bridge the line between myth and mystery at bay…
Britannia #1 is the first instalment in a four-part series by the folks over at Valiant. They describe it as a haunting and horrific new mystery torn from the ancient world – and that’s pretty damn accurate. Even though the story is based on factual ranks in ancient civilization, there’s talk of monsters and sacrifice. It’s a dark story with glimmers of hope, and even when things are positive (the main character has a son) there’s still a twist (he’s not in the right position to act as a father, so his son only knows him as an uncle.)
Admittedly the story is fast-paced and could benefit from sitting back and spending a it more time with the story at hand. Instead, it brings you up to speed quickly then flits to the next part of the story. It feels a tad messy at times because of this, but it definitely doesn’t give the reader a chance to lose interest. There’s a handful of strong and eccentric characters that we’re sure will only get better as the story progresses, and this definitely includes the monster. Absolutely.
Overall, it’s a refreshing take on comics based on the period it draws from – and mixing it with horror elements only benefits the overall effect of the story. Ancient stories and scary stories individually are nothing new, but it feels as if Valiant are treading on new and exciting ground.
Ancient stories and scary stories are nothing new individually, but when combined? It's pretty damn cool.
- Fresh take on two worn genres