Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Britannia: We Who Are About to Die' #1 by Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp,and Frankie D’Armata


★★★★★ (5/5)

After a brilliant origin story in the previous volume, Britannia: We Who Are About to Die, lets loose its protagonist, Antonius Axia, the world's first detective in a new harrowing mystery. 

The former soldier turned "detectioner" after a brush with death, Antonius must aid the Vestals who imbued him with the understanding of human psychology, in investigating a grisly murder. As Nero descends into madness, he threatens the Vestals to turn Rome's misfortunes around by appeasing the gods or else. The stakes couldn't be higher for everyone as a seemingly routine crime scene takes on a supernatural turn. 

The disembowelment of Rome's high-born has everyone shaken. Antonius must wade through the toxic masculinity of Rome's hierarchy and Nero's paranoia to gather clues and find leads. Peter Milligan unfolds a dense and intricate plot that seamlessly combines history with fiction. This is a legitimate murder mystery that touches on a few contemporary themes. The subjugation of women runs rampant unless you're a mystical conduit of the gods and even then, the Vestals' future are also in jeopardy. The subtext of the misogyny leads directly to the introduction of a new character. She looks to be a powerful game changer going forward. A symbol of hope, born from tragedy, to become a force of rebellion. 

Juan Jose Ryp is at his best here with some of the best visual storytelling you'll see in comics. He concisely navigates the moments of exposition and dialogue by hitting the right beats. Small panel, small panel, small panel, then a big reveal in a bigger panel. There's instant gratification for the reader to hang on through a plot dump for example because something else is exposed that propels the story forward. Ryp provides immense detail that brings ancient Rome to life. From architecture to finishes, Ryp has done his homework and gives 'Britannia' the authenticity it deserves. Colorist Frankie D’Armata uses warm earth tones to ground this period piece where it belongs while adding splashes of brighter colors in strategic places - blood, guts, forest, hair, etc.   


Britannia: We Who Are about To Die is another fantastic mini from Valiant that historical fiction and supernatural mystery fans will love. Milligan, Ryp, and D'Armata have created an immersive and bloody whodunit that is well-paced, intriguing, and beautifully illustrated. This is a good hearty read that will leave you wanting more. Isn't that what we're all looking for in a comic? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

First Look: LIVEWIRE #1 Lights Up with Vita Ayala, Raul Allen and Patricia Martin

Valiant presents your first look within the pages of LIVEWIRE #1, the stunning new ongoing series from rising star Vita Ayala (Supergirl, Submerged) and fan-favorite artists Raúl Allén (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) and Patricia Martín (SECRET WEAPONS)!


On December 19th, Amanda “Livewire” McKee – one of Valiant’s most important players since the days of 2012’s HARBINGER – ascends to the spotlight in her first-ever solo series in the publisher’s history!
“Amanda has always been such a strong, complex, compelling character, and I personally have been waiting for a long time for her to get her own solo title!” Ayala told The Hollywood Reporter. “Amanda deserves to shine, and the folks over at Valiant are determined that her first solo book be impactful! And honestly, we need a hero like Amanda right now.”
Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blac…

Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart Return for FIGHT CLUB 3

FIGHT CLUB 3 asks, “What's the first rule of fatherhood?”


Bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk, Eisner Award-winning artist Cameron Stewart, letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot, colorist Dave McCaig and acclaimed cover artist David Mack will collaborate on the follow-up to the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling graphic novel FIGHT CLUB 2. In the 12 part monthly comic book maxi-series FIGHT CLUB 3, Marla Singer is about to deliver her second child, but the daddy isn’t her husband—it's Tyler Durden, who’s very invested in his heir, and the world he’ll inherit.


Marla, her first son, and her husband—the unnamed narrator in the novel, who now goes by Balthazar—live in a run-down motel in a sketchy neighborhood. In the FIGHT CLUB 2 graphic novel Tyler transformed Project Mayhem into Rize or Die. Now, a new group has implemented a ruthless and deviant plan to fine-tune mankind, leading Balthazar to forge an unlikely alliance … with Tyler Durden.


“FIGHT CLUB 3 is about what happens when you need …

The Feminist Vigilantes of MTV's 'Sweet/Vicious' Come to Comics at Black Mask Studios

Women Vigilantes Get Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors In Upcoming Comic Book That Continues The Edgy MTV Series


Premiering one-week after the 2016 Presidential Election, SWEET/VICIOUS was one of the first new TV shows of the Trump Era: an edgy and provocative tale of two young women becoming vigilantes to combat sexual assaults on their college campus. As grimly relevant today as it was two years ago, SWEET/VICIOUS will continue the story of feminist vigilantes Jules and Ophelia with a comic book series written by show-creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, coming in 2019 from Black Mask Studios. 

The SWEET/VICIOUS comic will be a continuation of the story started in season one of the series. After Jules was raped and her University did nothing to help her, she takes matters into her own hands becoming a vigilante who seeks justice for survivors of sexual assault and other abuse at her school. When the campus weed dealer and all-around troublemaker Ophelia Mayer finds out about Jules&#…