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Imperium #1 review

February 17, 2015

Trying something a little different to keep some regular posts going whilst I figure a few things out. So here’s a review that originally went up on Geekorama.

Imperium issue 1 cover

Joshua Dysart
Doug Braithwaite
Valiant Comics

Imperium brings us an interesting moral quandary – what would you be willing to do if you wanted to bring about a utopia on Earth and what paths, no matter how morally wrong, would you take to achieve it?

Imperium does that and then goes one better, by opening 112 years in the future and showing us the paradise those actions have created. It’s a blinder – so many zealots do things saying the ends justify the means – but what if we find out that, in this instance, they really have?

The issue itself flashes through time, to the future (the present of the comic) with our lead character Darpan-Sama, both looking forward in time, and looking back. In both cases, he’s bringing us his take on the being who changed it all, Toyo Harada.

Having read some of Joshua Dysart’s work before, you can see he’s always more interested in how people interact and social dynamics, than how hard or spectacularly people punch one another in the face. I would say this issue plays to his strengths – as the slightly complex setup lends itself to being slowly lead through and getting used to the world he has created. When things start blowing up in the last ten pages (as we cover Harada’s first steps towards creating the world of the future) it feels rushed and not that well done.

Perhaps that’s the point – the fighting itself is described as a formality and a way of announcing their presence on a world that knows very little about them. Still, I would have liked the action scenes to have felt like they belonged; they’re the odd duck of the comic.

Nothing really feels at stake throughout the fighting and the micro scale of the conflict felt at odds with a tone that was establishing something so global in presence. If we’re meant to believe Harada was out to change the world, why choose a random skirmish between a few squads of men in Eastern Europe?

Still, that minor gripe aside, it was a very good first issue. I’m intrigued by the premise and want to see where it will lead.

Cover image courtesy of Valiant Comics


From → Comics, Reviews, Writing

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