Ides of Blood #1

“Rome Of Shadow, Rome Of Light” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Stuart C. Paul
Pencils: Christian Duce
Colors: Carlos Badilla
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Eric Denton
Cover: Michael Geiger

Here we’ve got a fresh offering from two new creators. As far as I understand, this is both Stuart C. Paul and Christian Duce’s first foyer into comics. I have to say, they’re beginning their comics career with a bang with this series.

I’m going to start with Christian Duce’s art. It is gorgeous! Combine that with Carlos Badilla’s moody coloring and you’ve got the perfect setting for this dark tale. Duce’s art is incredibly detailed, even when he’s drawing the city of ancient Rome. Duce also has a realistic style so it fits the story well, almost like a movie. Each shot is well chosen and believably conveys each scene as we progress through the story. He even does a good job of giving each character some defining facial features which makes it easier to distinguish them in an issue that is heavy on characters.

I can tell Paul has done his research for this story. While Duce is busy creating an accurate representation of ancient Rome visually, Paul is doing it within the story. Whether it’s in the dialogue or the names, everything that’s discussed feels like it belongs in this world. Even the supernatural elements don’t seem forced. It seems like everyone in the story is reacting appropriately to these extraordinary events.

If I have any complaints about the issue, they are very minor. The narration mixed with the heavy dialogue did run a little long through the middle of the book. But the great beginning and the end more than make up for it. Don’t misunderstand me, I do like the narration. I think it helped fill in a lot of information that probably couldn’t have been given otherwise. Like I said, it’s a minor complaint.

Overall, a great first issue! Paul did a good job of getting us into this world, setting up the characters, and dropping enough clues to begin the mystery in the story. I’m so glad this mini-series is starting off strong. Ever since seeing the preview for it I have eagerly anticipated this series. So far, so good. I’m ready to read more!

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)