“Rome Of Shadow, Rome Of Light” (No Spoilers)
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 feel like I’m watching an episode of the X-files. That’s how much I think this creative team is nailing this mini-series so far!
I don’t just hear David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s voices when I read this, I believe that this is Mulder and Scully in an episode that I’m reading about instead of watching. There is a great opening scene with the two that is classic. The dialogue is spot on, the reaction of each character, and even the little goofiness that Mulder tended to have in the show. Everything about this screams X-files. I hope fans of the show are picking this up.
“Beyond the Mountain” (No Spoilers)
Why? Why? Why! Why did we have to waste so much time on those first four issues when there was such a great story to be told here at the end? The final issue of Sparta is what this entire series should have been, compelling, action-packed, and spinning off of what turns out to be a very cool premise!
This story could’ve easily been told in three issues, maybe four, but certainly not the six we got. Issue 1 was good as an introduction to this world, Issue 2 did a little better at setting up the mystery and solidifying the characters, but I could’ve completely ignored Issue 3 and 4 and just skipped to 5 and 6. I’m all for setting up characters, especially when you’re introducing a unique world like this, but there is such a thing as too much set up. I feel like I’ve sat through an hour and a half worth of a lackluster movie only for the last 30 minutes to be totally awesome!
Action! Action! Action! That’s what I’m learning this story is about. I’ve called this Wildstorm’s summer blockbuster before and there’s no better description for it. There is a small thread of a story here but for the most part, it’s all action all the time.
I think I’m starting to see that this book would’ve been great in the 90’s. In the 90’s it was all about great art and less about story. I have to honestly say I think the saving grace with this comic for me is Francesco Francavilla’s art. There’s just no substance to this story but damn does Francavilla draw some amazing action scenes in this comic! If Michael Bay is looking for another movie to do after Transformers 3 is done, this would be a worthy candidate based solely on the amount of action.