Publisher: Image Comics
Story By: Bryan Hill
Art By: Nelson Blake II
Release Date: 5th October, 2016
“Our world isn’t free. All of us, for generations, have lived under the secret control of The Ancient Order of Romulus. One young woman, raised by them, trained by them, betrayed by them, must push through her fear to take a stand against the silent evil that masters our world. Her name is Ashlar, and her war begins with the brutal first chapter of the new Image series ROMULUS, from writer BRYAN HILL (POSTAL) and artist NELSON BLAKE II (MAGDELENA)”. That’s the official blurb.
Ashlar is the last wolf, taking on the Order of Romulus, an ancient secret society that’s controlled the world since the days of Ancient Rome. She was trained by her mother from the age of then in the age of 10 in the Seven Spheres of Protection: Force; War; Fury; Speed; Grace; Pain & Death. At the age of 19 she watches her mother killed by the organisation they worked for.
Bryan Hill deftly moves the story along at a fair clip, from the day Ashlar is born to the day – 22 years later – when this story begins in earnest, and Nelson Blake II’s art whilst good and skilled, is not spectacular. It might be that the flat colours, while on trend, don’t really make the art “pop”.
This is a solid first issue. The concept is appealing, especially in this era of conspiracy and cover up. The story flies along and doesn’t really go wrong at any point, however it does suffer from the problem that many comics have when they introduce a new mythos, balance. The balance between exposition, character development and action can be quite hard to find, and this issue leans quite heavily on exposition and action. That does however mean that there is a lot of room do explore Ashlar beyond her initial motivations in future issues. I’m not hooked, not yet, but I’m close.
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The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil