Imperium 1

Toyo Harada is the most dangerous human
being on the planet. Imbued with incredible powers of the mind, he has spent
his life guiding humanity from the shadows. But today he is a wanted man. His
powers are public knowledge, his allies have turned to enemies, and he is
hunted by every government on the planet.
Instead of surrendering, Harada has one
last unthinkable gambit to play: to achieve more, faster, and with less, he
will build a coalition of the powerful, the unscrupulous and the insane. No
longer content to demand a better future, he will recruit a violent legion from
the darkest corners of the Earth to fight for it. The battle for utopia begins
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
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
Cover image courtesy of Valiant Comics
Imperium #1 can be purchased from Comixology
or your local comics retailer.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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