Imperium 2

The battle for utopia continues! The
second shocking chapter from New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart
(Harbinger) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (Armor Hunters)!
A psychic dictator, an inhuman robot, a
mad scientist, a murderous alien and a super-powered terrorist are about to try
and take over the world…and you’re going to be rooting for them every step of
Joshua Dysart
Doug Braithwaite
Valiant Entertainment
I was cautiously optimistic about last
issue. I was really intrigued by the premise, but wondered how it would fulfil
it. I shouldn’t have worried – if future issues stay at this level of quality,
we could have the best comic of the year.
Issue two gives us the point of view of the
rest of the world reacting to the events of #1, where Toyo Harada set himself
and his psychically empowered followers on the path of changing the world to paradise,
no matter the cost on the way to it. To put it mildly, the rest of the world is
terrified, especially when two young children who have been psionically
activated turn up at the United Nations to put forth Harada’s ultimatum – cede
to their attempts to make the world a better place, or face the consequences.
Into this is thrown perhaps one of the most
compelling characters I’ve read in comics in a while, Gravedog. Head of the
military unit H.A.R.D. Corps, themselves a superpowered team who have been
gifted their powers in return for an explosive in their head should they go
rogue, he’s complex and nuanced, Dysart keeping you guessing as to just what
his motives are. I’ll admit that as a new reader to the Valiant universe I
didn’t get all of the references, nor quite how they would impact the world,
but it’s to Dysart’s credit that each action and reaction felt like they had
weight to them. Doubtless for fans there are lots of little nods to people from
other comics.
The colouring has come on in leaps and
bounds this issue, even if there are a few missteps along the way. Some of the
characters feel a little flat on the page, whilst others simply burst with life
(given the content of the latter half of the comic, that’s description is
literal), conveying the full weight of their actions and feelings. It’s a real
step up on last issue too, with the action scenes blending far better with
those meant to develop the characters that the prior somewhat clunky attempts.
As things stand at the end of the issue, I
was left with a feeling I got when I read the first issues of Mark Weids’
Superior, that I’m reading a series that will only get better with time. The
moral ambiguity of each character’s actions and that they seem to be
allegorical to a few real world events at the moment works wonders.
In short, this series looks like it will
only grow and grow. I can’t wait to read what comes next.
image courtesy of Valiant Entertainment

Imperium #2 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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