IDW Publishing 2015
Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Barry Kitson
Coloured by Chris Sotomayor & Andrew Crossley
ON AN ASSASSINATION MISSION IN NEW ANGOLA, XANNA IS TAKEN BY SURPRISE AND BARELY ESCAPES WITH HER LIFE. DESS, THE NEW MINISTER OF INFORMATION, IS ABLE TO SPIN THE RESULTANT EXPLOSION AND VIOLENCE IN THEIR FAVOR, BUT MANY OF GOLGOTH’S MINISTERS ARE STILL LEFT WONDERING IF HE IS LOSING HIS GRIP ON THE EMPIRE.
Minister Tumbril is an interesting character and throughout this issue we see that perhaps there is more to him than meets the eye, or that he lets on about. I think the opening few pages showed us one man with a very specific personality and a very dark one at that which instantly kind of made me like him. He really does make for one heck of a bad guy with that look of his and his attitude but again there is also more here than meets the eye. HIs wishing to see Minister Rogent and their encounter is extremely tumultuous to put it nicely but it certainly adds another layer to this burgeoning story.
When Tumbril meets with Lucullan we get a lot more characterization than I had bargained for. It really is something unique to see them in action against their worlds heroes killing them mercilessly and then through Mark’s dialogue here the discontent in the way their life is being lived now. Their clandestine meeting does a lot to show us how they feel about this stagnant life they are living now.
Xanna’s own meeting with Golgoth this issue tests loyalty even more. What she’s been tasked to do by him is meant to test her as much as her teammates and we’ve seen a number of them including her lover who are operating on their own things outside Golgoth’s orders. His reign may be supreme but that doesn’t mean he’s content either. This is a man who thrives on control and conflict and without opponents to test his mettle and his mind he grows restless and the experiments we’ve seen performed at his behest they only strengthen the fact that he needs than he currently has.
What really fascinated me though was Tumbril’s conversation with the watcher and his wanting a traitor to be Rogent. Rogent already has a mad on for the man and he’s proven himself to be less than trustworthy not to mention he’s sketchy as all get out being the head of a new religion and setting himself up as this important man who’ll do anything to maintain his position. Whether or not Rogent is really the man Trumbill wants him to be remains to be seen but he’s certainly doing his damndest to make it appear that way. It makes for interesting reading to say the least and if he’s correct I’ll have a newfound respect for him.
I have to admit the ending wasn’t what I was expecting either. Golgoth has his own secrets that even his trusted Ministers know nothing about and the chance for rebellion grows stronger. Of course with the way this story is being written by Mark it’s certainly being set up to be something spectacular. The way the different plot lines are going forward all seemingly in pointing in similar directions the intense and stellar characterization all helping the old adage “be careful what you wish for…” to be a double edged sword.
Barry’s work on this book too is something fantastic to see. His signature style fits so well with these characters bringing them all to life in such fantastic ways. Plus the way he is able to harden some characters and soften others and really make their personalities shine here is something extraordinary as well.
This is a bright spot on the horizon. This book reminds us that while new and flashy may work for some stuff those who are tried and true can continue to outdo them.