Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2016
Written by Bryan Hill
Illustrated by Nelson Blake II
Lettered by Troy Peteri
As the dark truth of The Order of Romulus reveals itself, Ashlar faces death to stop them...but someone has come to help her, someone with a power that can set the entire world free, a power that has waited generations to find her. Will that power find her in time?
Last issue we were introduced to Ashlar and her mission which included finding Nicholas and rescuing him from being absorbed into The Order of Romulus. This issue we open with the pair at a Korean restaurant in Koreatown in Los Angeles where Ashlar explains more of what is going on to Nicholas. It’s great for a few reasons among them is that we get a better more layman’s wording of what they are up against and that Nicholas after having gone through what he did wants to work with Ashlar and help her. While she’s as stubborn as her namesake the wolf wolves also work better as part of a pack and Nicholas sees this but Ashlar doesn’t.
I like the idea of her finding people she can work with in her goal to stop The Order. Kind of build a team she can rely on so she’s not doing this alone. The conversation the two have gives Bryan a great opportunity for some stellar characterisation. It’s also the perfect opportunity to keep this issue going in the same direction but taking a completely new route. I like the way Bryan is able to weave the story together and keep it moving forward using a common theme and yet with different methods.
I’ve got to hand it to Nelson for his work on the interiors here. Not only does he have great use of page layouts through angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds (which are so great to see) but his attention to detail is fantastic. The characters are easily identifiable and their facial expressions and body language are wonderful to see. The segment in London with her talking to herself getting ready for an interview that we see her go through the motions like this talk volumes of her characterisation through the visual clues.
This issue also introduces us to another new character and her background is shrouded in mystery much like Ashlar’s is. By this I mean secret organisation thought to be long defunct but really still operating. If you think about it it’s best to hide in plain sight right and if people think your organisation has been known about and gone you can still use it to operate with even better secrecy, well it makes sense in my mind.
We started off with a bang and now we’re getting more into the background information stages of the story. Yet Bryan isn’t going to just give us detail here he’s going to give us some action to go along with that intrigue. Not only that he’s keeping the story moving forward giving us something to look forward to while further establishing the characters involved. I like that the complexity of the story from the background aspect of it that ties into this whole world of secrets and lies and the thirst for world power.
This is an exciting new series full of strong writing and interior artwork.