Thrillbent/IDW Publishing 2015
Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Barry Kitson
Coloured by Chris Sotomayor
TUMBRIL, GOLGOTH’S MINISTER OF DISCIPLINE, HAS GONE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS “PROJECT CHIMERA” AND “PROJECT FAR REACH,” BUT ALL HE FINDS IS A NEWFOUND DISTASTE FOR HIS FELLOW MINISTERS. MEANWHILE, GOLGOTH HAS REQUESTED THAT XANNA ASSESS THE LOYALTY OF ALL HER FELLOW MINISTERS WHILE HE CHECKS IN ON THE PROGRESS OF HIS SECRET PROJECTS.
Well I’ve stated throughout the first three issues that there is something about Valpurgis the Empire’s Minister of Religion. This issue is his spotlight where we see the man for who he is and how he operates and what his true intentions really are. I’m not sure if his story has changed my opinion of him at all because I think at his core this man is as dangerous as they come and no amount of penance he gives himself or the mission he’s undertaken can change who he is.
Mark however has this way of developing a character that constantly changes your opinion of them and keeps them growing and evolving in ways that continually surprise you. Valpurgis is no exception and his story of how he met Golgoth and was scripted into his service as well as his insight into the Holy Blessing of Eucharist, which is a highly addictive drug that Golgoth uses to keep those closest to him in line for no one has survived the withdrawal of the drug.
I will also say that I haven’t seen Barry’s work look this good. Though in all honesty with the way he disrobed and had those women bathe him I was hoping we’d see more if ya know what I mean and for a man his age he’s remarkably fit and his confidence actually makes him more sexy than I would have given him credit for. Actually the bathing scene is really very tastefully done and erotic without being crass and something that honestly I wouldn’t have thought i’d appreciate as much as I do.
So the net he cast using his religious contacts to find talk of anything that could be deemed against the grain in order to fix the situation leads us to Lohkyn. He’s the one man so far who has survived the withdrawal of Eucharist though it’s done one heck of a number on him to be sure. His story however and why Golgoth is after him but not killing him outright just messing with his head as he finds a way to keep himself on the move.
His best hope was to be found by the group known as the Pranksters that’s when his life really hit the crapper and the pain and craziness began as all the Eucharist finally wore off leaving him nothing more than a babbling mess. Then he’s abandoned by the Pranksters living on the streets where he’s finally found by Valpurgis. All this leads up to a huge surprise ending, at least for me anyway.
It’s amazing how quickly a story can change when you just focus on one or two characters in a single issue. The hints and snippets you got leading up to seeing them spotlighted can totally change how you view the character from there on out and help you understand the how and why people continue to want to see Golgoth’s reign toppled.
Nothing lasts forever and a seeming utopia run by a madman who misses having a challenge with his own super powered strike force to root out any resistance before it can happen. There’s a great story happening here with more layers than you’d expect as well as such personal drama going on and again in ways that will surprise you. This just goes to show that the young guns can still learn a thing or two from the masters.