The Chronicles of a Galactic Emperor
Titan Comics 2017
Written by Louis
Illustrated by Valentin Secher
Coloured by Delphine Rieu
Lettered by Cat Connery
Translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger
In the depths of space, the emperor arises…In the bowels of the prison ship, Empyreon, the human warlord, Khaal, is celebrating his triumph over the challengers to his almighty power. To those who would see him dead, one more victory proves nothing. His enemies continue to circle, their plans only just coming to fruition…However, when a stranger reveals the truth about Khaal’s past, it seems their scheming could be unnecessary. With his supreme power no longer guaranteed, his plans to enslave the inhabitants of Empyreon are thrown into jeopardy!
I think this is some stellar storytelling. There’s so much going on here that is both familiar, new and just plain extraordinary that defies any real genre classification. I mean there are alien species, they are in space and then there’s the fact that they have distinct abilities but the tone and feel make it feel ancient Roman or Greek. It really just grabs your attention and doesn’t just draw you in it absorbs into what’s on the page.
The opening this issue is one where the classical drama of Khaal’s birth comes into question. It’s not just his either but this is the kind of information that literally changes the game. Plus I cannot get over the work that Valentin and Delphine do here. The power of the body and visage of Khaal himself just radiates off the page. The ripple of muscle in both resting and action boggles the mind that we can almost feel it by association.
Not even the knowledge of what we learn is enough to deter Khaal from implementing the next stage of his plan. It may be sooner than he intended but that is something that needs to happen and as he rallies his troops I am actually kind of impressed with his intelligence regarding their foe, maim and disfigure but do not kill they need slaves to run the equipment. While no quarter will be given to them still he impresses me as does his ongoing characterisation.
During the battle we are introduced to a new player in this little drama. One who also sees Khaal in a way that well would apparently benefit her and her people. I like this not only because it keeps reminding us that they are in space on a prison but that there are a multitude of species we haven’t even thought about or been introduced to yet.
I’m still so very impressed with the interiors here how the page layouts are utilised through angles, perspective and backgrounds. The attention to detail here is astonishing and just the fact that these two can produce such high quality work that is so breathtakingly beautiful impresses me to no end.
This has this utterly amazing tone and feel to it’s storytelling that wraps you up in these events and makes you feel like you’re a part of the action.