ARH Comix 2016
Story by Arahom Radjah
Written by Abraham Kawa
Illustrated by Manos Lagouvardos
Coloured by Nikos Koutsis & Mike Toris
Lettered by Yiannis Zoumpas
ARKHALLA returns victorious from Carcosa just to find out that her attraction for Shamath grows without her even noticing it! While she is distracted with her own private world, Bel schemes the plan that will finally bring the Queen down.
Alright so this issue we see a great deal of characterization and plot advancement. So far we’ve seen the other Vampires that the Queen has turned start to think of overthrowing her reign. It’s just been bits and pieces, ideas bandied about that sort of thing. This issue however the guys take things to a whole new level. As those who received their letters, via covert means of course, finally gather together for the first time.
Then there’s Shamath the Queen’s man servant. Okay man might be giving him a little more credit than his years show but in this era at this time we’ll call him a man. After all it’s the things we do, see and how we react to them that make us what we are. His own musing about what he didn’t do in letting the Queen die and his outcast status among the slaves leave him pretty much bereft of friends. Even with the help of another the slaves still see him with a mixture of pity and fear.
The Queen herself gets a nice spotlight here as well. So what does an Undying Queen do when she’s feeling blue? Heavy is the head that wears the crown after all and whom does she trust to turn to when things preoccupy her thoughts? Surely no Shamath thought he chemistry the two share is undeniable. She cannot turn to Bel after all he is sworn to protect her and wasn’t there when she nearly died. The characterisation here is phenomenally done and the look we get at her in private compared to the cold hearted ruler the public sees or the revenge moments she takes out on others well it goes a long way in getting the reader to empathise with her. Something I wouldn’t have thought we’d be doing.
The interiors are extremely well done. The way the page layouts are used to control the flow of the story are great to see. The use of detail and backgrounds (though more backgrounds would be nice to see) where intricate windows or buildings or even the shadows of bars on cells all conspire to really flesh out the world, palace, they live in. Yes it’s an adult title and seeing her nipples in all their glory doesn’t seem trite or slutty it’s just a fact of who she is. Bold, daring and unafraid to use whatever charms she has to gain what she desires. Yes i’d like to see men full frontal or some gay sex considering this era and the life they all lead where taboo’s aren’t a thing but in the meantime the sexual representation is handled with aplomb.
The pacing of the story moves along at a near perfect pace. The placing of actions alongside debate and storytelling really help to show off the bigger picture of what everyone is up to. There’s a raw emotional power that comes with this issue that belies the creatures they are and it makes you sit up and take notice of the talent these folks have bringing this to life. It’s a beautifully done series so far.