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Review: Britannia #3

britannia_003_cover-a_nordAt the border between civilization and the magic-laden lands beyond, Rome’s first detective is haunted by violence and visions of dark forces that defy all sense…

Antonius Axia’s disturbing investigation in the frontier colony of Britannia deepens…and with each disturbing new clue he uncovers, the farther his mind sinks into disarray! Connecting the clues behind the grisly rumors of horror in the empire’s northernmost reach, Antonius must gain an ally as dangerous as the darkness that now surrounds him. But who is this mysterious new partner, and will she lead Antonius toward the bright light of truth and salvation…or into the cold flame of eternal damnation?

If you’ve wanted to try a Valiant comic, but are slightly overwhelmed when you try to work out where to start, then this is an ideal series for you. Britannia, the Peter Milligan scripted four issue miniseries that you’re reading a review about now, has passed the half way point and is both a fantastic series, and also a perfect example of the kind of quality comic that the publisher puts out on a weekly basis.

Being what is effectively a standalone story that (at least as far as we’re currently aware) doesn’t tie into the rest of the Valiant universe, Britannia is ideally placed for those who want a taste of Valiant without delving into their universe at large. Of course, just because the story is set nearly two thousand years ago doesn’t mean we won’t see at least one of their longer lived characters pop up in the fourth issue, it’s just less likely to happen here than in, say, Divinity.

Anyway.

Set in a darker, more bloody period of history, Britannia‘s art team of Juan Jose Ryp and colourist Jordie Bellaire don’t shy away from the brutality and violence of battles using  close quarters weaponry – make no mistake, this isn’t a PG13 comic. What it is, however, is an incredibly illustrated story that oozes atmosphere from every page. Bellaire is one of the very best colourists in comics today, and her work here is a prime example of that as she emphasizes the often overly detailed line work Ryp has laid down.

It’s not often I find myself enjoying a horror-tinged comic as much as I have been with Britannia, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to you.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Juan Jose Ryp Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided a FREE copy for review. I also purchased a copy for the collection.

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