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Review: Britannia: Lost Eagles Of Rome #4

BRITANNIA3_004_COVER-B_GILLDeep within the heart of Egypt, there is unrest…and Antonius and Achillia have stumbled right into the middle of it! On the hunt for the Roman Empire’s missing banners at the behest of Emperor Nero, history’s first detective and his fearsome gladiatrix companion find themselves on the brink of many revelations: Who is responsible for the plagues threatening their Roman brethren? And who is this new revolutionary calling himself Pharaoh?

And like that, another Britannia miniseries comes to a close. Another four issue toe-dip into the live of Antonius Axa and his friends, colleagues and enemies that ends with a satisfying conclusion that never once feels rushed. It does wrap things up in a way that leaves little a room for for a sequel without any loose ends dangling annoyingly as the fourth issue closes.

In a series that has, across the previous eleven issues, established a precedent for gorgeous artwork, brutal violence and a smattering if dark humour, Peter Milligan‘s script for Britannia: Lost Eagles Of Rome #4 once again delivers on the hallmarks of the series. And, once again, the art is spectacular. Robert Gill (with Juan Castro) has a deft hand when it comes to realising the emotions of the faces of his characters as well as the bloody swordplay they will inevitably engage in seemingly every issue. One could argue that each comic follows a basic formula of “Talky Bit, Fighty Bit, Talky Bit, Revalation!, Talky Bit”, and to some extent that’s true, but it’s an oversimplification of the plot and comic book itself. After all, can’t we break every comic down to that same basic formulae?

As a concluding chapter to the third Britannia series, I was impressed. Milligan kept the story a relatively simple affair that didn’t stray as deeply into the supernatural as it has in the past, instead allowing the characters to shine.

There’s a scene in which Nero’s growing madness is visible, and though he’s still a few year from burning Rome to the ground, you can see the emperors slow descent into the madness that we’ll continue to witness in the background of future installments to the series – something history aficionados and fans of the series will enjoy getting to witness in comic book form.

Lost Eagles Of Rome may be the third series under the Britannia  banner, but it can be read independently of the others  without giving the reader any real trouble when it comes to understanding the plot (though  I’m sure you know the blurb about getting the most out of the story, read it all, etc.). But whether you have read the first two volume or not, there’s plenty to enjoy with a detective story set nearly two thousand years ago spanning several countries wrapped up in a powerseizing conspiracy story that a gladiator and the detectioner tackle together.

I thoroughly enjoyed the series, and hope that Milligan and Valiant have another in the works for us.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Robert Gill with Juan Castro Colours: Jose Villarrubia
Story: 8.1 Art: 9 Overall: 8.4 Overall: Buy if you’ve bought the rest

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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