Review: Aztec Empire #1

Aztec Empire #1

As Columbus Day just passed, we’re reminded of the atrocities he brought with him. The facts of his exploits have been muddied by a fantasy of America being discovered by a man who wanted to explore the world and then he found America. The truth is America was not found in 1492 but at least 15,000 years prior, when the Clovis peoples crossed. They’re who most indigenous peoples across the Americas were direct descendants of.

A good number of people now call this very holiday, Indigenous Peoples Day. Not only due to Columbus’ atrocities but also for what it led other explorers to do against the native peoples who inhabited these lands, they supposedly discovered. The history of each of these native peoples are rich and immensely powerful. In the debut issue of Aztec Empire, we get the history of one of the world’s most epic kingdoms.

We are taken to 1519 in Tenochtitlan, the hub of Mexica Triple Alliance, and the royal capital, where a messenger is hurrying to the palace to deliver an urgent message. He looks for the Master Of Darts, Tepehua, who is convening a meeting with Motelhuih, Speaker Of Words, and Atlixca, Cutter Of Men, all military commanders of the alliance.   The royal messenger delivers the message of the arrival of outsiders looking to gain the trust of the people of Cozumel, news that they wait to deliver to the Great Speaker. We also meet Gonzalo, a man enslaved by the Aztecs for eight years, but has assimilated to Aztec culture, whose brother sent a message to Spain about their enslavement. This leads to an expedition ordered by the governor of Cuba, Diego Velazquez, under the command of Hernando Cortes, Gonzalo Sandoval, and Alonzo Avila, to plunder the land and the free the enslaved Spaniards. We meet King Tabscoob, who readies his people for war against the Spaniards, who looks to convert the Mayan people to Christianity. By the issue’s end, the Alliance jolts their battle against the Spaniards by land and sea.

Overall, an exciting debut issue which both entertains and educates the reader, showing how history is told by more than one point of view. The story by Paul Guinan is exciting and well researched. The art by David Hahn is breathtaking. Altogether, a story that feels contemporary and will also give readers a feel of Allan Quartermain, but from the indigenous perspective.

Story: Paul Guinan Art: David Hahn
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy