Britannia

Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp, and Jordie Bellaire. Valiant, $9.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-68215-185-3
Something rotten is happening in Britannia, and ancient Rome’s best (and perhaps only) detective, Antonius Axia, is dispatched to figure it all out. Axia is already plagued by nightmares, and the journey through the cold outskirts of Rome’s territory sends Axia into the arms of both literal and figurative demons. Despite the imaginative concept, a supernatural detective story set against the turmoil of Emperor Nero’s erratic rule, the execution is surprisingly dull. Axia remains something of a cypher, and Nero, for all his frothing and teeth-gnashing and murdering, feels like little more than a screeching villain copied from a Saturday morning cartoon. Milligan’s past writing on titles such as Hellblazer and X-Force was witty, satirical, and dark, but this is more of a procedural with togas. However, Ryp’s (Batman and Robin) art is both visceral and eerie, excelling at capturing the mood of the grim, muddy era. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 02/01/2017
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