September 27, 2016

Top Cow Reviews: Romulus #1

romulus-01_covRomulus #1
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Nelson Blake II
Cover: Nelson Blake II

The hype train has been in full effect for Romulus ever since Nelson put up the first images for this upcoming series. Soon after, Hill set things in overdrive with his daily Romulus quotes on Twitter which showed off a character from the series paired with some profound words of wisdom. So it wasn’t hard to get on board as the creative team began giving us some of the best breadcrumbs leading to the highly anticipated series which makes its debut on October 5th. So will this be the next series you add to your pull list? Can Romulus be worthy of the hype bestowed upon it? I guess you’re about to find out here.

If you’re familiar with Hill’s work in Postal just know that you’ll be getting something much different here in Romulus. The razor sharp precision of his storytelling is still here but this feels nothing like his previous work which was a huge relief. Romulus is a story that is rooted in secret societies, assassins, and manipulation and at it’s heart in this issue is Ashlar. Our protagonist has been brought up in the Order of Romulus and through her introduction Hill establishes everything you need to know and makes this much more than just your usual origin issue. He does this while still keeping an air of mystery to make sure you keep turning those pages in anticipation. There’s also a strong focus on the mother/daughter dynamic that is the core of this issue and what helps to drive Ashlar’s mission. This assassin duo are the wolves of the Order but in just a few panels Hill establishes a bond between the two that is palpable. Its this effectiveness that makes a pivotal moment later on hit that much harder.

Blake is responsible for some great looking comics to come out of Image/Top Cow over the years so hearing that he would be telling the visual story here helped to win me over. He has maintained a style all his own and continues to deliver panel after panel of quality sequential art. Romulus is no different as everything here from character designs to fight choreography is on point. He’s also just as precise in hitting the right beats to keep the story visually exciting and syncing up perfectly with Hill’s script. The use of colors is exceptional as he enhances several panels which just gives them more weight and emotional impact. One that sticks out is Ash running at her mother’s command and in those three panels is so much of their relationship. There’s a transition of color from orange to red which heightens the action taking place along with the crying wolf that just puts it over the top. Blake also continues to deliver some great and realistic fight scenes that are worthy of the big screen. It shows off a knowledge of body mechanics and just knowing how a fight scene should flow and be fun to look at.

Time and again Image Comics has delivered those comics that fans on social media have been demanding and Romulus looks to be another future hit in their stable. Everything you’d want a first issue to be is right here with compelling characters, a huge story, and the potential for so many twists and turns to keep you on your toes. So I’ll go ahead and say that Romulus is definitely deserving of the hype and should be added to your pull list so you can get on board the train when it debuts October 5th. While you’re at it, go ahead and preorder the second issue as well because Hill and Blake are on fire with this one!


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