Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Nelson Blake II
Cover: Nelson Blake II
After having saved Nicholas from The Order of Romulus last issue we find the two in L.A.’s Koreatown having a bite. Their dialogue is some of the best and through it we get to know more about these two. Ash is no doubt a highly trained badass but Hill reveals that she knows her own limits as she’s trying to change Nick’s mind about joining her. I did find it odd that Nick is pretty calm during this entire sequence after almost being assassinated but the fact that he immediately goes into tactical problem solving for Ash might just be how his analytical mind copes with stressful situations. But it’s not like he’s always escaping assassination attempts so him being this calm throughout the issue was deserving of a side eye.
The cast here is also expanded and we’re introduced to several new characters with Sozo being the huge wildcard here. She wields certain abilities which took the story in an unexpected but welcomed direction. Reagan’s introduction is juxtaposed with a fight sequence between Ash and a Hunter named Achilles. He’s not just any random Hunter either and the results of the fight are just another example of Hill adding more layers to this than a Rakim song. Both new characters are introduced in ways that perfectly cater to who they are and Hill leaves you wanting to know more about each one by the end of the issue.
As far as the art is concerned, Nelson Blake has no intention of dropping the ball and delivers another eye snatching issue here. One thing I noticed about his work in the past is how he can take a simple moment and give it a serious visual punch and he does this here with a half page of Soza’s face after she contacts Ash. Just three panels, a bloody nose, and great use of negative space. It’s a striking image that gives a bit of insight as to possible limits to her powers and the toll it takes. As far as the characters go he nails the expressions and body language necessary to push the narrative but one it’s one of the smaller moments really stuck out. This would be after Soza references Ash’s mother and the look on Ash’s face is perfect and you just know she’s about to unleash those hands on Soza at any moment. It’s moments like this that make the book and let’s you know that Blake isn’t just relying on making the action sequences look as good as they do to tell this story.
If you’re dropping money on any new comic then Romulus is going to be worth every cent. From the developing complexity of the story to the characters worth reading about you can’t lose here. So do yourself a favor and take a chance on a new series by a creative team delivering comic book goodness!