‘Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome’ #1 Comic Review
Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome starts out like many similarly-styled historical fiction comics with a realistic art style and a bit of a narration overload, which isn’t really my cup of tea. That being said, I was definitely intrigued by the premise: a Roman legionnaire named Antonius Axia, who was awarded a Sherlock-like ability of deduction after losing his mind in the line of honorable duty and now operates as Rome’s first detective.
As I mentioned, the comic starts with narration, which gives the reader a background in the Roman Eagles (and what makes them so important), as well as the disastrous battle recently lost in the Germanic forest of Tottenwald. From there, we’re brought back to the present with Antonius, who is investigating a counterfeiting ring when he first learns about the unrest caused by the loss at Tottenwald. He then learns from Emperor Nero (who is predictably volatile and demanding) about how the legions in Tottenwald also lost their Eagle standards, which is causing the current unrest among the public. Panicked about the plebeians turning on him, he tasks Antonius with traveling to Germany and bringing the Eagles home. Of course, what seems like a simple retrieval spirals into a larger conspiracy as Antonius uncovers more details about the lost battle.
I really enjoyed the detective-style intrigue that Britannia had to offer, and I found Antonius to be a genuinely nice guy that, as a reader, I wanted to root for. The other protagonist, Achilla, a female gladiator Nero gives to Antonius to act as his bodyguard in the dangerous Germanic wilds, wasn’t as well-rounded as a character, but still not terrible. This is just the first issue, and Antonius and Achilla definitely had a nice potentially romantic dynamic that I can get behind.
The art of Britannia is done in full color, and a realistic style that always reminds me of the old Prince Valiant comics that used to be in the funny pages (but better detail than Prince Valiant for sure). All in all, the art matched the tone of comic well, and it suits the historical fiction genre of comics.
Overall, Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome has definitely caught my attention, and I’m pretty excited to read the next issue that comes out later this year!