‘Amiculus Vol. 1: Roma Aeterna’ Comic Review
In A.D. 475, the Western Emperor, Julius Nepos, was overthrown by a Roman General, Flavius Orestes. Orestes then put his 12-year-old kid Romulus on the throne as the new Emperor. A year later, Ortestes’s former buddy/partner, Odoacer, turned on him and forced Romulus to give up his crown, basically ending the Western Roman Empire. Odoacer exiled Romulus and he was never seen again. According to the creator and writer, Travis Horseman, that’s all anyone has written about for this 60 year period in history. So, Horseman has come up with the secret history of that time period. And that’s this book: Amiculus.
At first, I didn’t think I would enjoy the story. Not that I thought it would be bad, but more that I’m not a huge fan of history or period pieces. I tend to be bored with true stories. I like the fantastical, but after reading Amiculus, I may have to change my tune. To say that I “like” Amiculus is quite the understatement.
Horseman has crafted himself quite the tale of betrayal, kings, generals, and war. Amiculus rings the same vibe as a very popular HBO show. I’m sure you’ve heard of it (Game of Thrones). If you’re looking for a well-written and original tale in the same vein with all of the intrigue, death, and king-killing then do yourself a favor and drive, walk, run, gallop, or whatever the hell it is that you do down to your local comic shop and pick up Amiculus.
The art in Amiculus reminds me of some Bronze Age Marvel and DC books. It looks somewhat simple but it’s deceptively detailed and bloody. Admittedly, blood wasn’t really much of thing back in the Bronze Age of the 1980’s in comics, but artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo really knows his way around the page.
If I had one complaint—normally I have many—it would be that I had a hard time telling who was who. Be it that many of the guys looked similar or that they all have some crazy hard Roman names, it took me half the book to put two and two together. But hell, I had the same issue watching Game of Thrones.
Overall I found this book to be extremely interesting with some great writing and some great art. I think any history fans or comic fans would be amiss to, uh, miss this book. I’m ready for Volume 2 to come out, before which I’ll get to joyfully reread Volume 1. That’s the great thing about books like these. The multiple readings make it fun.