The Chaos Begins With Aquila #1
Aquila #1, the first in what is sure to be a blood soaked five part series, gives off that sense that we’ve seen this all somewhere before and yet it does not disappoint in both its story and visual appeal, even if that does include some over the top violence and bloodshed. Still, with a story hip deep in Spartacus lore, evil gods and an all encompassing need for revenge, is there really another way to go?
We meet Aquila in the most unfortunate of circumstances, crucified and dying for being part of Spartacus’s defeated army. Understandably annoyed and irritated (Ok, he’s pissed off, let’s just say it) he calls out to any and all gods within earshot, his anger feeding his desire for revenge no matter what it costs. His prayers, of a sort, are answered by Ammit the Devourer, who grants Aquila immortality in exchange for as many souls as he could collect for him.
Let the chaos begin.
This being the first comic of a series, there are some things that need to be done, such as giving Aquila his back story, blazing a trail of blood and violence and just for good measure, some great scenes from the Roman era. However, it would be very simplistic of me to say that is all that is going on here, specifically how the writer wants to deal with the whole ‘deal with the devil’ storyline.
Speaking of the author, Gordon Rennie does a great job of managing to spin an interesting storyline amongst the violence and every rising body count. While there is plenty of violence from start to finish, Rennie throws in some interesting tidbits of information to keep the reader interested which also served a second purpose, that being letting the reader catch their breath in between the seeming never ending tide of blood and violence.
Another reason why the violence does not simply overpower the whole comic is how great it looks. Artist Leigh Gallagher does wonders with the fight scenes and acts of carnage, making them look very real and in some cases, you can actually understand the emotions from the characters on the page, whether it be Aquila himself or some of the poor souls who were soon to meet their end by his hand.The combination of good paneling and striking imagery made this comic a joy to look at from start to end.
It was exactly what you should expect in a number one issue of a series, some character development, interesting plot lines and some startling visuals that captured your eye. I actually took my time the second time around reading it to be able to enjoy the detail and graphic nature of some of the scenes. A great first issue that I highly recommend you pick up.