06 August 2009

Romanes eunt domus

Picked up Jonathan Hickman's latest collection, 'Pax Romana', today. If you aren't interested in comics, this would not be the one to change your mind, so probably best just to ignore this post and skip ahead to the next one filled with wrath, anger and politicized ire; knowing me there's bound to be one like that along any minute now.

Go on, off you go.

'Pax' is illustrated in the same slick uber-design conscious style as 'Nightly News', and its choice of subject matter (time-traveling mercenaries in the employ of the Vatican out to reshape history for the betterment of all mankind by creating an eternal Roman Empire) will not appeal to as wide an audience as 'Nightly News', but is nonetheless engaging and worth a read, and for me a stronger work than his other recent collection 'Transhuman'.

While he is often compared to Warren Ellis in terms of combining multiple ideas based on current cutting edge and/or fringe social and scientific theories with a retro twist, Hickman's work can at times appear to be a triumph of style over substance. And yet perhaps because it seems to be directed at that rather niche market of forth-estate loathing sci-fi-loving theologians with a penchant for neo-liberal conspiracy theories and an inherent suspicion of proselytizing organized religions and politicians of all creeds, I find it appealing in spite of this flaw. It is not often that one sees a portrayal of the council of Nicea debating the specifics of the Arian heresy in the style of an iPod ad, let alone one with gun-wielding time-traveling Swiss Guards in the background.


It's not available through Amazon yet, so if you don't have a local comic shop nearby you can check out a preview here.

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