Saturday, July 10, 2010

Scourge of the Gods #1-3

Written by Valérie Mangin
Art by Aleksa Gajic

I like French comics, but man they can be complicated sometimes.  Scourge of the Gods is a good example of the type of sweeping science fiction narrative I enjoy from time to time (it reminded me a little of Dune at the beginning), but it has a pretty convoluted tale to tell.

This three-issue series bills itself as a 'Chronicle of Galactic Antiquity" (in other words, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away), and details the conflict between the Roman Empire and the barbarous Huns.  Of course, the story is really taking place in the far future, and the Roman Orbis is spread over many worlds, linked by secret star routes.  The Huns, led by Rua, father of Attila, make use of an alien method of travel that can take them across the galaxy in a matter of seconds.

When the story opens, a group of Roman women have been given to the Huns as a sacrifice to their goddess Kerka.  One of the women is revealed to be the resurrected Kerka herself, and what follows are a number of plots and intrigues, as Attila takes over the Hun throne, and Flavia, the returned Kerka, makes plans of her own.

This is where things get really convoluted, and it becomes easy to lose the plot.  Once the reader has cleared the second half of the second issue though, the story becomes more clear and interesting.  A lot of work has been put into creating this particular future, and it is definitely an interesting take on things, especially once the secrets the Empress reveals to Flavia become known.

Gajic's art is very cool.  It has the standard European look, and is incredibly detailed in scenes that take place in temples or aboard space ships.  The task of applying classic design to futuristic things is a difficult one, but he rises to it wonderfully.

I enjoyed this title quite a bit, and now am going to be hunting down the second volume, which I presume finishes off this story.

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