06th Jul2017

‘Britannia: We Who Are About to Die #3’ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Peter Milligan | Art by Juan Jose Ryp | Published by Valiant Comics

Wrath of the gods!The women of Rome march to rebellion! Magic and mystery continue to intertwine as the clock ticks down to Rubria’s final hours. Will Antonius Axia and his mysterious new partner—the brutal female gladiator known as Achillia—untangle the knots that threaten to hang the Roman Empire…or will Nero finally obtain the dark power he lusted for? As the beaten ghost of Apollo finally rises to cast his dark judgment on all of Rome, history’s first detective must act swiftly before humanity’s final hours slip into madness!


If you are at all interested in the history of the Roman Empire Britannia is worth reading simply for the back matter that delves deep into the actual real life history.  It is a history that is reflected in this story about the first ever detective and his journey to find the truth in a corrupt world. This picked up right after the last issue as Antonius Axia and the female gladiator known as Achillia face off with the emperor’s soldiers in the middle of the great arena. Juan Jose Ryp’s highly detailed art is used to great effect in this sequence. It is a gorgeously bloody affair as these soldiers are torn to shreds. You feel their pain as their faces cry out in agony.

Peter Milligan’s script encapsulates the intrigue of Rome at this time and how extremely corrupt every inch of it was. That, of course, makes attempting to solve any mystery a massive challenge as the lists of suspects is ever mounting. Major answers are revealed here as Antonius is in desperation to save his son. Having that personal stake has allowed this series to succeed the previous one. There is more to it than general politicking of high-ranking Roman officials.

Britannia: We Who Are About to Die #3 is not without its faults. Pacing wise this had a breakneck speed as we move from one story element to the next rather quickly. With that some of the major plot reveals may be lost as it is challenging to keep track of some of the finer details. Also one does wonder how a person like Antonius who openly challenges the emperor can do so with little repercussions. It is somewhat strange to see a man basically sentenced to death able to walk free only moments later. The glory of Rome at the time I guess.

***½  3.5/5


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