Writer: Joshua Dysart
Art: CAFU & Juan Jose Ryp
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT (December 2015)
This issue starts building for a climactic battle between Harada and Lord Vine 99. We get the origin of our good Vine assassin, getting details of not only how he came to be but his first contact with our good Toyo Harada. Meanwhile, more secrets were being revealed as Grave Dog visit Angela and Ingrid gets to have a very powerful face-to-face …
CAFU and Juan Jose Ryp give us one hell of a showing this issue. Their panels are full of life, detail and color that just take hold of readers, caress them gently then take them on a rollercoaster ride. Readers will see so much with so little pages. The panel work from both artists are really intense. Unique perspective shots. Panels full of detail. Composition of panels looking like dynamic movie or tv shots. The art looks stunning and gripping. The emotional moments feel weighty. The fighting looks brutal. And the overall look and feel of the book is dark and thrilling, which captures Dysart’s script perfectly. The colors also complement each artist perfectly, really showing all the strengths of each individually artist and letting it just explode to near perfection.
Yet, the art is just half of the bewilderment of this issue. We got some solid writing this issue as Dysart makes the Vine’s struggle only part of the current issue. We get to see how much each member of Imperium are really part of Harada’s agenda. Also, Dysart has had Ingrid in the background for much of the series, but she kind of has some more shine here. The plot on both the main plot and the flashback plot start to really connect and we get presented with several very powerful confrontations that make the book just more compelling.
My only real gripe was Lord Vine pretty much thrashing around his savior … and hurting another, much beloved cast member. The latter is more personal than anything else while the former is just so … predictable. It was kind of a slight letdown.
Imperium is still one of the best comics out today. We are getting deeper into the agenda of Harada and the impact it has on our main cast. We got some great development for many of the main cast. It was great to see Grave Dog and Ingrid get more focus while advancing the plot. We truly get more bang for our buck this issue. Yet, Lord Vine 99 had an interesting origin and did some pretty cool things, but there was some predictability to him with what he did against his benefactor and that was kind of a turn off. Otherwise, Dysart writes a strong book as always and we get two of the best artists in comics today doing one hell of a job with the interiors alongside a colorist supreme.