Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Robert Gill
Colourists: José Vallarrubia, Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Review by Josh Rose
Everyone’s first instinct when they lose something is to search the last place it was known to be. It’s a good starting point, but when you’re looking in a forest the size of a country you’d have better luck searching for a needle in a hay stack. Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 takes on the greatest mystery in the history of the Roman Empire: what happened to the Eagles?
The Roman Eagles or Aquilae were one of the most prominent symbols of the Roman Empire, often used as the standards of Roman Legions. Protection of the Aquilae was of vital importance, and the loss of one was extremely grave. The Empire spent decades searching for three standards that were lost after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.
Peter Milligan takes this history narrative of Rome losing these standards, particularly in the Germanic forests, and plants them in the era of Nero. Being a mystery, Antonius Axia must use all of his resources to find the Aquilae, which will find him far from Germany and in the last place we would expect to find them. Along with a a great mystery, we also have Antonius struggling with the feelings he’s developed for Achilla.
Robert Gill is new to the world of Britannia, but he’s already knocked it out of the park within just the first few pages. He does a fantastic job drawing the pages featuring the Legion marching, and then at the battle with the Germanic tribes. He makes it look like the armies are endless and the battle a massive one in an equally massive forest. José Vallarrubia and Diego Rodriguez do a great job on the colours. Their vibrancy and variance depend on the people in each scene, and the red of the legionnaires’ uniform and blood do a great job of drawing in the reader.
The Verdict: Buy it.
Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 is another interesting mystery set during Nero’s reign of the Roman Empire. Milligan and Gill do a great job reintroducing characters to new readers and explaining who they are. This is a fantastic first issue for readers who have never read Britannia or anything from Valiant before.
Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 will be available in stores July 25, 2018.