I really enjoyed Britannia: We Who Are About To Die #1, and how it links together the beginning and end of the story. If you haven’t read Britannia before, the beginning of the title gives you a brief overview of who Antonius Axia is, and how he becomes the detective that he is now. In this story, Antonius is on the case of slain teens from noble families, and tries to find out how or what has taken their lives. The writing from Milligan is solid, and shows how Antonius steadily uncovers who killed the young nobles. He examines crime scenes, deals with a crazed Emperor Nero and a shady Vestal Rubria, and talks to the deceased teen’s families. There also seems to be some mysticism going on that will probably be explained in later issues. There’s also a symbol that appears in the story that you should keep an eye out for. I didn’t have any problems with the dialog, and it feels natural to the plot. The pacing was fine, as it kept me intrigued in what was going on.
Juan Jose Ryp’s art is a thing of beauty, and delivers on the visuals of the story. Characters look good throughout the issue, minus the few instances of odd looking faces. Ryp also makes great use of facial expressions. With the slaying of noble children, everyone’s up in arms as to who did it, and you can see the various signs of fear, sadness, anger, and madness coming from the characters in the story. Also, for the little bits of action that happens in the story, it was great to look at. The environments look gorgeous, and combined with Frank D’Armata’s colors, it just looks amazing. The lettering from David Sharpe was well done, and easy to follow with the panel layout.
Overall, Britannia: We Who Are About To Die #1 is a great follow-up to the first Britannia, and I can’t wait for the next issue to drop.
4.5 Antonius Axia’s out of 5