You want a new comic series? You want it to get rolling quickly? You want to see women being badass? Buy Romulus #1 by Bryan Hill with art by Nelson Blake II right now. I saw the cover of this book one time, maybe 2 days ago. For some reason it burned an image into my mind. I’m not sure if it’s because there was a woman on the cover that gave a “Kill Bill” vibe, or the fact that maybe that woman looked like a woman of color (I’m honestly still not sure if she is, but she’s awesome regardless). In any case, when I hit the comic shop, after picking up my list, and grabbing “Death of X” I felt like I was forgetting something. Then the name hit me… “Romulus!” I turned, as if a distant, hollow voice were calling out to me, and it was right there.
I trudged into work, got settled in and opened the first page. I was blown away immediately. I’ve seen many a comic jump in quick. I mean Spider-Man opened up with Blackheart, son of the veritable devil of Marvel, on the first page. Fun right? I think this got me fired up more quickly than even that. In two panels I’m seeing the life of a woman unfold from childhood before my very eyes. In the panels following, I get concise, single word descriptions with simple, but telling art, explaining how she came to be what she is. On the next page, we get a lurid splash page of just what she is.
This is only 2 pages deep now folks! I’m excited. I continue to read on. I learn of an order of assassins, all women. I learn of the generational tradition of breeding these assassins. Then I learn of a betrayal and then a hunt. So much is packed into this first issue to make it so robust, and yet the mystery still lingers. Our antagonist, Ashlar, seems to be tasked with the mission of saving 5 billion lives. Furthermore, it seems as if she is in the process of putting a team together to do it.
It feels like a Tarantino-esque, modern day assassin’s tale with feral metaphorical implications, featuring women taking the position of power. We quite literally have a male in this issue playing damsel in distress, and I absolutely love the assertion of women’s power, and gender role reversal. Women shouldn’t be stereotyped, and this breaks those boundaries, again. I withhold further details because I feel that you can only best serve yourself by picking this comic up. Even with just one issue out, I highly, highly recommend this work. Buy it, read it, and list it. I can tell already that we have an amazing adventure ahead.