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Caligula #1 – Review

Upon retuning home from selling his family's olive oil, Junius discovers the remains of his loved ones. All of which have been violated and slaughtered. Before dying, the family's slave, Ibraham tells Junius the name of the man responsible for this heinous act. That man's name is Caligula. Confused, distraught and filled with hate Juniu's thoughts turn to his deceased father who was a Centurion. A proud man that would take revenge without a moments haste. But Junius was no solider, he was a boy, a mere farmer.

Regardless, he burns everything connected with his now former life. He takes a few things with him to the city of Anxur. Within weeks he learns the lay of the massive city and routine of Caligula's guards, especially the hangout of one guard in particular, Calvus. Time spent tailing with him reveals that this guard has the taste for young boys. Ready to make his move, Junis “bribes” his way into Caligula's palace. Now inside he finds himself in the midst of a twisted party laced with depravity. In search of his target, Junius stumbles into a woman that Caligula has be courting all night. While occupied with the woman Junius takes his chance to strike.

The first issue of a book is always a tricky one. There's so much that has to happen to tell the story, to draw in the reader and overall makes things interesting to warrant the continuation of the story. David Lapham (Stray Bullets) does this without a hitch. He creates a perfect evil villain in Caligula in just a few panels. Followed by Junius the young and simple olive farmer, who in is instantly thrust into an underdog position just by Caligula's status alone. As the reader you can't help but pull for him on his quest for revenge. Now that the ground work is out of the way, the story has so many different avenues it can explore. The fully-painted pages by new talent German Nobile draw the reader into the world effortlessly. Visually the painted style adds to the very look and feel that is represented in Caligula.

Avatar Press' Caligula is off to a great start in the interesting story department. As long as it continues to keep that aspect up and not fall into a direct clone of Starz's Spartacus and Ridley Scott's Gladiator. Caligula has the makings to add to that genre all on its own. Just as long as the book doesn't find its self going the Tino Brass route. Only due to the fact that there is a panel in the book (just as Junis enters Caligula's palace) where things got really close. All of that aside the team behind Caligula is a talented one and this series is a worthy addition to the Avatar library.

Overall Score – 8.9/10



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