By Joshua Dysart, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Sean Parsons, CAFU, Brian Reber
The smart and saavy Imperium has been on an action high of late. After using the first arc to set up the goals of the anti-hero Toyo Harada and introduce some complex new characters, writer Joshua Dysart brought things to a boil with an intense battle aboard a submarine.
In many instances, character advancement will take a backseat during high action. Not so the case with Dysart, who excels at creating rich, dimensional character personalities. Despite the presence of highly advanced technology and super-powered beings, he never loses focus that the characters – not their fireworks – are the compelling part of the story.
Using the unique perspective of the battle experience from the viewpoints of both aggressors and defenders, Dysart plumbed the depths of several key characters aboard the leviathan. The result is dynamic. Fears, failings, and hopes are revealed. Complicating matters, the presence of Divinity throws Harada and his team for a literal loop.
It’s no secret that Harada would pursue the addition of Divinity to his team. Divinity offers a fast track solution to his goals. The exploration of Harada’s ideology versus that of Divinity’s is part of the conflict that drives this book. Fans of the Divinity miniseries are likely to enjoy the additional peek inside the entity. If the characters themselves are any indication, readers may be surprised by the conclusion of that conflict.
It’s also notable that this series continues to draw on elements from the larger Valiant Universe. Divinity, LV-99, and H.A.R.D. Corps play their own important parts in the series rather than being token attempts to wedge the story into the larger universe. It is also done with care. Readers need not follow all of the series to understand the roles played within this one.
The epilogue to this book is spectacular. Here the focus shifts to another character and sets up the next arc. It’s both endearing and shocking as a fan favorite character proves exactly why he deserves that title. The next arc of the book promises to be exciting as yet another cultural/political contender tries to exert dominance.
Art for the main story is once again provided by Scot Eaton, who has been crafting some of his finest work on this series. Wayne Faucher and Sean Parsons (Harbinger) provided inks. CAFU penciled the epilogue. While having multiple artists and inkers collaborate on one story may sound disjointed, the effect here was smooth, likely aided by the consistently good coloring of Brian Reber. The most notable shift was between the main story and the epilogue. Eaton’s art has been inked more boldly than CAFU’s epilogue. Stylistically, the two artists complement each other. The shift to CAFU as artist for the next arc should be a smooth transition.
Imperium’s “Broken Angels IV: Something Greater Than Yourself” ends the arc on a high note. Intelligent and entertaining, this book’s title proves prophetic for its characters on more than one level. Highly recommended read.