Okay, so Imperial #3 marks the third part of a 4 issue story. So far, the ride’s been good, with a mix of humour, action and personal character development. Can this third issue keep up the good trend, and does it leave us in a suitable position for the final, closing chapter?
The official description from Image:
Better than sex? That’s the party line that super heroic Imperial is towing for his protege hero-in-training, Mark. But even if it is better, does that mean Mark is willing to give it up—along with a lot of other human trappings? And what is the unholy menace that men call “Pancho Sarape?” Well, actually, he’s just a bad wedding DJ, but some things aren’t worth fighting over, right?
This is one of those issues that’s hard to knock. There are a few small problems and issues but, overall, it’s very thought out offering that packs plenty. Where as previous issues have focused on Mark’s upcoming wedding, this issue focuses heavily on fatherhood. It’s a dramatic shift, sure, but it pays off – the relationship between Mark and Imperial takes on a greater meaning and the story definately thrives on that fact.
Yes, Steven T. Seagle did somewhat fudge this in, but it’s done well enough that it’s easily overlooked. Seagle does a fantastic job of delivering Mark’s double live – three issues in, he does what many writers don’t and skips to the chase. The simple, quick cuts between scenes gets the point across and saves time, making for much better pacing. While there isn’t too much action – there is training, but little fighting – that hasn’t always been Imperial’s point. That said, it might leave a few people bored, but the cliffhanger more than makes up for it, I think.
As for the visual treatment, it’s still hard to fault Mark Dos Santos’s artwork. While I don’t like the constant use of blues and oranges, the style is well detailed but comical enough to fit the tone. Santos’s sense of facial features helps sell this issue as, with so much dialogue, the added personalities from the artwork help emphasis what’s being said.
All in all, this is a great part three and I, for one, can’t wait for part 4. This is a series that works well in the short-term format and Imperial #3 is a testament to that.