Sovereign #3: Review

The emperor is dead. And he’s a zombie. And finally, it’s all starting to make sense.

Here’s the official word from Image:

The paths of the travelers finally converge in the court of the late emperor, as his sons already vie for the empty throne. But when the unburied dead begin to rise, animated by intelligences from beyond space and time, there are more pressing matters to consider…

Told in a series of seemingly disconnected narratives, the first two issues of Sovereign toggled back and forth sovereign_3_cover_by_paulmaybury-d775qkibetween three separate lands — each vignette was strong enough to whet the appetite, but none got enough airtime to really satisfy. Well, that’s over now and with issue #3 Chris Roberson finally let’s his various tales collide into one compelling story. As I’ve said before, fans who pick up this collected trade several months from now might NOT find the pace as glacial as I did, having read the series monthly. But still, I’ll say this: issue #3 reads more like a premier issue than any of the previous installments. Why? Well, issue #3 tosses out the set-up and offers a swath of characters interacting around the central drama: a dead emperor whose mutated into a zombie, and the power vacuum that his absence (and abominable return) has created. Yes, the plot to issue #3 is constructed in such a way that we get a sense of who’s who and what’s what, even without recalling the first two issues. In this sense, the success of issue #3 highlights the strange fact we really didn’t need issues 1 or 2. The real story starts here, and it’s worth grabbing.

Despite my grumpiness surrounding some of the pacing issues, I love, love, LOVE, Paul Maybury. Maybury’s characters are rich and textured; his landscapes are strong enough to put you in the scene. Best yet, he draws great dead people. And loves chopping them up before your eyes.

Sovereign #3 feels like the start of something special. Forget the first two issues and grab issue #3 today.

+ The Story Begins! + And It's Good.

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