The Royals: Masters of War by Rob Williams – issue 3 (spoilers)

Royals 3The Royals: Masters of War
a six issue mini-series

Published by Vertigo April 2014

Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Coleby
Colorist: JD Mettler
Letters: Wes Abbott

Cover: Coleby & Mettler

Continuing the WWII story set in an alternate timeline. The Royals have ruled their countries due to their bloodlines having superhuman powers. Long ago they agreed to keep out of conflicts between nations.

The Royals are no longer keeping out of the war. First Prince Henry took to the skies. Then He and his elder brother Prince Arthur visited USA in an attempt to garner assistance in fighting Germany

Last issue saw Prince Akishino of Japan invite the US Navy to meet the Japanese Fleet in open water. With no Royals of their own the result was obvious so they stayed in port at Pearl Harbour…

Henry and Arthur assisted to repel the Japanese. Now they take the battle to Midway.

Situated half way in the Pacific between the USA and Japan the atoll of Midway was destined to be a crucial point in the war. A tiny pair of islands quite literally in the middle of nowhere it is a nature reserve today; well in the reality I live in it is. In both realities it is where East & West clashed.

Henry and Arthur take active parts in the battle. Henry takes on the Japanese Royals one to one while Arthur fights the common man.

We see more of how different the two brothers are. Henry is an idealist and feels the weight of the deaths around him. Arthur is self serving and treats the lives of those around him as inconsequential. Arthur repeatedly goads Henry with the suggestion that the younger Royal is incestuously in love with their sister, Rose.

The setting is familiar, so close to the course of our history, that the suspension of disbelief is rather easy. It is easy to see these characters as belonging to the story we are being told. Rob Williams is very good at placing characters in a story where they belong.

Half way through the series and I can’t wait to see where we are taken next.

Visually this is a spectacular book. Simon Coleby seems to give us classic poses of heroes that perfectly fit the world of the story.The attitude in the comportment of the Royals sets them apart from the common man. Henry’s passion and Arthur’s disdain are expertly captured.

There are many really excellent pages, such as the very first page showing the two islands of Midway and the water construct that the Japanese Royal is controlling.

Three down and three to go. A really great series.



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