The Royals: Masters of War by Rob Williams – issue 6 (spoilers)

The Royals 6The Royals: Masters of War
a six issue mini-series

Published by Vertigo July 2014

Writer: Rob Williams
Pencils: Simon Coleby
Inks: Gary Erskine
Colorist: JD Mettler
Letters: Wes Abbott

Cover: Coleby & Mettler

This is the final issue of the series.

The Royal families around the world rose to power because they alone possessed super powers. After living thousands of years and fighting in many wars Jimmu, Emperor of Japan, agreed with the lesser Royals that no Royal would become involved again in the wars of lesser beings.

WWII Britain and Prince Henry, the second son of the King of England could no longer stand aside and see the common people of Britain face the wrath of Germany alone.

Last issue the traitor was revealed as the King murdered his wife and his daughter, the tragic heroine Princes Rose. I must say that came as a big surprise, I suspected the Queen because Prince Arthur was too obvious. I’ve read quite a bit by Rob Williams (as the title of this Blog suggests I’m a 2000AD & Judge Dredd fan) and can attest that he knows the writing craft well.

The reaction of Henry to this turn of events is predictable, this isn’t a criticism some reactions should be predictable as it shows we have come to know the character. Henry of course was our guide in to the story in the first place, he is our hero and we feel his loss with him. Arthur is more subdued, his world view shifted and he is struggling to find his place.

The King… he’s hidden his light under a bushel to say the least. The world had been led to believe he had no powers but it seems he has more power and more control than any of his children. He manipulated everything from the background and fooled his psychic daughter – though was his treachery behind his wife’s malady?

No Churchill this issue but there is Hitler. Given that the crown Britain has switched sides in the war now that was inevitable.

Simon Coleby has been superb throughout, from issue 4 the Inks were supplied by Gary Erskine. Colours through the full series were from JD Mettler.

I credited Gary Erskine in my reviews of Issues 4 & 5 but didn’t mention him in the review itself, other than in passing. That is a back handed compliment. The art without Gary was great and with Gary it was great. Inkers can alter the look of another Artist’s pencils quite a lot sometimes. In the collected edition the transition will not be very obvious. Excellent work.

The art is top notch. The lightness and fresh air of Jimmu’s retreat compared with the desolation of Berlin is wonderful. The confrontation between Henry and Arthur is spectacular. The emotion in Henry and the King on page 17 is also very powerful.

It is a shock ending and a fitting one at the same time.

A very enjoyable series well craftd by all involved. If you missed it you can still catch up though a trade must be secured already.

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