Chico Comics Review: Heirs of Rome
Writer: Toni Karonen
Artist: Juuso Laasonen
Editor: Ken Reynolds
Publisher: Markosia Enterprises
Review: James Kniseley
Heirs of Rome is gorgeously drawn, but lacks any depth beyond that.
The most striking thing about Heirs of Rome is the artwork. It is beautiful to look at and incredibly detailed. The characters are all visually different. If you just scroll through the story it is impressive. The lighting effects of certain fire scenes are spectacularly drawn and different effects like smoke and rain are drawn to perfection.
One of the main problem in this is the extensive use of dialogue. Every page is so jammed packed with dialogue or narration and it isn’t compelling. There is too much and the majority of it isn’t interesting. After reading a couple pages, you’re eyes start to gloss over, and it becomes a chore to continue reading. There’s no flow to it. All the dialogue is there simply to be there. You could probably cut half of it and have no impact on the story.
Going along with the dialogue issues is the characters. There are a few good scenes early on between the main character Rocco and his father, but after that every character sounds the same. No one has a unique voice or personality to grab on to. If the characters were interesting, the extensive dialogue would be interesting. But none of the characters have a distinctive voice that makes you care about them. This is 97 pages long and you don’t care about anyone by the end of it.
One odd thing of note is the character of Bors, Rocco’s father. He spends the first few pages with one voice style and then about 15 or 20 pages in he just starts cursing and it pulls you out of the experience because it doesn’t fit how his character has acted before. There isn’t even a hint of it.
The framing of the story is confusing. It’s all a flashback at what seems to be the end of Rocco’s life, but for some reason, he knows information he shouldn’t. The early parts of the story detail his father’s death and Rocco narrates things he should have no knowledge of, and yet, he does.
Going with this is the pacing. Nothing happens in these 97 pages. It seems like a waste. About half of the pages could be cut and the story would flow much better. There is a a lot of idle time of talking heads, and it quickly becomes a bore.
Another issue is that early on, there are a lot of places and character names thrown out and it becomes overwhelming. All these odd names and you know nothing about them. There are too many to keep track of and only cause confusion.
All that said, there is a story here, and this is only the first part. So the team working on this has time to correct the flaws in the rest of the story and transform it into something grand. I would even go so far as to suggest they return to book one and make drastic changes so that people will be drawn into this and want to continue reading. As it stands now, you don’t want to finish this one let alone the next one.
Should you buy
Despite the gorgeous artwork, Heirs of Rome is unrefined. It gives off the feeling of a rough draft that needs extensive editing. The framework of the story is there, but the characters lack depth and there is too much talking about nothing important at all. I hope that when they work on book two they can correct these errors. If they can, this will be a great saga to follow.
I give this a 5/10
Thank you for reading our review of Heirs to Rome. We here at the Chico Comics Page appreciate your viewership. We invite you to check back with us soon as we post often. Or, you can follow us on Facebook (The Chico Comics Page), Google+ (The Chico Comics Page) and Twitter (@ChicoComicsPage) for regular updates on all of our posts.