'Imperium': Braithwaite drew my interest, Mech Major hooked me

As a kid, I was a DC and Marvel junkie. In fact well into my 30s I was still very much all about the two main publishers, in retrospect much to my shame. If you look at most of my ROBOT 6 peers, their collective reading tastes in their younger days was far more diverse than mine ever was. I am glad to say that these days, my reading is far more diverse. Rather than getting wrapped up in the universes of the big two, my reading choices typically are driven by the creative teams on a project. Such is the case with the new Valiant ongoing, Imperium.

I am sure Jim Shooter will wince when I admit I have not really noticed Toyo Harada before this series (Shooter created the character back in the early 1990s). Hell, I read very little of writer Joshua Dysart's former Harbinger ongoing which Imperium evolved out from in this new Valiant incarnation. What attracted me first to this series was a chance to look at Doug Braithwaite's art. If you listen to colorists like Laura Martin and other creators on social media, Braithwaite is a creator that fellow creators respect.

This past week saw the release of Imperium #2. After reading the first and second issues of this ongoing, I can see why pros respect Braithwaite. In the span of a few pages, the artist can tackle a variety of different worlds and landscapes, making it all look easy. The art is only as good as who colors him, though. I have to say Brian Reber & Dave McCaig (in issue #1) and McCaig alone (in issue #2) make Braithwaite's pages absolutely sing.

I know next to nothing about psiots, or much of this corner of the Valiant universe. But from what I see of Dysart's dialogue for the robot character Mech Major (who oddly keeps on insisting on being called “Sunlight on Snow”), I cannot wait to see more of that character. Braithwaite brought me to Imperium, but the collaborative dynamics of the creative team (plus the potential of Sunlight on Snow) will get me to come back.

[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

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