Thursday, 20 January 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: Pax Britannia: Gods of Manhattan - Al Ewing

Release Date: 20/01/11


NEW YORK, USSA - The steam-powered city of tomorrow where psychedelic beat-poets rumble with punk futurists in the rain-drenched alleys, and where mad science colludes with the monstrous plans of the Meccha-Fuhrer! NEW YORK, USS - City of dazzle and danger. Only here could we find The Blood Spider, Doc Thunderand the saint of ghosts known as El Sombra! NEW YORK, USS - The setting for a bloody battle ofsteel will and science gone wild in a contest to save the city of tomorrow - or end it!


Having read Al’s first excursion into the Pax Britannica Steampunk universe (El Sombra), I was intrigued to see what he’d come up with for his next excursion to the lands of America (or the USSA as its known), especially as his Zorroesque character was a real gem of an edition to this dark twisted world.

Whilst the action has shifted to New York, the characters are just as much fun however the exception to this was Doc Thunder who whilst interesting was way too powerful in a Captain America meets Superhero type of way. Personally I’d have preferred it had he been modelled more on Doc Savage (the Ron Ely version) than Superhero as Ewing added a parody of a cross between Batman and the Shadow in the guise of the “Spider.”

All in it is definitely something different to the much established Ulysses Quicksilver of Jonathan Green but it is a great romp into a different world. Personally I’m more a fan of the spirit of man aspect of titles over superpowers as things have to get a little bit too silly to present them with a real challenge. (Incidentally there is a tip of the hat to Stan Lee within these pages for you to keep an eye out for.) On a final note whilst the art work by Mark Harrison was great to enhance the readers imagination I have wondered how much of the collage was a hodgepodge of work already created as I’m sure that I recognise a lot of them from larger feature pieces rather than the amalgamation which did leave me feeling that it was more of a secondary consideration rather than an overall theme.

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