Toyo Harada continues to combat the entity known as Divinity, attempting to find a weakness as he is thrown about through time. Meanwhile, Sunlight on Snow continues to be the moral center of the book, but will his moral goodness end up costing him? Is it good?
Imperium #8 (Valiant Entertainment)
The titanic battle between Divinity and Harada is awe-inspiring. Writer Joshua Dysart decides to give the reader a more in-depth look at Harada’s version of the tale using an internal monologue. Dysart exposes Harada’s thought process, his determination, as well as his arrogance. Divinity, and what he means to Harada with his vision for the future, really allows Dysart to grow Harada and have him learn and even potentially alter course.
The struggle of wills between Harada and Divinity also draws into conflict their ideology or world view. Dysart doesn’t dwell on it too much, but he does emphasize their differences. Where Harada wants to make the world a better place, Divinity is content to not fully meddle in the world of humanity, only touching a few people at a time.
In between the engaging contest of wills, Dysart focuses on Sunlight on Snow or Mech Major as he makes his way through the wreckage of the Rising Tide submersible, Leviathan. There is an odd interaction here with Kozol screaming and yelling at Sunlight on Snow who doesn’t offer any dialogue in return. It is really strange.
The end of the issue reveals the next impending problem that Harada and his team will encounter, but also solidifies Kozol as the recurring antagonist to Harada’s team. Interestingly enough, Kozol’s monologue towards the end of the issue points out the hypocrisy of Harada’s ideology.
Due to the nature of the book jumping back and forth through time, it can be a little difficult to follow or remember exactly what point in time they have come to. Dysart tries to ease the reader into this through Harada’s monologue, but each time isn’t as fluid as what it could be.
Scot Eaton’s artwork is pretty good. The contest of wills between Harada and Divinity is excellently drawn as both men show off their power in their body language. There is a very cool splash page showing Harada’s triumph, although some may not like it due to the disproportioned hands, but it plays well for what Harada is doing.
Some of the panels can be a little busy, making it difficult to follow along, especially when Sunlight on Snow is traversing through the exploding Leviathan. The close-ups of the crew after they have escaped the Leviathan seem awkward, especially the characters’ necks; they don’t seem to fit on their bodies appropriately. In addition, many of the characters’ features don’t seem to have the detailed quality they had in the battle of will scenes. It looks almost a tad rushed through the middle of the issue. This might be caused from having two different inkers, Wayne Faucher and Sean Parsons.
Artist Cafu does a really good job evoking emotion in the human during the epilogue scene, but his Sunlight on Snow is much too lanky and easily maneuvers through the tight spaces of the aircraft carrier without having to turn sideways. He looks gangly and I’m not a big fan of that look on him.
Is It Good?
Imperium #8 does a decent enough job of closing out the story arc. The battle of wills between Harada and Divinity is exceptional; however, the rest of the book doesn’t measure up. It can be somewhat difficult to follow along with all of the time changes. Many of the non-Harada vs. Divinity panels are cluttered, requiring a second or even third look to figure out what is happening. That being said, the battle between Divinity and Harada is worth it and the epilogue is a great teaser setting up the next arc!