Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review- REX MUNDI OMNIBUS VOL. 1

REX MUNDI OMNIBUS VOL. 1 (Dark Horse, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Rex Mundi Nos. 0-17 and the three Brother Matthew web comic strips (cover dates August, 2002- March, 2006). (Originally published by Image Comics.)
Writer: Arvid Nelson
Artists: EricJ, Jim Di Bartolo, Juan Ferreya, Brian Churilla, Jeromy Cox, and Jason Millet. 
Rex Mundi is Latin for “King of the World”. In the Paris of 1933 we see a conspiracy of power going all the way back to Biblical times, with royal lineages and birthrights mixing with sorcery and cults. Then again, what is Christianity but a cult gone mainstream, right? There are lots of questions about all religions in this title. Many of the things that religious conspiracy stories like The Da Vinci Code touch upon, such as the Holy Grail, are covered here. Rex Mundi was being published before Dan Brown's book, so it is not entirely fair to call this title a copycat. Rather, we'll call it two creative minds going down the same road but getting off at different exits. 
This starts out as a whodunit, but quickly progresses into other territory. This is a very slow building story, with seemingly disparate scenarios and characters converging at a later point once the story gets going full steam. Once it achieves it's momentum, the unfolding plotlines will make this a book that you won't be able to put down. The writing and artwork improve with each page. 
Speaking of artwork, this title changes hands a few times, with each artist brings something different and unique to the table. None of them derail the feeling of the previous artist, yet they offer something completely different than their predecessors. 
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- These Dark Horse Omnibus books offer maximum bang for the buck, clocking in at 584 pages in full color for $24.99 MSRP. These books are slightly smaller than a standard trade paperback but are larger than a digest. The paper is a decent weight coated stock but the coating is inconsistent throughout the book. Some pages are as smooth as a baby's bottom while others have that dirty, gritty, “dusty” Chinese printing feeling. When the Chinese go cheap, the paper feels gross. If the children working the sweatshop presses can't get it right then I suggest we exploit another Third World country who will do a better job.
I wish that the original cover art that was prepared exclusively for the trade paperbacks was included as extras in the back of the book. The cover to this book is the cover to the Volume 3 trade paperback.
This book has high quality sewn binding and will last a lifetime. My 5 year old son has one of the Star Wars Dark Horse Omnibus books with the same binding, and it is beat to Hell with nary a creak in the binding or loose pages. He sleeps with it, leaves it open face down overnight, etc. If you handle the book that carelessly and it lasts, let alone when you handle them as gingerly as I do, then I give it the buy with confidence vote.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5.
 
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