REX MUNDI OMNIBUS VOL. 2 (Dark Horse, 2013; Softcover)
Collects Rex Mundi No. 18, Vol. 2 Nos. 1-19, the Rex Mundi stories from The Dark Horse Book of Monsters, Myspace Dark Horse Presents No. 7 , and Dark Horse Presents No. 15 (cover dates April, 2006- August, 2012).
Writer: Arvid Nelson
Artist: Juan Ferrerya with Jim Di Bartolo, Guy Davis, and Dave Stuart.
Dr. Julien Sauniere's quest for the Holy Grail goes off the rails in this fictitious, alternate Earth Europe of 1933 and 1934. The Duke of Lorraine's rise to power bears more than a passing resemblance to another fascist regime from our Europe in the 1930s. Everything comes to a head, with mythological beats, vampires, and resurrections of biblical proportions happening.
Rex Mundi is a sometimes scathing, sometimes tongue in cheek commentary on religion. Christians, Muslims, Jews...no one is above question or insult. Things seemed to be more plausible in the first Omnibus, but here more fantasy elements come into play. In all honesty, those same elements spice things up and keep it from being a dry read.
There is a 1-2 page “newspaper” at the end of each issue, and it is there that the wittiest writing occurs. They take a while to get through but are worth reading. The comics themselves are pretty decompressed. I plowed through 300 of the 600 pages in a few hours one afternoon. The artwork is handled by different artists, and all of it is good stuff. I would recommend that you buy both books before reading them. I wish that I re-read Volume 1 before starting this because I feel like I lost my footing in knowing where the story was going. It took me a while to get my bearings.
This is good stuff that is thought-provoking, whether you agree with Nelson's opinions or not. I imagine some folks will be easily offended by this, but not me.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I handle my books like museum artifacts, treating them like paintings or sculptures. My 6.5 year old son...not so much. He received one of the Dark Horse Star Wars Omnibus books from some friends of mine for his 5th birthday. It has been carried to and from school in his backpack, read in bed with him falling asleep on it, stored open and face down, and there isn't a creak in the binding nor any loose pages. This is a testament to the quality of these Dark Horse books. While I could never treat a book with such reckless abandon, it is comforting to know that I could if I chose to. These Dark Horse Omnibus softcovers should provide a lifetime of reading enjoyment.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. I'll admit it, I really enjoy huffing the slick coated stock toxic Chinese ink and paper used in these books. ***snooooort*** Oh yeah, that's the stuff...
Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5. Sewn binding in a glued cardstock cover. See above comment.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. This has a sufficiently thick waxlike coating on the cover.
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