Yes, there was The Battle of Britain in Royals #1 and Pearl Harbor in #2, but in this week’s The Royals: Masters of War #3 you finally get to see what a World War looks like when there’s super-powered beings in the frontline.
Here’s the Comixology link to buy issue 3 (and 2 and 1, in case you missed them):
The Battle of Midway in fact, 1942, where the America and the Japanese fleets blew themselves to hell all in the name of a modest airfield on a small island in the middle of the South Pacific. If the Japanese took the islands of Midway, they would be able to launch long range bombing missions towards America and vice versa for the Americans (the Doolittle Raid, launched from aircraft carriers on Tokyo in revenge for Pearl Harbor was a one-off near suicide mission launched from aircraft carriers and couldn’t be regularly repeated as there was no way for the B25 bombers to land on the aircraft carriers). A simplistic macguffin in the middle of a huge, complicated global war. And we set it up on Page One of our third issue:
The issue’s opening dialogue then says:
“It’s pretty much midway between North America and Asia. Hence the name…”
“Two tiny land masses. Eastern Island has the runway, which is really what the fuss is about.”
“Theodore Roosevelt claimed it for the United States Navy in 1903.”
“2.4 square miles of territory total.”
And then Simon Coleby (and JD Mettler on colours) deliver this Double Page Spread along with the dialogue:
“Be kinda good if we could keep hold of it.”
Double Page splashes like that of great battles look amazing on the page, and are the easiest part of the book to write, to be honest. The artist, I don’t doubt, wants to kill the writer for it. But when it’s done well, as it is here (brilliantly, in fact) it really stands out.
The incoming of digital comics, and reading comics on the iPad, are cutting the DPS off at the knees, which is a bit of a shame. I always thought they were an important part of the comics pacing and visual effect, when used correctly – once in a while or else you get desensitised by them.
The reference aspect of The Royals is really in effect in #3, with Simon trying to depict the Japanese and American fleets correctly. These aren’t just bog-standard aircraft carriers and destroyers. We’ve tried to go from period photographs. I think it shows through.
Prince Arthur and Henry’s tension rises to bloody levels this issue, and the dehumanisation of war starts to take hold. And the Japanese Royal Family are in the thick of the action too. Here you get to see Royals vs Royals in a battle proper, for the first time. And a little act of mercy can have a major effect.
As for ORDINARY. Issue One will be released on May 28th and D’israeli and I are doing a signing on the day at 5pm at Forbidden Planet, Bristol (UK). Here’s the details:
And OK Comics in Leeds are doing a limited edition print, signed by both D’israeli and myself, free with each issue of Ordinary #1. You can order it by dropping them an email at: