Review - Gladiator

Proving temporary insanity is no easy feat. It's something the courts rely on in many cases to either prove guilt or innocence, yet in some cases the line isn't so clear. What if the person really is a gladiator as opposed to thinking he's one? That's the premise behind Gladiator from Red Tempest Comics.

The issue is written by Ricardo Ferrari and illustrated by Oscar Capristo.

Caladus is one of the most feared gladiators of his time, making short work of any and all comers. He's also a prisoner wanted for fourteen murders (beheadings actually), who's trial is set to determine whether or not he actually is a gladiator or just insane. While in prison, he proves without a doubt he has the capabilities of a gladiator, but the jury is still out on whether or not he actually is one.

Ferrari's tale is pretty intriguing actually. He takes the concept of reincarnation in a sense, in that Caladus is someone who's seemingly fought through the ages. The thing is, he never lost his gladiator mentality, prompting him to respond to situations in any time as if he were in ancient Rome. It's a rather unique story and the entire time you're wondering whether or not he's actually a gladiator in modern day or if he's just insane.

The art by Capristo is subtle, but extremely effective. It's a style that suits the work very well, not relying on an abundance of blood and gore to get his point across that Caladus is someone you shouldn't trifle with. It's all black and white with heavy shading at some points for effect. Some panels are a little difficult to interpret as far as what's going on, but those are few and far between.

Gladiator is an inventive book that poses the question of what would happen if a gladiator lived in modern times. It's likely he would still have that caged fighter mentality, adapted to work better with technological advancements of the present. The book posits that he would be just as fierce out of the arena as inside it and that's something that everyone who crosses the path of Caladus can attest to.

Gladiator is available now from the publisher's website with interiors below.