Review - IV: Armageddon #51

"Armageddon, the war of succession. A glorious battle meant to decide who will inherit; who will rule."

Humans aren't the only ons forced into wars they don't desire. Even those of different planes and sentience demand combat every now and then. IV: Armageddon #51 from Graphic Illusions Comics offers the start of such a conflict. The issue is written by Alan Cole (story by Timothy J. Reaper and Cole) and illustrated by Luis Palacios.

You know their names: Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel, Abaddon, Joshua and Enoch. There's also the Four Horsemen in Death, War, Pestilence and Famine. Their paths cross in ways that lead to death and destruction with some intrigue mixed in for good measure. That's the story being told in IV: Armageddon #51.

Adapting a well-known story into a comic is something that can be hit or miss. It can be a hit if the work is popular and doesn't really lead much room for interpretation. It can be a miss if the story has a few fuzzy details scattered throughout. IV: Armageddon #51 falls in the latter category. Reaper and Cole seem to want to tackle a storied tale, but the delivery of that tale comes across a little haphazardly and awkward. Multiple readers still left some questions, most of which surround who the characters are and their role in the grander scheme of things. On top of that, the actual premise of the story seems a little fuzzy, as Cole seems to rely on the reader's knowledge of the tale to keep up.

While the story feels a little too vague at times, Palacios imbues the book with very solid artwork. Most (if not all) of the characters included are heavenly beings and Palacios presents them as such, full of chiseled physiques and warrior prowess. You truly get the sense these are massively powerful beings capable of waging large-scale wars and such an epic war is on tap in IV: Armageddon #51. The panel layout is very organic, with Palacios refusing to be hemmed in by traditional panels. Characters move in and out of the panels rather seamlessly, giving the reader the sense that they're immersed in the action alongside the celestial bodies.

IV: Armageddon #51 is a very ambitious take on a very legendary story. The problem is that the story is based more on legend than fact, which doesn't really give the reader much to grasp onto if they're not already familiar with the legend. Cole's script throws the reader into the thick of things, offering very little in the way of anchors that give the reader a sense of what's going on if they don't already know. Palacio's art is very strong, demonstrating a fantastic representation of the other-worldiness of the key players. IV: Armageddon #51 is definitely ambitious and offers up the potential for a massive, all-out war; because of that, there's a lot to take in, which may be difficult for some readers.

IV: Armageddon #51 is available now.