Gloria Victis #1 De Zonen van Apollo – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, History
Written by: Juanra Fernández
Illustrations: Mateo Guerrero
Coloring: Javi Montes
Publisher: Le Lombard

Gloria Victis #1 De Zonen van Apollo – Comic Book Review

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Even now, the Roman Empire might still be known as one of the biggest and most superior empires that has ever existed, and this is probably why there are so many movies, series and books about it. The gladiators still make for fearsome warriors or great heroes who have been robbed of their freedom. There is hardly a soul alive that does not know the name Julius Caesar and his lust for expanding his empire. All of that being said, today we are able to present you with a brand new story that situates itself in the Roman Empire, namely Gloria Victis, a story about the harsh reality many people had to endure during that time period, but above all, it’s about the life of a chariot racer.


Aelio, the protagonist of this Roman themed tale, used to have a merry life, taking care of horses together with his father. His father, Hermeros, is a well known chariot racer, who wishes that his son will never have to risk his life in the arena, as he and many others often do in order to live a life where one does not have to constantly struggle to find some food. Whilst Hermeros has won many races, the race he and Aelio are currently preparing for has a few fierce opponents, namely Hermeros’ teacher Diocles, Victor ‘the crazy’ and his son. As to be expected, a man with the reputation of being ‘crazy’ will take unnecessary risks throughout an already dangerous race, which results in the death of both him and Aelio’s father.

At the same time, these popular chariot races are often an ideal chance to earn some extra money by gambling. One such a noble, Romulus, decides to bet his entire estate on either Diocles’ or Hermeros’ victory. It seems it will become a bad day for more than one person in the Roman empire.

Fast forwarding twelve years into the future, Aelio is now a public slave, doing chores for whichever noble requires his services. This was not at all the future his father had in mind for him. Nonetheless, it seems fate is whimsical, as one day a runaway horse crosses his path, dragging a chariot with the noblewoman Horatia and the slave girl Fabia in it. Aelio reacts upon his natural instincts and does his best to save the day. It seems, once again, Aelio will have to do something with fiery horses.


Overall this first issue of Gloria Victis already sets a great base for the continuation of the series. Whilst it is not completely clear in which direction it will go, just yet, Juanra Fernández, the writer, does a great job to fill the reader’s head with a chariot full of questions. The beginning of this already intriguing series does not always move at the fastest pace possible but it has a great mix of action and information, making sure not a single page could even be considered as remotely boring.

Mateo Guerrero has done a great job in providing the illustrations for the series. Gloria Victis is a realistic looking series, with vivid environments, as well as highly detailed characters. Every frame is handled with care and even ‘zoomed out’ images still have a decent level of detail to them. The ‘fading’ color palette chosen by Javi Montes provides a more authentic feeling. After all, the series situates itself around the year 168 A.D. and thus the faded appearance creates another small layer of realism.

At the end of this first issue, there’s some extra information about the story, as well as some extra history about the chariot races. Whilst this is only two pages of reading material, the content proves to be fun and it shows that this series is being handled with care and love.



Gloria Victis #1 De Zonen van Apollo is a great introductory issue for a new comic book series. Not only are the illustrations top notch, the overall setting and storyline steal the show. A story about tragedy and new hope might just win the race this time. Hold on to those reigns, you’ll never know if you’ll make it to the next corner.

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Gloria Victis #1 De Zonen van Apollo - Comic Book Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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