Maxentius Boek 1: De Nika-opstand – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, History, Crime
Written by: Romain Sardou, Carlos Rafael Duarte
Illustrations: Romain Sardou, Carlos Rafael Duarte
Coloring: Romain Sardou, Carlos Rafael Duarte
Publisher: Le Lombard

Maxentius Boek 1: De Nika-opstand – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Some factual material, Original
Bad: Illustrations aren't always that consistent
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

The ancient Roman Empire has always made for interesting stories, be it about grand battle, legendary warriors or even risky romances, books, series, movies and even comic books have always used this period of time as a great source of inspiration. Even though most emperors were not that kind towards their own underlings and opposition was often punishable by death, there are a lot of things that often get romanticized in stories and truth be told, nearly all of us love it. This time, we take a closer look at the life of one who is deemed to wear the crown, yet he, and no one around him realizes it.

Maxentius Boek 1 De Nika-opstand Banner

Even though the story starts off in 496 AD with the imprisonment of Kavadh I, the emperor of the Persian empire, we swiftly fast-forward thirty years to follow the life of the Persian emperor’s son Maxentius. Sadly, Maxentius was brought into this world with only his name as luggage, as his mother died after a shipwreck. She fled Kavadh’s side, seeing his wife and other family members were plotting to take her life, and then his legacy would also perish. Nonetheless, Maxentius is seemingly doing quite well, as he tends to the animals that fight in the hippodrome, and he is closely tied to the Roman emperor Justinianus and his wife Theodora, who just happens to be a childhood friend of Maxentius. That being said, the empire is divided into two factions, the blues and the greens, who are each represented in the hippodrome. Due to this enforcement of ‘competition’ the attention from the emperor is led astray, and thus the general riffraff is content.

When during the last contest between both factions there are clear signs of sabotage, small riots are occurring all over the city. While this alone was already bad enough, seeing the royal guard had to intervene and execute several people, things get truly out of hand when the representative for the blues was murdered. To make matters even worse, according to rumors, he was slain by the hands of the royal guard. Maxentius, who secretly controls a network of spies, all thanks to his good relations with the emperor and his wife, is sent out to investigate and control the situation before things get truly out of hand.

The flow of the story gives you enough time to process the facts but it does trot along quite rapidly to keep things exciting. With a massive bloodbath possibly happening in the near future, you’re being pressed to the edge of your seat to finally know what is going on, and thanks to this, Romain Sardou and Carlos Rafael Duarte keep things rather interesting. While the historical ‘facts’ aren’t completely true, theirs is a sense of factual material, which also adds a layer of realism to things.

Sardou and Duarte chose for a rather rugged, yet realistic illustration style, which perfectly suits the setting of the story. While things are not always completely consistent throughout this entire first album, there are certain scenes that are handled with a lot more care, making them stand out, which in turn empowers them. The coloring feels a bit like what you’d see in older paintings, which again adds a layer of authenticity to the story.


Maxentius Boek 1: De Nika-opstand is an interesting story that situates itself in the Roman Empire. While some might argue that this timeframe is milked dry, the story adds a few fun quirks to the equation, especially considering the main character is royalty, yet unaware of his own ancestry. If you like an exciting tale, with hefty combat scenes and some factual material, this one proves to be quite fun.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Maxentius Boek 1: De Nika-opstand - Comic Book Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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