Britannia #4 Review/Rumination - The World's Greatest Detective Ain't Batman
Updated: Aug 8
• Publisher (Valiant)
Britannia #4 opens with Antonius Alexander defending himself against Bodmall as she has been transformed into a demonic Creature (Last Issue). As he is nearly overcome he receives a vision from Rubria, Chief Vestal Virgin. The vision insists that he survive and find the codex. Antonius uses the codex and manages to calm Bodmall as she transforms back to normal.
Upon transformation Bodmall lets Antonius know that she senses the Sister Wyrd (Rubria) on him and lets him know that the spell has been broken. As they are talking Antonius's loyal slave, Bran interrupts them. When he turns back to the address Bodmall, she is gone.
Bran lets Antonius know that a heavy fog is coming which seems to be worrying everyone in Britannia. Antonius considers the circumstances and his experiences to this point and makes the connection that the fog is actually a sign that the creature that has been attacking the village is approaching.
With this new insight, Antonius and Bran to once again confront Perfect Gabinus. When they arrive at the Roman camp they encounter Gabinus as he is sacrificing a rabbit to appease the approaching demon, Orkus. Antonius accuses Gabinus off sacrificing Brits and using the druid, Eryn to summon Orkus. The accusations infuriate the Perfect and he lunges at Antonius but is easily deflected.
The commotion causes other soldiers to show up but they are also dispatched by Bran and Antonius. While the two men engage in battle, Bodmall appeals to an Elder Sister to assist Antonius. At first, the request is denied but the old woman relents when Bodmall tells her that he is protected by a Sister Wyrd.
Once his men are defeated, Gabinus attacks but is unable to match Antonius's blade and is also killed. With the Perfect's death, Orkus reveals that he was in possession of Gabinus's body and then threatens to take Antonius as well before departing.
Bran suggests they hide but Antonius reaffirms that he has to find Eryn and confront him in order to protect Bodmall.
As Antonius and Bran approach the village they see it in flames. Eryn, the Druid approaches them from behind and attacks Antonius with magic. The magics darken the area and separates the two men. The Detectionor manages to follow the Druid's voice in the darkness and throws his blade which connects and ends Eryn's life. Antonius then finds Bran and tells him to leave and take care of his son. He then departs to confront Orkus.
Antonius eventually runs into the monster. The demon immediately attempts to drive him mad by making him see visions of himself committing suicide. The Detectionor fights off the illusions and calls upon the codex again. He is able to imbue his blade with The Eternal Flame. The blade finds it's mark and he is able to finally strike down the beast.
The scene flashes forward to Rubria & Nero in Rome. To their surprise, Antonius approaches and reports that the minor disturbance in Britannia has been dealt with.
Nero leaves satisfied with the result and Antonius reveals to Rubria that after he defeated Orkus, Bodmall approached and saved him with healing magic. Rubria and Antonius part ways and Antonius leaves to see his son and muster up the courage to reveal to the child that he is his biological father.
Britannia #4 is an extremely satisfying conclusion to this mini-series. Antonius closes this case and all of the threads left throughout the series are tied up cleanly. It's surprising how neatly Peter Milligan is able to weave this narrative. It's the perfect blend of action, humor, and revelations.
The art direction is great and it's nice to see the shift in tone once the book goes back to Rome. Nero shows up and is completely insane but in short doses, it's not as off-putting. I sort of missed the guy. This is one of the better endings to a series I've read in a while.
The only knock to the comic is that It works as a concluding issue but on its own, the story is so layered with the plot threads of previous issues that I can't recommend anyone start here. The comic would still be a fun read but having the other issues along with this one makes the story so much better.
This series is everything great about the comics medium and I can't wait to pick up the next arc later this year.
Series Rating: 9/10