Rex Mundi vol 1-6: The Guardian of the Temple, The River Underground, The Lost King, Crown and Sword, The Valley at the End of the World, & Gate of God – Arvid Nelson

Apparently this comic has been around for ten years and the first I've heard of it was when Cej sent me his copies to store for him (you know, for the apocalypse). I was immediately intrigued by the world wherein the protestant reformation never happened, America failed, and the inquisition and monarchies still rule Europe and struggle against various Islamic states. Oh, and magic is real. The year is 1933 and the kind Dr. Sauniere wants to find out by who and why a priest friend of his has been murdered. Naturally, this leads to his being reunited with his (perhaps) treacherous ex as he investigates a secrete society poised to take over France--and the world! There were moments when I thought this title was just going to be another take on the whole Grail legend and the bloodline of Jesus, but it was much more than that, filled with political and social machinations. And then it all fell apart. Somewhere around the fourth/fifth volume something went wrong. Characters stopped developing and instead just changed so radically they might as well have been someone else. The idea of magic got largely dropped only to reappear in the sixth trade without working as the concepts behind it shifted. Events happened too quickly as entire countries got destroyed and brought back to destroy other counties in just weeks and the early maneuverings are replaced with events just happening. It really is a shame as at first I couldn't read the stories fast enough and now I don't care if there is a volume 7 or not. Nelson does have a really neat method of summarizing issues with fake newspapers complete with actual historical pictures (although his attempts to make fun of entertainment news doesn't always interest me). Ideally, he will take a step back from this world shattering story-line and refocus on what I loved about the comic which is mysteries in a bizarre yet familiar world. He does this with mini-stories about Brother Matthew, a young, novice inquisitor with a penchant for solving crimes, and I hope to read more of these.