Synopsis: Rome is in the grips of pure terror. The children of great roman houses are being slain, and it appears the gods may have a hand in it. Fearful that the gods have turned their backs on them, the citizens of Rome look for the source of their woes. Emperor Nero, who I will remind you is stark-raving-bonkers, tasks Antonius with finding the cause of these massacres and disasters. And when his son goes missing, the detectioner’s deadline becomes ever more perilous.
Review: Britannia 2 has been a solid tale, but the real story is a battle of the sexes. Something has upset the natural order of things for Rome, and the powerful men are worried. (We all know what happens when powerful men start to worry). Nero and the other members of the roman senate see this as a perfect opportunity to divest the vestal virgins of their power. Personally, I believe this is the most interesting part of Britannia. The priestesses have an autonomy that no other women enjoy, and they, like the gladiator Achillia, are outliers in this society. They represent a dangerous and subversive power to the status quo, and thus change begins to ripple throughout the women of Rome. This disturbance is mirrored in the ravings of the doomed roman youth. The parallels work incredibly well.
If you remember me waxing poetic about the art in Britannia’s first series, then you know what is coming up next. The art remains consistently outstanding. There is scene where Antonius walks through the gladiatorial barracks, and the coloring on the bricks is perfect. They seem dirty and aged. Why is this important? For this team, there are no shortcuts, and it is much appreciated. Also, when the gods speak in their temples, it is both creepy and transfixing. Without giving any spoilers, an image that is ingrained in western civilization as serene morphs into the thing of nightmares. It is a scene of pure beauty.
Britannia has returned stronger than ever. There is really no other way for me to say it. Where the first series may have seemed a little plotting during world building moments, the second flourishes due to all of that hard work. Valiant is really on top of their game.