Calvin’s Commentaries: Rome West

Rome West

Written by Justin Giampaoli & Brian Wood

Art by Andrea Mutti

Cover art by Mathew Taylor

Publisher: Dark Horse

What would have happened if a few ships filled with Roman soldiers have been blown off course and landed on the east coast of North America years before Columbus, or even the Vikings?

That is a question Rome West attempts to answer, and it does a reasonable job if you can suspend believe just a little.

The story makes reasonable sense early on as it focuses on the arrival of the Romans, and how they manage to get along with the natives they first encounter.

But the story soon begins to take on a high fantasy element as it progresses to modern times.

The basic premise is that a handful of Romans arrived and became the defining influence on the development of North America with family lineages dating back to their arrival playing a role for centuries through marriages to indigenous women.

While it makes for the foundation of a fun sort of read, it seems highly unlikely their influence would hold as strongly as suggested.

And if you can buy into the premise completely the story then comes across as rushed. They attempt to cram far too many years of history into a book that is made up of a series of shorter time-period pieces, but still amasses at only about 110 pages.

If you want to tell a history of a continent from the summer of 323 to around 1990, then you need to go grander in the scope of that history’s telling.

This fell short in terms of both a grand story-telling, and in terms of a believable alternate history.

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