The Blood Queens – Cleopatra, the Fatal Queen 4. Volume 4

B
rutus and his defeated allies, Octavian and Marc Antony shared the Roman Empire. While the first holds Rome in his hand, the second is in the East, determined to wage a war against the Parthian enemy. There, he had to reckon with the Egyptian forces of Cleopatra. Between the sovereign and the consul, passion is played out on all fronts. Sometimes they compete, deploying pageantry and military forces, sometimes they sink into the delights of the flesh and the mirages born of opiate fumes. But, the two lovers never lose sight of their common desire: power.

As a connoisseur mastering his subject, Thierry Gloris delivers a fourth volume which is interested in a new aspect of the existence of his illustrious heroine: his relationship with the general who succeeded Caesar in his bed and the implications of this on the destiny of the ancient world of the time. The story thus shows the two characters confronting their respective cultures, the Roman willingly yielding to the curves of the Lagide and the splendor it displays. The scenario then slips between the tumultuous love affairs of the couple, excesses of all kinds – like this bet around an expensive banquet and the legendary pearl at the Pharaonic price which constitutes the pinnacle – and political negotiations revealing the interests of different protagonists, both in Rome and in the Middle East. The reader is thus held in suspense until the final page which announces the next dramatic phase. As for the graphic score, it remains convincing, because Joël Mouclier once again manages to breathe life into everyone. Both exterior and interior scenes offer various framing and shots that saturated colors adorn with intensity. The grandiose celebrations are the occasion to make the golds and vivid shades pop – aquatic green, lazuli blue, blazing red-orange – which contrast with the cooler tones of the passages taking place in the Eternal City.

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Skillfully conducted and beautifully illustrated, this album reads with pleasure and confirms – if it was still needed – that Cleopatra is one of the best stories of the label Queens of blood. See you at the next episode!

Read the chronicles of volume 1 and volume 2.
Read the chronicle of volume 3.

Par M. Natali

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