Graphic Content – The Adventures of Luther Arkwright

List Item:  Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
Progress:
99/501Title: The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Creator(s):
Bryan Talbot
Year: 1978-1989
Country: UK

You know those works where, for a long time, you are just going through the motions by engaging with it and then, suddenly, it just gets good. I think I have had a lot of them doing the various parts of these blog challenges and The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is just the latest one. As this was a nine-part miniseries, there was no way I wasn’t going to make it to the end – but wow until everything flips on its head in issue six, it was pretty rough going for me.

Taking place over multiple parallel universes, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, tells the story of an agent, the titular Luther Arkwright, who traverses universes in order to find some sort of tech that is adversely affecting everything in the multiverse. He is unique in that he can control his own phasing between universes and we mostly see him in one particular universe – an alternate London where the royal family never took back the throne and the Civil War never ended.

I enjoy alternate universe fiction, especially when it is so far extrapolated from events that I know about i.e. The English Civil War. One of the things that I probably liked the most in this publication were the sporadic updates about the disasters being wrought in other dimensions – such as it suddenly raining frogs or that Mexico was under control of the Prussian Empire.

The thing that kinda got me was just how dense it was in places in order to make all the exposition. I get that, with this being a predominantly one man operation, there is a desire to keep the issues down – but so much small text world-building happens regularly that so often I was taken out of the story and the visuals in order for it to be an suddenly be more flavour text than something of real consequence. 

By the ending, I really had gotten into the story and everything was just accelerating towards some sort of ridiculous fever pitch and I was starting to really groove along with the character design. I just wish it hadn’t taken me to song to get there that, as soon as I was enjoying it, it was basically over. Still though, it’s nice to get another of these miniseries crossed off.

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