REVIEW: Royals #4 – “I Accuse You. How Do You Plead?”

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Writer: Al Ewing
Penciller: Thony Silas
Colorist: Jim Charalampidis
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Rating: T
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 6/21/17


If there was a way to make Royals more interesting than it already was, writer Al Ewing has struck gold with the inclusion of Ronan the Accuser. Ronan is holding the entire Royal Family accountable for their crimes against Hala. Equipped with powers from the Black Vortex, Ronan now has the power of a World-Breaker, and dispatches of the Royals with ease. Ewing has taken this story to the next level by including Ronan and he’s equipped with the power to give the Royal Family their biggest test since abdicating the throne.

Royals was already an excellent piece of work, following the Inhumans after their war with the X-Men destroyed worlds and saw the Royal Family step down. How and where to take the Family following their abdication was always going to be the biggest question for Ewing and he’s answered it in a spectacular fashion. I can’t wait to see how he uses Ronan in this arc.


Plot: The Royals find themselves embroiled in a battle with Ronan after flying over the ruins of Hala. This causes Ronan to strike down the ship carrying the Royals and after a very quick battle, stands over their defeated bodies, and demands to hear how they plead to the charges. Thoroughly defeated and trapped by the awesome power of a Black Vortex-enabled Ronan, the book ends with the Royals looking around in a state of worry and panic. It sets up nicely for an arc involving an incredibly-powered Ronan battling a recently formed group of Royals, sans the Black Bolt. .

The plot of this book is clearly meant to serve as a catalyst for the forthcoming arc involving Ronan and the Royals in a battle for their lives. As an opening salvo, this book was written perfectly. It establishes the what and why of Ronan’s actions and it sets up our heroes to fight a war that they cannot win with physical force alone. If the Royals are to overcome this warrior, they’ll need to do so with a combination of guile, power, and a bit of luck. 


Story: Al Ewing has done a remarkable job with the Royals thus far. He used the first couple of books to establish There’s also the question of why Mad Max made Hala their first stop when a warrior such a Ronan existed with the sole motive of gaining revenge for a destroyed world. He didn’t seem to be bothered by anything Ronan threw at him. He even went so far as to mock Ronan’s attempts at mind games and did not participate in the physical encounter in any way.

There are so many questions left to be answered in the next couple of issues. Why did Mad Max lead them to an overpowered mad man? Noh-Varr supposedly hid away an important object that will aid the Inhumans in their quest, but that doesn’t mean Maximus didn’t know about Ronan, too. Did he lead them there to be destroyed by Ronan? Will Maximus aid the Royals as they take on Ronan moving forward? As I stated earlier, this book does a tremendous job of creating countless plot items to be answered moving forward. As the impetus for a new arc, this book was a success in every way possible. Great job by the creative team, led by Al Ewing, creating possibilities for Royals as the series progresses.

Art: Thony Silas and Jim Charalampidis did a tremendous job, but I felt that Ronan looked a little odd. That said, this is supposed to be a Ronan spat out by the Black Vortex. It would make sense for him to look different than he had in the past if he were this overpowered. This Ronan looks like a cross between Magneto and Apocalypse, so it’s a bit odd for me. Perhaps Ronan will grow on me as we progress, but it’s going to take a minute before I subscribe to this artistic vision of Ronan. One would imagine that Jonboy Meyers will tame Ronan, should he even return. Royals has had a rotating cast of characters doing the art and it’s entirely possible that this is the new lineup.


Having brought all of this up, one bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch. This is a remarkably well-drawn series. This book has some issues, but also some successes. The action sequences are done with passion and the main characters are drawn very well. Silas and Charalampidis deserve praise for their work on Royals and they’ve built up enough goodwill for me to overlook Silas’ version Ronan for the time being. They’ve earned that and I am willing to give it to them in the hope that feedback may cause them to tone him down a shade or two. Even if they don’t, there comes a point where every hero and villain has, at one point, been drawn in this same Hulked-out fashion, so why is it that Ronan can’t?

Verdict: Royals is a constant success. It’s one of those monthly titles that I truly look forward to reading each month. I don’t know if the stats support the quality of work being done, but hopefully this is a title that is doing well enough to continue for a lengthy run. They have had some problems along the way, but the series seems to be finding its groove and using arcs and characters that are sure to drawn the fans in and keep subscribers coming back for more. Now more than ever, I am ready to see where Royals takes me and love the inclusion of Ronan. Royals have lured me in using one of my favorite Marvel characters of all time, let’s see if they’re able to use these stars to create a payoff.  — JW

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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