||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (November 2009)|
Cover to Brath #1
|Publication date||February 2003 – June 2004|
|Number of issues||14 (plus a prequel)|
|Main character(s)||Brath Mac Garen
Quintillius Aurelius Galba Rex
|Penciller(s)||Andrea Di Vito
Enrique Alcatena (6, 11)
Gina M. Villa
|Hammer of Vengeance||ISBN 1-931484-87-2|
|Gladiator Triumphant||ISBN 1593140452|
Brath was an American comic book published by Crossgen Entertainment from February, 2003 to June, 2004. It ran for 15 issues (including prequel) before it was forced to end by the bankruptcy of CrossGen in 2004.
The series was written by Chuck Dixon and penciled by Andrea Di Vito. Brath was set on the fictional world of Hann Jinn also seen in other CrossGen titles, Way of the Rat and The Path. Dixon and DiVito researched various parts of history when writing Brath. As such, much of Brath's diegesis is akin to films like Gladiator and Braveheart.
On the world of Hann Jinn, Emperor Quintillius Aurelius Galba Rex rules his empire with an Iron will. The lands of the empire stretch from the deserts of Bythium to the cold wastes of the Tandar Steppe. His legions march the lands to enforce his will, taxing the citizens beyond their ability to yield and enforcing his glory and the glory of his great capital city. Yet one land and one people remain beyond the grasp of the emperor, the clans of the Urelanders.
Brath tells the story of the Urelanders, brought together in an uneasy alliance by the Warcheif Brath Mac Garen, in their struggle against the ever growing empire of the Emperor Quintillius Aurelius Galba Rex.
Brath Mac Garen, Bradmanacus in the tongue of the empire, united the clans of the Urelanders when the Empire came to conquer the lands of the Ure. Marked with the sign of the Stag-god, Brath and his army defied the legions of the emperor time and again.
The battle of Irisium taught the empire the cunningness of Brath and his clansmen. Upon defeating the legions of Galba, Brath let the prisoners of that battle go free, despite the reluctance of his clansmen, returning the banner of the Eagle of the Thirteenth to its First Century Antonius Casta. Upon returning Casta is asked why he thought Brath let him and his men go. Casta replies, "Because he knew it was more humiliating to let us live, and we bear witness to his victory."
As the months draw on Brath and the clan Mac Garen men conduct lighting raids against the forces of the empire. At the same time Drusus, tribune to General Vala, is attempting to locate Dun Garen, home of Brath Mac Garen. As the tension grows between the clans, Brath begins to fear that the alliance may falter. Challenged by A'Dan Mac Dool for the right of leadership Brath accepts and kills Mac Dool, but the fight between the two sparks the fires of treachery.
All the while, while tribesmen argue and legions form, Brath has been dreaming. The advance towards Dun Garen that Brath has seen in his dreams is now a reality. General Vala and three legions march towards the hills that the Mac Garens call home. Brath is alerted to the armies amassing ashore and upon seeing the amassing army with his own eyes he is greeted by a that which he has never before seen. Great beasts with long trunks and huge tusks are being escorted ashore and Brath fears that with no defense against such creatures Dun Garen will surely fall.
The series has been collected in a number of trade paperbacks:
- Hammer of Vengeance (CrossGen, 160 pages, September 2004, ISBN 1-931484-87-2)
- Gladiator Triumphant (CrossGen, 160 pages, September 2004, ISBN 1-59314-045-2)
- Updated - Brath Goes Without: Dixon Talks Latest Brath Developments, Newsarama, May 12, 2003
- Brath Prequel #0
- Brath #2