As I've gotten older, I've come to enjoy history a lot more than I did when I was in school. In particular, the ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire. The drawing above is done with a Uni-Ball fine point pen and shaded with 2H and 4H pencils.
It's based on the Praetorian Guard down to the armor, lorica segmentata, and sword, gladius.
There were nine cohorts of Praetorian, one less than a full legion, and were made up of the most elite soldiers recruited from across the empire. They were assigned as the emperor's personal guard. In the early days of the empire, they were a stabilizing force in Rome.
However, the Praetorian, in the later empire, were one of the most powerful political influences in Rome. They were responsible for the assassination of at least 11 emperors and served their own agenda. Constantine I disbanded the Praetorian, destroyed the Castra Praetoria and scattered the solders across the empire.
While watching Gladiator, I wondered what the Praetorian would be like today. That really started the whole project. After finishing off the drawing, I scanned it into Photoshop and drew in a caption box freehand. After that I added another layer with the blood spatter. Finally, I imported it into Comic Life and added the text.
The text took me a couple of days of rewriting and editing to get it down to something I though a late Roman Empire Praetorian would have thought in modern times. It reads:
There is a primal memory in all of us that was once Rome. It lingers within our minds, just beyond the fireflies in the twilight of reason. For most, it is a shadow of a thought, a whisper in a dream. For the chosen, it is a waymarker on the road to rekindled glory.
To see Rome restored, I will commit every sin, incite unimagined atrocities and revel in my grim work until torrents of blood cascade across the soul of the world.
That is what Rome requires.
My brothers and I will see it done.