|Heart of Empire|
|Written By:||Bryan Talbot|
|Published By:||Dark Horse Comics|
Heart of Empire, or the Legacy of Luther Arkwright is a limited series by Bryan Talbot, published in nine monthly parts in 1999 by Dark Horse Comics.
It is a sequel to his earlier work The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, set twenty-three years later, and centers on Arkwright's daughter Victoria.
The story is largely set on the same parallel on which the key events of Luther Arkwright occurred. Twenty-three years have passed (putting the date of the events at 2007), and England has emerged from its artificially-prolonged Civil War to become the predominant world power under the autocratic rule of its psychic Queen Anne. The decadent court exhibits a mixture of Elizabethan, Restoration and Victorian styles. Dissidents "disappear" to an unknown fate in St. George's Chapel, Windsor at Windsor Castle.
Anne's only heir is Princess Victoria, her daughter by the long-vanished Luther Arkwright, born during the climactic battle twenty-three years earlier. Victoria is an engineering genius, but suffers constantly from nausea and headaches. Victoria's twin brother Henry was assassinated at the age of five, but when Victoria is told she resembles the revolutionary leader Gabriel Shelley, she becomes fascinated by the possibility that he is her brother, and starts a quest to learn about the circumstances of Henry's death. Meanwhile both a Papal Envoy and a group of fascists within the government plan to assassinate Anne and Victoria in order to seize the Empire for the Roman Catholic Church and themselves, respectively. Furthermore, the advanced society of parallel "zero-zero" has detected an imminent cataclysm centred on Victoria's world, and tries in vain to contact Luther.