WARNING: This page contains spoilers for the upcoming graphic novel The Blue Madjai.
A Peplum Epic: 20s A Difficult Age
20s A Difficult Age also known as A Peplum Epic: 20s A Difficult Age, simply 20s or as T.A.D.A. in acronym form is a sword-and-sandal historical epic created by Marcus Orelias based on the rap album of the same name. The epic timelines the spiritual journey of both Harnuphis Bukouloi and Marcus Antoninus from beginning to end and follows various characters throughout their twenties including protagonist turned antagonist Avidius Cassius as well as the antagonist The Mysterious Man.
20s A Difficult Age contains typical story motifs common to the sword-and-sandal genre as well as unconventional. Shifting to part two of the story, 20s A Difficult Age focuses on the Antoninus family, their relation to Harnuphis and beyond.
The Epic Plot: 20s A Difficult Age
During the First Frontier Wars, a spiritually gifted young woman named Harnuphis delivers a message to Marcus Antoninus, an Emperor, who succeeds in his public life but continues to struggle in his personal. Together, they work to stop Avidius Cassius, a dictator rising to power.
Etymology and Locations
In 20s a Difficult Age to maintain a historical continuity many of the cities are referenced by their original or earliest known names for example Rome is referenced as Latium, Africa is referenced as Alkebula, Egypt is referenced as Kemet.
20s a Difficult Age explores many themes that encompass what people in their 20s and beyond struggle with including mental health, social acceptance, love, relationships, the cost to live and much more. Although not explicitly expressed through dialogue many of the themes can be seen through the character's actions and personalities.
The musical themes present in the album 20s a Difficult Age were entirely composed by Chicago-based producer, composer and rapper Sulyiman.