The Valiant, fittingly done by Valiant Entertainment, has wrapped up it’s limited series this past Wednesday. The series, written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt with art by Paolo Rivera with Joe Rivera, was meant to be a jumping off point for the next phase in Valiant’s comic enterprise, entitled Valiant Next. These series’ of comics are meant to highlight some of the comic book worlds current all-star talents, and over the next past few months they have been releasing comics with this new imprint; The Valiant, Ivar, Timewalker, Divinity, Imperium, and Ninjak, with Bloodshot Reborn coming this April. With a lot weighing on this series acting as an anchor for these new books, does The Valiant fulfill it’s duty of, not only setting the pieces in place, but introducing new readers to this fantastic universe. The answer is not only a yes, but an exuberant, outstanding yes.
One of the things that I really appreciate is that in no part of this story is there an unnecessary page. Unfortunately, something that happens a lot with comics that are forced to cover so much ground or have such an important end game, is that they tend to touch on a character or topic once and then never return to that plot point. This story is so clean and natural feeling, everything is purposeful and nothing is just left to be explained later. That being said, the ending of this story leaves tons of room and new situations for some of the main protagonists in this story, namely The Eternal Warrior and Bloodshot, while not leaving us feeling as if we need to read the other comics in order to fully appreciate it. Although I am totally going to be picking up Bloodshot Reborn, but that was the case before all of this.
Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt triumph in this story, without a doubt, but one of the reasons their triumph is so strong is the unadulterated amazingness that is Paolo Rivera’s artwork. Both of these writers build such wonderfully expressive characters, but truly it is Rivera who brings those characters to life in the most spectacular way. His crisp, clean line work and extraordinary use of color make ever single page pop, sucking you into another universe entirely. One of the things that makes Rivera one of my favorite interior artist is his uncanny ability to capture the minute details in someone’s facial expressions. Not only does it emphasize the action and drama of the story, but it can make for some pretty hilarious visual gags.
I definitely recommend this comic book to anyone, whether you are a seasoned Valiant veteran, if you are new to the game and want something new and interesting to read, or if you just want to get into the amazing world of Valiant comics and don’t know where to start. This is definitely a comic book that shouldn’t be missed. If you already missed it, TOO BAD, IT’S OVER. But seriously, the trade comes out May 13.
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