The eternal conflict between the Immortal Enemy and the Geomancer has resumed, but this time the Eternal Warrior, guardian of the Geomancer, has a number of allies to aid him in his protection of the Geomancer. Is it good?
The Valiant #2 (Valiant Entertainment)
Having been introduced to the Eternal Warrior, Bloodshot, and Neville Alcott in the previous issue, a fourth player takes the stage in the opening pages. Ninjak lives up to his name as a master of his own body, able to control his breathing to survive in what appear to be subzero temperatures. He is also an expert in disguise; Paolo Rivera has a beautiful panel showing him rise up out of the snow, sword in hand as he begins his stealth attack. The attack is well-paced and shows off a number of other skills Ninjak possesses — namely deception and swordplay. There is even a unique take on a security measure to break into the building. The pacing draws you in and engages. You want to know his purpose for breaking into this building.
The first transition is fantastically done, depicting the gravity of the situation. Ninjak’s thoughts bleed into the next panel where Kay McHenry’s facial features perfectly portray the emotion Ninjak is feeling. The transition not only switches the focus to a different character, but also introduces completely different panels using water colors. This switch hammers home Kay’s remembrance of her childhood. The panels remind me of drawings my Mom hung up on the fridge after I came home from elementary school, except those created happy memories; Kay’s childhood memory, on the other hand, is haunting.
The memory is of her favorite book her father read to her every night. Except the story is brought to life by Dave Lanphear’s lettering, which conjures up classic fairy tales with a crimped speech bubble. He begins each bubble with a red letter, not to mention the Immortal Enemy taking on the persona and the role of the villain, Mr. Flay. The interaction between Kay and the Immortal Enemy is frighteningly creepy and Rivera has one panel with a headshot of the Immortal Enemy that will give you nightmares. The Immortal Enemy’s powers are more clearly defined with a huge emphasis on his ability to manipulate his victims’ fears and make them reality.
This story element provides Rivera ample opportunity to create some extremely exciting action sequences involving Ninjak, the Eternal Warrior, and Bloodshot. There is slicing and dicing, gunfire, and even a tractor trailer loaded up with lumber storming down a highway. The Immortal Enemy challenges each of our would-be heroes, pushing them to their limits and at times even breaking them. The story leaves off with a hint of even greater things to come as the battle will only escalate from here.
An added bonus to the issue is Matt Kindt giving an inside look into the creation of the comic and how he and Jeff Lemire co-write and collaborate with Paolo Rivera. It is a glimpse into their creative team which provides ample tips for those looking to begin their own journey into the comic industry!
Is It Good?
The Valiant #2 is an action-packed adventure from start to finish with a compelling story component bringing Kay McHenry’s childhood storybook to life. Paolo Rivera’s artwork brings out the emotions of the characters and sells the fear they are experiencing while Lemire and Kindt’s watercolor panels provide an extra layer of horror.