Anni begins her communion with the Earth while Padda and Cuth combat creatures that once lay dormant and are now savaging all of humanity. Will Anni be able to find a solution to save the human race? Is it good?
Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer #3 (Valiant Entertainment)
Fred Van Lente dips into the well of myth and provides an innovative look at some very old stories in the third installment of Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer. The giant Nephilim are center to the story, having been raised by the Earth to punish humanity. One can also see a reference to David and Goliath as well as Moses and the burning bush among others.
One might assume, due to the number of different references, the story might struggle to weave them all together. This is not the case at all. Van Lente wonderfully ties all of them together in a very tight and fast-paced issue. The issue went by so fast I didn’t realize it was over. I was still trying to flip the page!
Outside of the pacing, Van Lente really pushes character development. Anni is radically changed by her encounter with the Earth. She becomes chillingly calm, almost devoid of emotion. This lack of emotion allows her to make earth-changing decisions that she might not otherwise have made prior to her encounter with the Earth. The actions Anni takes really allows Van Lente to have Padda become the moral center of the book as he questions Anni’s actions.
Juan José Ryp’s artwork is as mythological as the story Van Lente has scripted. The first page shows this mythological quality with a truly unique conception of the Earth communicating with Anni. There are also subtle details displaying Anni’s new god-like powers. On the second page, which happens to be a full-page spread, Ryp draws the focus of your eyes to the foreground and the hapless slaughter of humanity by the Giants. However, in the background he depicts Anni’s face as she is given a vision of this slaughter. You might miss it on your first read-through; I know I did!
The action sequences are well crafted and he makes good use of inset panels overtop of a larger panel. The way he uses them makes the action seem to take place within seconds of the previous action. It really helps the flow and readability.
Jordie Bellaire’s colors are majestic-like and put the finishing touches on Ryp’s mythological artwork. Her use of yellows and oranges contrasting with the dark cave interior really emphasize the change and god-like abilities Anni now possesses. She is also able to use multiple shades of a light, almost yellowish-green to depict one of Anni’s abilities to really emphasize Van Lente’s script.
Is It Good?
Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer #3 is another excellent addition to Valiant’s growing universe. Van Lente takes ancient myths and weaves them together to form a whole new one for the Valiant universe in excellent fashion. Ryp’s artwork combined with Bellaire’s color give this book a truly mythical look.
It’s unfortunate it is only available via retailer incentives, but I definitely recommend talking to your retailers to see what they can do to get this book.