Green Valley is a series about knights who lost everything only to face the greatest threat a knight could ever face: A wizard! Writer Max Landis has introduced a group of knights and the wizard, and now it’s time to vanquish the bastard. Is it good?
Green Valley #4 (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
“THE DRAGONS” MAX LANDIS & GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI throw another spectacular twist at the Knights of Kelodia as the secrets of GREEN VALLEY continue to be revealed.
Why does this book matter?
The writer is a screenwriter who has movies and TV shows being made as we speak. The fact that it’s a Max Landis original series that has a fresh take and well written dialogue might be enough for you to buy in. Then you have artist Giuseppe Camuncoli who has proven with his previous works (including Spider-Man) that he can draw a heck of a dialogue heavy scene let alone some awesome environments and exploits.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Bertwald continues to be the stronger protagonist of the group and he also continues to be the most mad. I mean that in a good way, as Landis shows a man who is on the verge of a breakdown, but his need to vanquish an enemy is too great. Landis has done a great job setting up this character’s arc so that we’re rooting for him, but at the same time see his obsession as unhealthy. If we were his friend we’d tell the guy to back down, but we want to see him go into rage mode and inflict chaos so we keep our mouths shut.
This is an issue that spends much of its time focusing on the protagonists as they lick their wounds. They’ve lost one of their members in the last issue and are coming to grips with the battle they face ahead. Landis pulls a trick on the reader by a big surprise to close out the issue (though I guessed the surprise last issue) and it does well to raise the stakes for the characters.
Camuncoli draws a calming sort of issue in the lead up to the big action sequence to close the book. His art has this effect that draws you in; maybe it’s the faces or the sometimes angelic settings, and it helps sooth the reader into a feeling before the storm crashes down. Camuncoli uses some well paced layouts where there are many panels that speed up the action and help convey what exactly is going on in the later scenes. This is balanced well with larger panels that slow things down to enhance a moment of dread or fear in a character which gives the action meaning and stakes.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The issue certainly takes its time to get going, with about 11 pages spent getting their ducks in a row. While there’s some character development going on in these scenes, I don’t think they add all that much to what we already gathered or knew. The scenes themselves make sense, but there isn’t enough to make it all that entertaining. It serves as more filler than anything else. The remaining issue drops the action and while these scenes are well paced and the characters go through trials, by the end of the issue you’ll realize not a lot happened in these scenes. They look great, but they don’t progress the story beyond the initial shock of what we’re seeing.
Two dudes having a good yell.
Is It Good?
Green Valley continues to be a fantasy story that’s a touch different and with characters you’ve grown to know. It’s a good balance of surprises and real human emotion that’s good at keeping your attention. This issue drags on and progresses things very little, but I’ll still be back for more.