Psi-Lords is a series I’ve talked about on the AiPT! Comics Podcast, talked to Fred Van Lente about via an interview, and have been highly anticipating for some time. It’s a good starting point for new readers, has incredible art by Renato Guedes and features four highly relatable protagonists. It’s a try it and see if you love it sort of situation.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The Psi-Lords make their debut in the modern-era Valiant Universe in a brand-new ongoing series! But WHO are they? And where the heck are they?! Prepare for a cosmic adventure like no other! Seriously, it’s wild stuff.
Why does this matter?
It’s great to see Valiant Entertainment spreading its wings and bringing back some of their classics in the modern era. This series opens up the realm of possibility when it comes to spacefaring heroes as well as introduces a new sort of power-set for Valiant heroes.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Guedes’ art helps draw you into the very alien setting of the story. Organic-looking walls and chambers give you the sense that this is a whole other type of spaceship these characters are in. Very quickly these characters must understand what they are capable of as their lives are in danger. Guedes does an incredible job capturing hyper-realistic facial expressions, helping to draw you into the very unsure and human nature of the characters. It helps in understanding their confusion as well as their complete shock at seeing what they are capable of.
This is the first issue of many questions and very few answers. Thankfully, each of the protagonists is a surrogate for the reader since they know as much as we do. That makes their discovery about themselves exciting, since they are excited themselves. For every new bit of information, we’re about as elated as they are. Van Lente does an exceptional job capturing the characters personalities, especially when they’re all in the same sort of head space, but react differently. Some are excited, others angry, and others are almost dumbfounded. It’s very easy to drop yourself into this adventure and understand what they are going through.
Considering how powerful these characters are without any training or real understanding of what they can do, it’s pretty cool to see them light it up in this issue. If they’re this powerful already, what will they be capable of going forward? Like J.J. Abrams and his mystery box, this issue is filled with questions that are tantalizing and thanks to the very human delivery and connection you won’t be frustrated in the slightest.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The visual story being told is realistic, but it also can be jarring. A smash-cut to someone’s lips, then a cut to different characters, another smash-cut to a first powering up all amount to a chaotic flow. Maybe that’s the point, but it did take me out of the story here and there and require some flipping back and forth to understand what was going on.
I can’t tell if it’s just the copy I have or not, but the lettering can be difficult to read at times. There isn’t quite enough space around the words and when the black bubbles with yellow text is used the contrast doesn’t quite work.
Is it good?
Psi-Lords is shaping up to be a huge hit thanks to its many mysteries and action-packed suspense. Psi-Lords takes the superhero setup and imbues it with real characters, honest emotions and a layer of high octane action.