Ever since making a return, Valiant has clearly had a focus on quality over quantity. It may not be offering nearly as many titles as its competitors, but the ones the publisher is releasing are well worth the $3.99 cover price. We here at Comic Vine all have our favorite Valiant titles, but now the publisher has a brand new limited series that's incorporating many of its characters. Luckily for us, it's awesome! The second chapter came out last week and we believe it's our duty to make sure this title is on your radar.
We commonly hear people say they're interested in giving Valiant a shot but they don't know where to begin. Well, THE VALIANT is your answer. It may not give every big character the spotlight just yet, but it's an action-adventure that's giving you a taste of all this world has to offer. You get a look at the universe's badasses (Ninjak, Eternal Warrior, Bloodshot), it embraces the evergrowing mythos (Eternal Warrior's tale, Geomancer) and elements from other parts of the publisher's world are beginning to trickle in. Some books may focus on one genre, but this includes horror, fantasy, fun shootouts, and it looks like some sci-fi is right around the corner.
This is a series that makes sure no reader is left behind. You can have literally zero experience with Valiant before reading the first issue and you won't feel left in the dark. It takes all of the necessary steps to make sure you're in the loop and know what you need to know. From a thoroughly detailed intro page to mostly well utilized exposition, this is a book that's doing a mighty fine job appealing to new and preexisting fans. Beginning with the first issue or the first story of an arc is always the ideal jumping on spot, but Valiant's intro pages make sure you can technically hop on wherever you want to. You won't fully appreciate everything, but the option exists. There really is no good reason to miss out on the first issue, though. It does an exceptional job putting everyone in place and, even if you don't know these characters, you can't help but feel how powerful and emotional the story is.
Watching the heroes in action and learning more about them is absorbing and we can't get enough of it, but if you're going to bring these characters together, you need an antagonist that's worthy of their attention. It's critical to have someone who cannot be defeated by any individual and the heroes must team-up if they want to stand a chance. Thankfully, the Immortal Enemy is a more than worthy opponent.
He's been around for ages and Eternal Warrior has been unable to stop him each and every time they've encountered. Not only is he physically formidable, but he's also legitimately frightening and a key part of this universe's history. He can take any form, make you face your worst fears, and, creepiest of all, his face peels open to reveal a horrifying skeletal, sharp-toothed face. Basically, he's a walking nightmare.
The fact this limited series is written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt should be more than enough to give you some faith in this story and pique your curiosity. Sure, the basic premise --- the Immortal Enemy kills every new Geomancer and that brings about an era of darkness -- may sound a little generic or heavy in fantasy elements, but the co-writers make sure this is something everyone can appreciate. They have no problem dishing out plenty of action and cool spectacle -- we'll talk about how good the art is in a bit -- but this isn't a series that thrives simply because it has entertaining action sequences and excitement. Instead, it works because of the characters.
These aren't one-dimensional beings; there's more to each of them and the co-writers really drive that point home. You'll want to see them battle the Immortal Enemy, but you'll also want to see them conversing just so you can see what the different dynamics are like and you'll hope to learn more about each of them. These are characters you'll want to root for and get emotionally connected to. Will all of them make it out of this twisted story? What impact will it have on them? Will it form any new alliances? Even if you're new to Valiant, odds are it'll make these characters grow on you and you'll be left wanting more. Thankfully, there's other great titles that have more of these characters and you can enjoy those between each new issue of THE VALIANT, but we're not here to talk about those.
With so many excellent titles out there, it's understandable why some people don't want to add yet another $3.99 comic to their pull list. It's an expensive hobby and it most definitely adds up. But how many of the $3.99+ comics that you're following feel like they're truly worth every penny? How many are you keeping on your pull list just because you're curious about how things will turn out or you hope it'll get better? THE VALIANT isn't one of those comics and you can tell the creative team is doing everything they can to make sure your money is well spent.
Lemire and Kindt's script is epic in scope yet still character-driven, and Paolo and Joe Rivera's visuals are going to keep you staring at the pages. Whether it's expressions that tell you everything you need to know about how the character is feeling or a gripping display of action, the visuals do a brilliant job making this story feel every bit as cinematic as it should. Each location is properly fleshed out, too. The "go big or go home" approach applies to these pages. They can sell a calm discussion with Geomancer and vicious and scary encounter with the Immortal Enemy equally well. The script and the visuals never falter and there most definitely isn't any noticeable filler in here.
High stakes, horror, action, character, and even a little bit of humor. THE VALIANT has it all and it's the perfect way to give this publisher a chance. If you've been slacking off and haven't picked up a Valiant title yet, this is what you need to check out. It'll serve as your introduction to this publisher's world and we're pretty confident it'll win you over. If you've been following the other titles, then you're well aware of the fact you need to be reading this. THE VALIANT may not be a big event, but it sure feels like an awesome one.