The Valiant #2 (Comics Review)

Valiant’s latest title, The Valiant, debuted last month in what can only be called a smashing performance. The second of the publisher’s ongoing team titles, The Valiant brings together familiar heroes from Unity alongside several other heroes drawn from across the Valiant-verse to stop a major supernatural threat with deep ties to the oldest of them, Eternal Warrior aka Gilad Anni-Padda. The first issue was a damn fun read and with writers Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt doing the scripting with the amazing Paolo Rivera on the art, I think this is going to be a very important series in 2015.

In The Valiant #2 we see a lot of different things happening. Jeff and Matt have their work cut out for them, trying to spin together two different stories into a cohesive whole, and it is also something that they pull off really well. There’s the story of Gilad and Ninjak out on a mission to find a code-breaker and then there’s another one where the current Geomancer, Kay, having to fight off her worst nightmares, nightmares that have been subsumed by an ancient enemy that has hunted her predecessors for hundreds of years. Basically, this is all a recipe for disaster and really putting the good guys through the grind.

This title has a really huge cast, in that pretty much any hero from across the Valiant-verse can be tapped to come in and do his/her thing. We’ve seen many disparate heroes come together previously in Unity already and it seems that with The Valiant Jeff and Matt really want to push the envelope with this one, and bringing out an ancient threat that someone like Gilad is familiar with, well, that sets the stage pretty nicely for all the shenanigans that you can find inside.

Recently on Unity and on X-O Manowar, we see how a threat related to one superhero can come to have an impact on all the other heroes, irrespective of who they are and what their beliefs are. The Valiant is doing pretty much the same thing, but with a more of a fantasy element to it rather than something pure science fiction. And I like that approach. By contextualising it like that, you are able to better connect with the characters and with the story as well, and are able to take it on face-value.

Plus, the fact that the Immortal Enemy has been such a major nemesis for Gilad over the many years of his service to the Geomancer means that the story has the feel of there being real stakes for everyone involved. And this issue rams home that idea when Kay’s childhood memories are manipulated by this enemy in order to get to her, to defeat her on a psychological level before anything happens on a physical level.

And this is where the writing really excels. Far from being just a thriller or a fantasy mystery or something, there is pure horror here at times, and the writers hit the beats again and again, making sure that it all flows really well and without any kind of sudden interruption.

Really, the thing with this issue is that it focuses solely on character and plot development whereas the previous one had to establish many of the rules and identities. That allows this issue to have somewhat of a free reign with things and just run off with it all, the consequences be damned. Thankfully, the consequences certainly aren’t negative, and this issue proved to be as great a read as its predecessor, and I’m really excited about that. This is a very different side to the Valiant-verse I’d say.

Paolo Rivera is the artist here with Joe Rivera assisting and Dave Lanphear on the letters. The art here is pretty killing. The artists have a pretty good sense of how to best portray the characters, whether they are standing around talking or doing some sort of an action scene. The visuals really are gorgeous, irrespective of the location being portrayed, and I think the standout scenes are those with Kay and the Immortal Enemy, with the whole horror-vibe going on, something that gets really creepy the further it all goes on.

Superb second issue.

Rating: 9.5/10

More The Valiant: #1.

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Posted on January 27, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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