Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Adam Gorham
Colorist: Michael Spicer
Reviewed by: Brett Israel
The new wave of Valiant continues, and the quality hasn’t dropped one bit. Here, Ales Kot brings his talents to the newer universe, Adam Gorham as well, bringing us a title for anyone. Whether a Valiant lover, or just someone looking for a fun new story, this one is worthy of your time.
While the story is a classic “hero attempting to quell a potential doomsday” scenario, this story was a lot of fun. Kot throws us right into the action with X-O Manowar, chasing down a terrorist with a potential epidemic causing chemical. Along the way Kot establishes X-O’s relationship to the world, and the awesome map at the start of the issue places us firmly in New York. While I sometimes would struggle with Kot’s work, as it was extremely abstract and hard to grasp at times, this was very inviting. No need to know all of X-O’s history for this either, which was a great breath of fresh air that Valiant seems to be continuously hitting in recent months. While this is the case, Kot still brings his big ideas with him, making the stakes appropriately high for the tone. While I love Kot’s work on Zero, I think that this story may be one of Kot’s best; right up there with Secret Avengers.
The biggest draw on this issue, however, is definitely the art. Turning each page here gave me chills from it’s pacing and kinetic style. The line work here is confident and clear, not afraid to be thick when needed, and not overly rendered. In an issue that’s mostly a chase, Gorham kept the story in motion while still having beautiful storytelling. On top of this, Spicer’s colors are some of the best I’ve seen. It looks like he water-colored the issue, but never giving a splotchy feel you sometimes get with that style. The palette grounds us first in the city, but once we are off world, the purples and bright greens pop beautifully. I’ve never encountered Spicer’s work before, but I hope I see him a lot more now. There’s no doubt in my mind that he can be right up there with the best like Jordie.
All in all, this was an excellent first issue, and I cannot wait for issue 2. While it went by a little fast, the re readability is there, and I would hand this to anyone who is curious about the Valiant universe.
4.5 Planet Healers out of 5