If you haven’t jumped on the Valiant bandwagon by now The Valiant is the story that should get you started. Read on to find out why.
The official description from Valiant:
A battle ten millennia in the making…The Eternal Warrior has protected the Earth for more than 10,000 years. A master of countless weapons and long forgotten martial arts, he is guided by the Geomancers – those who speak for the Earth. During his long watch, the Eternal Warrior has failed three times. Each time, the Geomancer was killed…and a new dark age for humanity began. Each time, he was unable to stop The Immortal Enemy – a monstrous force of nature. But, this time, the Eternal Warrior will be ready. This time, he has a force greater than any single warrior. This time, he has…THE VALIANT.
It’s no secret that I have been a fan of the Valiant universe so image my excitement when it was announced that longtime DC/Vertigo writer Jeff Lemire was coming to work on a Valiant book with another comic book veteran Matt Kindt. That announcement was coincidentally titled The Valiant and now that I have sat down and read the first installment I can say unequivocally that it was an astounding first issue.
As a long term reader of Valiant books, Kindt and Lemire start off by giving us the history behind the three scars on the Eternal Warrior’s face and the price, not only he but others have, paid for them. We also get our first glimpse of the Immortal Enemy and he is like no other villain in the Valiant universe. Scary, violent and immeasurably more dangerous than anything readers have ever seen. Kindt is great with multiple story lines which the Valiant is full of and Lemire is a master trying a thread that runs through them all.
The book isn’t perfect but it’s damn close and there is very little to find fault with. Maybe for the uninitiated it may seem a bit disjointed but for longtime Valiant fans it comes as close to a perfect book as one could hope for. Following the initial backstory of Gilad and his war with the Immortal enemy Kindt and Lemire bring readers a snapshot of Kay, the latest in earth’s line of Geomancers and her self-doubt and fear of her new mantle as earth’s protector. Toss in a splash of the immortal brother of Gilad, Armstrong, and it drives the book, which starts off dark and violent, toward a more lighthearted, but no less fragile grip on the reoccurring enemy that lurks and lies in wait.
Kay is a great character full of flaws and vulnerability to contrast the macho heroes that battle in the Valiant universe. Make no mistake she’s no pushover but her background gives a real-world outlook on the power and responsibility she must now carry.
Paolo Rivera is a perfect match for this story and his art is incredibly detailed and rich. This is an epic story of multiple characters and Rivera’s art complements The Valiant and it’s complex and bold story. His final look at the Immortal Enemy is a horrific and scary darkness that isn’t on full display until it’s fully revealed. It’s one the best panels which encompasses what danger lies within this villain.
Kindt has a intimate knowledge of the Valiant Universe with his work on Unity and it shows here in spades. With a quick look at Bloodshot and his task to retrieve something long lost that is very much now in need and a quick nod to X-O Manowar, The Valiant is setting up to be a fantastic and grandiose story. With Lemire, Kindt and Rivera at the helm it’s in great hands and a story for longtime Valiant fans and new readers alike. The Valiant is destined to be one of the best books Valiant has released this year hands down!