The Valiant #1-4
A battle ten millennia in the making is about to begin…
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. A civilization killer. A horror that appears differently each time it arrives…and whose seemingly only purpose is to bring disorder and darkness to the world. Now, the time has come for The Immortal Enemy to return once more. 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.
The Valiant is everything you want in a crossover event and more. At just four issues long, the series captured more depth and heart than just about any other event you can find in comics, helping to cement Valiant’s interconnected universe as a true mainstay just a few years after their 2012 relaunch.
On its surface, this is the story of the Eternal Warrior versus the Immortal Enemy in a conflict through time and civilization over the fate of the Geomancer. However, it isn’t long until the series opens up into a comprehensive exploration of the Valiant universe and the level of storytelling the publisher brings to the industry. Gillad, the Eternal Warrior, takes readers on a journey to a lot of different corners of Valiant, and each one will have you excited to dive deeper into their lineup.
There is a lot to love about this series for longtime fans, from easter eggs like the classic Geomancer to the team-up battles featuring Vincent Van Goat front and center, it’s a series that knows how to reward fans. While there is plenty of fan service, it doesn’t rely on this to pull readers in though, instead, it has a solid story that carries weight for all of the characters involved. It’s not one of those events that is lost in the shuffle a week later when everything returns to normal. It has substance because a lot hinges on the fate of the Geomancer and how these characters are able to come together to save the world.
The Valiant is also the perfect primer for newcomers as well. This was my personal introduction to Valiant comics and it works wonderfully in this capacity. It introduces not only a wide range of characters (not everyone!), but it provides insight into their motivations and arguably more importantly, their fears through the Immortal Enemy. Everyone from Ninjak to Bloodshot and more help to create familiarity with how the universe operates and their distinctive dynamics. So, when you finish the last issue, you can walk away with a great idea on where to go next with your reading.
Everything from the character development to the worldbuilding is spectacular in all four issues of The Valiant, but it couldn’t have worked as well without such strong artwork. The Immortal Enemy is a never-ending pool of badass visuals and the creative team took full advantage of this with a lot of memorable panels. The lettering never lets you get lost as the fight intensifies, bringing in a lot of different engaging elements, and it ultimately feels like everything just falls into place as it should. It’s a book that holds up to reading time and time again because it’s just that good.
It’s certainly not a perfect book, as the shorter length forces a quicker pace when you really want to spend time with a lot of these characters and flesh their arcs out a bit. The good versus bad narrative is very straightforward and doesn’t allow for much flexibility other than a shocking ending that some might see coming. Despite the few shortcomings, it’s the type of book that I’ll always recommend because it’s so close to being the whole package.
With both remarkable substance and an appropriate amount of flair, The Valiant #1-4 is an example of a comics crossover done right, hands down. If you want to jump into Valiant and just haven’t been sure where to start, this is it. And for fans who might’ve let this one go under their radar, it’s an essential. I can’t recommend this book enough!
The Valiant #1-4 is everything you want in a crossover event and more. At just four issues long, the series captured more depth and heart than just about any other event you can find in comics.
The Valiant #1-4: An Era of Great Light
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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