Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Valiant #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

As evidence of the solid job that Lemire and Kindt are doing here, I saw the new "Ninjak" series advertised before I read this issue and, after reading it, am likely to get it.  That's totally a win, from the perspective of Valiant's hopes for this series.

At this point, the biggest question that we still have on the table is why the Immortal Enemy strikes when he does.  It seems like he hasn't necessarily come after every Geomancer, otherwise Gilad's face would likely have more scars.  But, he does make a comment about reacting every time a Geomancer rises, so it's still not entirely clear how this dance works.

For the time being, the important part is that the dance has started.  Rivera does a spectacular job showing the fear that the Enemy inspires, from Kay's frantic flight from him to Ninjak's unexpected paralyzation.  One challenge that the author of any team book faces is that you have to make sure that the threats are believable, given that you're dealing with a number of incredibly powerful people.  Rivera really conveys that here.  I'm even freaking scared of the Enemy.  After all, Lemire and Kindt are telling us that fiction can become real, as the Enemy takes the shape of a creepy villain from one of Kay's childhood books.  (Who the hell would read that story to his kid?)  So long as Carnage doesn't appear in my bedroom tonight, we should be good.

In showing how fearsome the Enemy is, the creative team also makes it clear why his arrival inspires the team to come together.  (I'm not sure how Gilad and Ninjak got from the Arctic to Colorado so quickly, but I probably need to stop asking those questions about comics at this point.)  We may not yet know why they're the heroes, but we know now that they are.

Again, all in all, the creative team is definitely delivering on the goal of introducing us to the Valiant universe while, at the same time, giving us an enjoyable story.  Can't ask for much more than that without getting called greedy.

*** (three of five stars)

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