Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Valiant #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Well, I didn't expect that.

The good guys fail here.  But, part of the reason that it's so unexpected is that Lemire actually makes you think that he's got a deus ex machina up his sleeve.  We learn that the box that Alcott and his team recovered contains a weapon sent from a future Eternal Warrior to his present self, one that can defeat the Immortal Enemy.  Of course, only the Warrior can open it, so Lemire builds up the dramatic tension by taking him from the battle to wait for Alcott and the box to arrive.  Meanwhile, Bloodshot and Kay fight off the Enemy at the mall, the romantic tension building between them.  You're already for the Warrior open the box, pull out some futuristic bazooka, and take out the Enemy in the nick of time; I could see the final page of Bloodshot and Kay finally kissing before I even got to it.

But, it doesn't happen that way.  The Enemy successfully kills Kay (though she removes the nanites from Bloodshot's body before she dies).  The future Warrior simply sent back a young Geomancer, saving her from a future Enemy.  It raises all sorts of questions about the future for the Warrior.  The world is supposed to be plunged into a Dark Age given the death of the Geomancer (Kay), but the world also still has a Geomancer (the girl), even if she's a time-displaced one.  It's an ambiguous ending, to say the least.

I picked up this series as my attempt to continue to read stories outside the Big Two, and I'm definitely glad that I did.  Lemire does a really great job here telling a nuanced story that the Big Two would be unlikely to tell, and I'm happily following him to "Bloodshot:  Reborn."  If you were on the fence about getting this mini-series, I'd really recommend it, since it does give you a chance to dip your toe into the Valiant pool to see if you like it.  It was great, from start to finish.

**** (four of five stars)

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