Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Tomas Giorello
Coloured by Brian Reber
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
For some odd reason I had assumed this was Warmonger but it seems that this is a brand new character to debut here. So for that i’m thrilled we need more strong female characters in comics these days. I have to confess it’s nice to see that there are communities on the ground that New Japan had either ignored or assumed gone forever. This one is interesting for a number of reasons but mainly because of how Tomas and Brian depict it visually. Yes Fred sets the tone and we learn more about that later but the organics and inorganic materials used to create this village are wonderfully blended.
There’s a method to the madness that you hide away for survival from the other tribes, clans or unaffiliated still on the ground. This way you avoid war with them and can prosper. By having the War Mother they have a soldier to go out into the world and scavenge that which they cannot themselves grow or make. It’s a solid system for survival though the genetics of such a place would say that mutants and disease would claim the populace without an influx of new genetic material. So again Fred gives us something to think about here with the creation of this city and this tribe.
Father’s fight with Rai and his forces have seen him jettison parts of the city and when one crashes near to the War Mother’s home she’s sent to gather that which they need to survive. Tech is something they cannot make or grow so they need whatever scraps they can get from old cities of fallen debris. Only unbeknownst to them Father is jettisoning the sections with people still living in them. This will complicate matters and there may well be an influx of survivors among the ground colonies, okay i’m projecting but hey it makes sense to me.
I really the way this whole issue is set-up. It’s great to really get a sense of the world Ana lives in the rules they live by. What’s worked for them and how she as War Mother fits into the scheme of things. Plus there’s her sentient gun which is actually more than a little amusing. Just hours old and the two form a weirdly entertaining and informative pair. The dialogue and characterization here really is fantastic and it’s nice to see and learn about them fresh. This is the kind of debut that fits right into the Valiant Universe beautifully.
I really like the flow of the book how the interiors do the city Ana lives in, to the wreckage and the other scavengers that roam the planet it’s all represented nicely. The way Tomas moves in and out of these different aspects of one world is impressive, the attention to detail with each slightly changes focus and feels different but cohesive. They bring this part of the Earth to life nicely and I can’t wait for them to revisit it and show us more.
It would seem that seem that Ana and Falco, the gun, are just the latest new thing to be happening here and with the world changing around them here’s hoping that the 4001 AD landscape is just beginning to be explored. After all the large supposedly barren world is suddenly getting a lot smaller.