Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Joshua Dysart
Illustrated by Doug Braithwaite
Coloured by Brian Reber & Ulises Arreola
There really is so much about the Valiant Universe that’s old and familiar and yet brand spanking new, fresh and ripe for exploration and this issue we get to focus on Angela Peace Baingana and what happens to her to get her to where she is today. It’s the kind of characterization and circumstances that you’ll get here and Joshua does this whole trippy one in a million chance encounter origin story the likes we never see anymore. These days it’s so hard to come up with a new, fresh, unique way for someone to have gained their fantastic abilities but here he manages to do just that and it’s utterly fascinating.
Doug and Brian, wow, they bring Angela’s story to life perfectly. The attention to detail here is gorgeous and the pop of colours along with the sensation of movement on each page and panel really helps push this title to the top of reading list.
Joshua’s story is one that once you read it you have to wait a bit and then go back and read it multiple times to really get the full effect. Because when Angela’s mind and personality is supplanted by an unknown entity things get so much more complex and interesting. Plus her relationship with all the people that she works with have both that sense of awe and mistrust towards her that makes her more fascinating. So much so that some of the things that comes out her mouth are astonishing and it’s like something you’d expect Spock to say in a completely intellectual scientific tone of voice with the whole it would logical for this to happen. I cannot rave enough about the strength of Joshua’s writing here.
When we finally get back to Gravedog who defected to Harada only to be sent back to Rising Spirit full of confusion and wondering what was real and what is just a dream. This is where Angela comes in to assess if he’s being honest or if he’s a threat to the organization. Again Joshua manages to create both certainty and doubt and there’s this whole behind the scenes manipulation and deception happening from unexpected places regarding the whole affair that you are sucked into this intrigue even further and when you finally sit back and reflect on it it’s this whole what the heck kind of feeling. It does help though that you want or even need to know more about it.
Okay when the story goes off the rails, and it’s does people in the most spectacular of ways we see that the entity in control of the vessel Angela is scary beyond measure and even Harada should be afraid right now, because she let’s us all know she’s able to watch him watch her. Of course with this all becomes the focal point for what’s to come next and Harada wants what he wants and he’ll go to any lengths to get it, regardless of how he has to justify things to himself.
Here’s the reason the Valiant have a stronghold on the future. While the strong survive the clever will rule and we’ll see which side will come out being the most clever.