Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Francis Portela
Coloured by Andrew Dalhouse
We open with an assault on Future Neela’s headquarters it’s a spectacular spectacle to say the least and it’s one reason why Francis’ work is followed by so many. What he did there in demonstrating one her defenses was just perfectly done. Now that the original and the future Neela, who are one and the same but don’t worry confusion isn’t really present it’s easy to follow so all this time travel stuff shouldn’t intimidate anyone and well it’s Fred he can literally can write anything, anyone, any genre and be amazing doing it.
I do find it interesting to see how Neela feels and interacts with her future self, there’s a part of her that’s frightened by what she’s become and you can see that in her. There seems to be the inner conflict that actually will end up breaking the whole can’t change history thing that’s been around for well forever. I think it has to do with her and her future self though because if she couldn’t do it the first time what makes this time any different? We’ll see it’s different or it wouldn’t be part of the story.
The characterization here is phenomenal all around from both Neela’s to Ivar to his siblings. Ivar is a sneaky little thing isn’t he and I love it by going to Gilad first that we see and visiting him with a bag of Five Brothers, cajun fries, it really has this unique charm to it that you do and don’t expect. We know the brothers have no real love for one another they seem to fight more often than not but at the end of the day family does win out and actions do speak louder than words after all.
By having the two have their conversation the way they do really does showcase not only what Fred’s capable of but the relationship between the brothers and who they are at their core. I like that this one was more involved because Gilad really needed more coaxing and working with than Aram does and the fact that both Gilad and Aram make it quite clear that if the other’s in than he’s out, this fun in dysfunctional family dynamics when you are all(?) immortal. Interesting thing here is that it’s alluded to that Ivar isn’t an immortal which I didn’t know considering the whole time travel thing and being their brother and exposed to same thing that granted the others their immortality. See Fred can add some surprises into the story in some really unexpected ways.
I’m kind of sad yet glad that Archer isn’t going to be involved in this one only the brothers three. I kind of like that the beginning of the book and the end seem to be the same thing, the ending first the actions leading up the beginning in the middle and then the realization of what’s happened/ing is really well done.
There’s nothing about this book that isn’t likable. The writing is so solid and the characterization is beyond what you expect and Francis on the interiors dang son this just went to a whole new level of crazy awesome.
The future belongs to the Valiant and only they thrive this way!