Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Francis Portella
Coloured by Andrew Dalhouse
Fred has gone and added not only Ivar’s two brother’s to the mix but has managed to add some incredible humor into the mix that balances out the seriousness of what he’s doing with Neela. With all three brother’s together in one story we get a good look at each ones personality and see just how wildly different each one is.
Ivar is so set upon what he has to do and goes about his business very smartly while the Lurker points out that his brothers are more immature than his collective consciousness is. Actually their conversation is incredibly well written and is surprisingly fun to see. As we turn our attention to Armstrong and Gilad and seeing how they are interacting with one another. What does surprise me a little bit is that the Gilad we are seeing here is from so far in the future and not the one currently working with Unity. Though I suppose if we had the “current” one we wouldn’t be seeing such humorous interaction going on.
Oh yeah and here is where you really get to see what Francis is capable of and can appreciate just how talented he is. Armstrong is a chubby man and you see that in his face really nicely. His detail work here is fantastic there’s just something special about Armstrong and every time we see him they eye is immediately drawn to him and he’s just a guest star. His work really does compliment this series throughout and Neela’s future self seems just that much more angry and the things guarding the station that go after them yeah that’s pretty spectacular stuff too!
I’m really rather enjoying the way this story has been unfolding. Neela’s discovery this issue and the realization that perhaps Ivar wasn’t the bad guy after all and had been treating her better than her other self is shows promise that this time things may just turn out differently for her. Plus while his brothers are being dealt with while he’s off on his own and having to come back and save them before it’s too late well it seems to up the whole now or never factor making things that much more exciting.
Time travel stories aren’t always the easiest to follow but Fred manages to make this incredibly simple. We see so many possibilities and different outcomes that could happen all the while we are heading toward one that seems to make the most logical outcome that’s best for all the characters involved. It also seems to be giving Ivar a strong supporting character in Neela provided she isn’t just one story and done. There’s another effect here and that’s kind of solidifying Ivar’s place and importance in the Valiant Universe while simultaneously keeping him on the fringes a behind the scenes player if you will.
This is a strong book all around, the writing, story, plot advancement mixed within these gorgeous interiors only further showcase that some of the most talented creators today don’t have to work for the “larger” companies and can unleash their creativity and thrill the masses as is happening here.