Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by B. Clay Moore
Illustrated by Clayton Henry & Lewis Larosa
Coloured by Brian Reber
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
Nature conquers all! Marooned in an unforgiving prehistoric landscape, high society's most privileged celebrity family is fighting tooth and claw - literally - for survival. With no shelter, no weapons and no escape, the Savage family is about to come face to face with the cruelest laws of nature - in the form of the lethal dinosaurs that somehow stalk the impossibly ancient island that has become their home. Once they lose everything - and each other - what part of them will endure? Where will the man inside each of them end?and the animal begin?
I think what strikes me about this is that B. Clay has this mixture of the Land that Time Forgot, Swiss Family Robinson and Peter Pan all wrapped up in this story. It’s like this familiar tale that isn’t familiar at all and it has that newness and freshness of that tinge of familiar that makes it as exciting as it is.
The then and now storytelling here is extremely well done. Seeing Kevin going to that ship to retrieve antibiotics for his wife and encountering the dinosaur was the first sign that this island possess secrets the rest of the world didn’t know about. Sometimes the then and now tactic can come across as stale or trite but B. Clay really exceeds in its usage here.
Sure we open with KJ and seeing what he’s up to and it really has this whole different style of artwork that the flashbacks don’t. There’s a more raw beauty to it that is enticing and showcases creativity and imagination in the depiction of the dinosaurs and KJ. The attention to detail in this is stunning and how soft and dreamlike it appears just captures the horror and the wonder of it all. Also seeing the boys scars and that he’s still alive at this age also attests to what he’s had to endure. It’s incredibly well portrayed.
I am more impressed with the flashbacks and seeing how Kevin got back to Ronnie and KJ. That moment when he returns and and his determination to protect his family well it speaks volumes of this world renowned Football star! Then to see Ronnie raising KJ at another point where we learn that the Island doesn’t discriminate who it traps on it’s shores well that’s just another bonus. While it also ties into the present just as well and explains a few instances that we see.
The interiors here really are so freaking amazing. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds are stunning in the scope that we see. Not only in the dinosaurs but the use of foliage and the island itself really come to life for us. The emotions we get from the work is important to understanding the writing and together it all works in concert so well.
I am enjoying the pacing of the story, the way the reveals come and how we’re only getting bits and pieces of what’s going on or has happened. B. Clay Moore has exceeded any kind of expectations from me with this story so far. His work which has always been solid, entertaining and difficult to predict seems to have been taken to an all new level of awesome.
Not sure where this would potentially fit into the Valiant Universe and honestly I am not sure I care because this is pure and simple outstanding storytelling!