Valiant Entertainment 2019
Written by Tini Howard
Illustrated by Amilcar Pinna
Coloured by Ulises Arreola
Lettered by Jeff Powel
An ancient evil returns!
Long ago, the mighty generals of the Mongol Empire rode from Siberia to Carpathia and conquered all who stood in their way. Legends tell of a witch who walked with them, who could infect the hearts of any warriors in her midst with an unquenchable thirst for battle and bloodshed…a War-Monger. And now she is walking again.
Okay so personally I have been waiting for more of our War-Monger, the Forgotten Queen, for a while now. I know she’s gone toe-to-toe with various incarnations of the Unity teams but really I want to see the past she has with the brother three or just Armstrong and Gilad. With all she’s about and how long she’s existed it makes sense but before that this, this is what I have been wanting! let’s flesh her out and make her more of what she should be. I cannot think of anyone else whom I would rather have at the helm for this either as Tini has made a wonderful impact upon me with her work, Euthanauts is one of those amazing books that shows off her incredible talent.
So the way this story is told is pretty gosh darn amazing! Tini uses the “now and then” way of storytelling to kind of initiate us in the history of Vaxanna and how that relates to what is going on in the present. Though there is one thing I would like clarification on, I was under the assumption she couldn’t kill anyone by her own hand and I am wondering if that is still true? So the way this is structured has me all a twitter with anticipation! When the past starts up we are in the dark as to how this era is important more than any other and it is puzzling to a degree. It is also something that piques the curiosity and interest factor even more. It makes me want to keep reading, it makes me want to know more and explore further which is something I love feeling and that Tini does that so well here is spectacular.
I am a huge fan of the interior artwork here as well. There seems to be a very different style to the past than what we see in the present. By this I mean the present is very now, very clean, strong and almost “dry” while by comparison the past is romantic, sweeping and subtle. I wish we all lived like they did in the past because visually it’s stunningly superior to the coldness I feel is represented now. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off this stupendous eye for storytelling. Backgrounds baby I love seeing them utilised all the past and all the detail that goes into them, specially in the past, is stunning. The colour work is utterly fabulous and it is really what sets the tones of the past and present and makes them so effective. The shading, the colour gradation and the ways that light sources are used spotlight some sensational talent.
Valiant has never been afraid to push the envelope as far as it can and for that I am extremely grateful. I don’t know whose idea the story’s is but kudos and congratulations because this is bloody brilliant in how it’s dreamt up and executed. The characterisation that we see here is beyond what I was expecting, which was already at a high level, and to be honest once things got started I couldn’t get enough. Finally a woman who is unapologetically what she is to the fullest, so if your unlucky to be in her way or find yourself the centre of her love you never now what it is that’s going to happen.
Exciting, unexpected and full of that which we’d never expect to see are all what make The Forgotten Queen one of this weeks hottest reads.