Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Mico Suayan
Coloured by David Baron
I’m into this hook line and sinker, that Ray is mentally off his rocker seeing Kay and Bloodsquirt while he’s running around trying to take the nanites back from the people they’ve infected has made him one of the more interesting characters in comics today. I find it interesting that Jeff has given him these two imaginary friends to travel with since this really is the first time he’s ever been able to think for himself, having been told what to think and do this is a new experience for him and that he can’t do it alone I find fascinating and Jeff’s use of the two to be with him I think is pretty brilliant. He’s still not really comfortable thinking for himself and it shows.
Mico and David’s interiors are just so darn freakin good. I love the attention to detail in each panel, the doc/scientist we see in the beginning with patches of grey in his beard and just the sheer intensity they bring to their work here is the kind of stuff that keeps readers coming back time and again waiting for the day we see a silent story told only through their artwork. Heck even Bloodsquirt’s over the top cartoon visage makes for this to be such an impressive book to read.
I love Ray’s internal struggle we are seeing here. He’s trying to be more than he ever was and his two companions keep trying to pigeonhole him into being what he was and it’s interesting to see them in conflict with each other through words and emotional expressions.
Meanwhile Agents Festival and Hoyt are tracking Ray’s movements and having a struggle of their own earning each other’s trust. She’s potentially a psiot of some sort working for the government but with her past being such a mystery and one that isn’t in any hurry to be told it makes their different methods of approach to all this harder to trust each other and for some interesting interpersonal play between them. Though what Hoyt learns only really scratches the surface of what Festival is about and I can’t wait to learn more in depth.
Seeing Ray encounter the next person who possesses the nanites was spectacularly done and highly reminiscent of something else we’ve seen in the news lately. It was a powerful display and only goes to showcase just how different people can be in this huge country. The way Jeff writes this has to be seen and the results will have ramifications that should last well into Ray’s future on the road and run. I can’t say enough just how good this scene was and how this character who thought the way he did when he received the nanites reacted to them was given to us.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the future of Valiant is strong and vibrant with stories and characterization that will surprise and thrill you. With some of the hottest and best illustrator’s in the business it seems the sky’s the limit.