Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
For Millennia, a lineage of powerful mystics called the Geomancers have spoken to the Earth, and guided humanity. Before any Geomancer existed, however, local shamans communed with nature and guided their tribes through everyday life.
Anni is shaman for the ruthless Nergal, the death-bringer. But the forces of nature itself are killing Nergal’s people and strangling humankind in its cradle. Mistaking her for the cause, the tribe sentences Anni to death… and Anni fights back!
Wow this really does lay the groundwork for not only the Geomancers but the Anni Padda clan as well. I’m kind of hoping that War Monger would make a cameo as well since it seems her beginnings start this far back as well. Still if what I see is what I think it is it would be the beginning of how the Geomancer is born. There’s something inherently spectacular about seeing the birth of a civilization or the evolution of one already in place. Last issue all hell broke loose when Nergal tried to kill Anni and this issue one becomes three.
We saw that Padda was falling for Anni and that she was going to be his salvation but there’s an unexpected event that occurs to bring a third member to the fold. One that as the story unfolds and the trio talks you understand why what happened did. For those specifics you really need to read the story though. Suffice it to say this is Fred and you know it’s gonna darn good, involved and unpredictable.
For me that Valiant has gotten Juan Jose Ryp to do the interiors here is a major coup! His work is so incredible, the detail, emotion and sheer feel of he gives us on the page is beyond what anyone else seems to be able to do. His style is unmistakable and his attention to detail is crazy in it’s scope and execution making what he brings the page so darn interesting to behold.
Anni, Paddi and now Cuth take their journey onward as they follow the path Anni has been shown to a tree inside a cave with fruit hanging from it. Almost a very interesting version of the infamous Garden where another tree was possessed of forbidden fruit. The similarities are nice and yet different enough to be a unique take. Again Fred takes us not only on this journey but puts forth dialogue and conversation between the three that makes you think a lot more about things then you’re probably prepared for. It’s interesting to see the viewpoints and how the individuals see the work of God’s playing a part in their world.
So what happens when they reach the tree screams for attention which I’m sure we’ll get next issue as Anni’s journey and the birth of the first Geomancer comes to life, yes ASSuming isn’t the wisest thing to do but logically it seems to be heading in that direction. While that happens Padda and Cuth must protect her from what we see on the final page. Truly this team is creating the birth of the Valiant Universe and doing it in a way that weaves a few of the prominent ones together and strengthens the bond they have whether in the present they know the connection or not. Plus Fred is giving us this world where we WANT to revisit again a time where change is happening and great things are coming and hardships need to be overcome what’s better than that?
Jordie takes us on a colouring tutorial for a few pages here and you finally get to see what goes into a colourist bringing a story to life. It should give you a new respect for what they do and what they are capable of and how important their work is to the finished product. Also as you see the penciled/inked pages along with coloured one it really is remarkable. This is why I always credit the colourist in my reviews.