Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Alex Kot
Illustrated by Adam Gorham
Coloured by Michael Spicer
Alright so this issue opens with one of the more ominous warnings stating that if unnamed persons get away with the virus we can wave humanity goodbye. Ales does this instant setting of the story for what appears to be one of Valiant’s more epic stories, and considering what they’ve been doing lately that’s saying something. I don’t think this has anything to do with Harada’s people since they wouldn’t work so subtly. So we have what appears to be a new faction and this is was definitely an exciting way to start things off.
Aric is in New York and Neville is leading him from home base but since we’re dealing with Aric he isn’t always going to listen. This group hacked into the N.Y.P.D. and sent the entire force out against him in order to stop him from interfering in their plans. Got to love the fact that this story is so now in that a group can do that and scary to think that with today’s society it’s entirely possible to see happen. He’s been declared an alien imposter a most effective way to get him removed from the picture but let’s face it Aric isn’t going to let something like this stop him and while he won’t harm cops he also won’t let them keep him from his target.
Alex is rising star in the industry and every time I have the pleasure to read what he’s doing he seems to solidify the fact that has a great grasp on how to tell a story for it’s maximum impact. The dialogue here incredible between Aric and Neville. His target is a girl and she’s running through the streets of New York like she’s running a parkour course. Now that parkour and shows like American Ninja Warrior have become so popular what normal ordinary humans are capable of well they can be just as slippery and interesting as any costumed adventurer and Ales with Adam & Michael demonstrate that beautifully.
We do get a glance at what this virus is and what it could possibly do. This doesn’t address how it ended up here or why these people have them. It was nicely done as Neville tries to explain to Aric what this virus can do and seeing a planet that it reportedly happened on already. Then we get where the name of this story comes from and the explanation of what a Dead Drop is in terms of espionage tradecraft which also has a dual effect of showing that this girl is only one of many that may have access to a vial of the virus making this a much more dire situation than first shown.
There is one thing here this seems anomalous and that is the girl mentions the Vine to Aric. Now it may seem that an Earthly problem is more Galactic in nature. Also the way Ales is writing this continues to amaze me as the story goes on. This first confrontation between them is wonderfully done and how she manages to keep her cool and use the police to her advantage while obviously being more shady that she comes across well it’s great stuff. There’s also a comment on collateral damage that you need to see because it really does define Aric as a man and a hero.
Adam and Michael bring a new distinct look to this story that we don’t normally see it seems grittier to me. A few inconsistencies but nothing drastic that repetition of drawing these characters will correct and the way they manage to convey the movement of the girl and her parkour and athleticism is really impressive.
It seems Valiant can do no wrong lately they’ve got the talent, the characters and the gumption to tell the stories they want so effectively that it’s no wonder they have been the fastest, strongest growing company since their return to the market. So if you are looking for an action/intrigue story full of secrets, terrorists and bio-weapons sure to be an epic than you need to get ahold of this book!