Valiant Entertainment 2018
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Adam Pollina
Coloured by Diego Rodriguez
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
When the world learned of the existence of psiots--people capable of undergoing a procedure to unlock fantastic abilities--the revelation was met with fear and prejudice. Governments of the world had to decide how to police these incredibly gifted individuals. Upset by the extreme anti-psiot stance the United States seemed to take, Amanda McKee, the psiot known as Livewire, shut off the United States power grid, plunging the country into chaos. Under the distraction of the resulting blackout, Livewire took control of the nanite-enhanced super soldier Bloodshot to mount an attack against the agencies that were hunting her people. Together, despite the efforts of X-O Manowar, they succeeded in destroying the aerial stronghold known as The Loveboat--though not without realizing that this was the kind of war no one would win. With the dust now settling, Livewire must face the aftermath of her decisions…
One of the things about the Valiant Universe that I really like, appreciate and would like to see more of around the industry is the consistency in continuity. Each event fits into the stories that come after and are referenced so that they continue to matter. This is a cohesive world where the characters have loyalty to one another and yet still know they will be forced to encounter each on occasion and it’s this that makes Valiant so much damn fun to read. Oh yeah and Matt the man just defies explanation that he can be so prolific in the industry and keep all the stories straight.
The way this is structured is expertly done. The book as a whole while kind of keeping the previous arc going also serves nicely as the introduction and direction that Livewire’s own book will undoubtedly be like. I am hoping that we get more Secret Weapons as well as that was actually one of my favourites back in the day and the mix of characters that have been assembled is working really well in my opinion. The opening I found fascinating as Amanda and Aric fix a satellite in space proving that she’s really not a terrorist just a freedom fighter and if you need to have the difference spelled out well we can talk.
Matt is so gosh darn good at what he does and the characterisation here is utterly flawless and that we see how the characters are reacting and interacting with her really showcases just how well he knows them. It could be subtle things like Colin’s awareness or Aric’s newfound realisations but it speaks volumes about all those involved in her life. This world is amazing and Matt’s take on the characters and the storylines just keeps me riveted, coming back for more.
Adam and Diego are killing it on the interiors here. I love that Valiant also cares about the work that goes into the interior artwork. The manipulation of the varying weights in the linework to create the attention to detail that we see, immediately by the way in the satellite, is sensational, around the world that Ganesh is gorgeous and makes me wish I had that. They “spared no expense” as John Hammond would say in making sure that we get the complete and entire picture in every way, see how backgrounds are utilised. Also the utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective showcase a superb eye for storytelling. The colours are beautiful and make moments and objects and people pop in all the right ways. Seriously this is among the stronger reasons why I love comics.
I like the Snowbeard interlude even if I am not 100% sure who the man with man-bun, never ever show that again, is. So there is something to look forward to that is going to make an impact for the long run and it’s promising as can be. This series has been exceptional and while I was worried about second war and now the idea of a third looming I am just going to sit back and enjoy the flow of whatever it is that comes next.