Valiant Entertainment 2013
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Jose Luis, Sandro Riberio, Alisson Rodrigues, Livesay & Jefte Palo
Coloured by Andrew Dalhouse & Ulises Arreola
Ah the War Monger is one of those characters that we love to hate and secretly root for. She’s been around for quite some time and as we learn this issue she’s faced Gilad before but it’s really her background story that i’m loving. This issue and the last as she faces off against one of the team members she tells a long story about a previous incarnation of the groups she’s faced and it’s through that we get a sense of who she is. A foul mouthed, out for herself, trouble causing. loves to be wicked and let’s face it she just wants to have fun.
What Matt is doing here better than anything else at the moment is giving the Valiant Universe a history to explore, fall back upon and set the stage for the here and now where groups, people with power and abilities aren’t so uncommon or unheard of. Using governments to create groups when needed as well the privately done ones opens up new avenues for exploration and possibly the introduction of some new characters who have ties to these folks.
London about 1800 War Monger goes up against a pre-unity team that has Doyle, the Warehouse 13 female version of Sir Arthur who’s just as smart and deadly as we liked her in that incarnation. With her companions they managed to defeat, albeit temporarily, War Monger and boy it’s moments like this using historical figures that we’ve seen have the ability to easily translate to this kind of story makes it all the more exciting. The artwork for this segment is spectacular! I love the attention to detail the facial expressions and just the whole look and feel of this era and the people calling it home.
Modern day artwork not enjoying very much. It just has the rougher harsher less detail feel to it that after seeing the flashback art you feel let down by. It may break up the different styles of flashbacks but honestly for me it sucks. It just left me with a sour taste in my mouth seeing as how it was surrounded by such good work. Disappointing to say the least.
Gilad’s team that faces her in the latter part of the issue will hopefully be seen again in these pages or in a limited-series of it’s own. I mean he’s a part of this team so it would only make sense to hear him tell a tale of his own some day. Plus Matt’s already laid the groundwork so let him flesh em out!
The end of the issue really shows something else as well. The fact that War Monger has indeed learned a thing or two over the years of her long life as she’s targeting the team one by one instead of facing them as a team. This way one on one she’s pretty much guaranteed to take em out. What she hasn’t realized yet is that down doesn’t always mean out so at some point I’m expecting to see them regroup and use her stories against her to create a prison cell that will hold her this time.
Either way this team of individuals is exactly the kind of team we’ve been needing in comics. It’s like reading early adventures of the JLA or Avengers before they became close and almost familial so it’s full of promise, hope and adventure not all of which we should be prepared for.