Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn, David Baron
Released: 11th February, 2015
Well. I’ve said it time and time again whenever a Valiant title gets passed my way – we should be paying a lot more attention to the books that those guys are firing out. Particularly given the fact that they appear to have some sort of Matt Kindt work-extraction machine, presumably feeding him a steady supply of caffeine-laced creme eggs, propelling pencils and pads of paper. Whatever it is that they’re doing, the guy is pumping out some absolutely cracking stories for Valiant of late, ranging from his work on The Valiant, an exceptional run on the cruelly underexposed Rai, and now this wee gem of a first issue.
This first issue tells the story of Abram Adams – an orphan brought up in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and sequestered by the state to be part of a top secret mission to explore the hell out of the galaxy – and David Camp, a climber in modern day Australia, who has a rather unfortunate accident, and is left wandering in the desert.
It sounds like an odd combination, and in a way it is – but no odder than your average time-shifting, juxtapositional science fiction story. Okay, I just re-read that sentence, and I see your point – but I can assure you that this is infinitely more appealing than the above pithy summation might let on.
And it’s in Kindt’s writing that the joy of this book is to be found – knowing precisely when to pour on detail, and precisely when to delve into vaguery is one of his key strengths, and when he does opt for the latter, he does so in a rather pleasing dreamlike manner. On top of this, the way in which the narrative describes the convergence of the two leads is an incredibly deft and enjoyable metaphor that works supremely well in context. And as always, his dialogue is sharp, and keeps each character sounding like an individual – but I’ve come to expect this from the man given his body of work.
That’s not to detract from the quality of the art in any way – Hairsine’s base art is terrific, maintaining a degree of consistency with Valiant’s other titles, but forging its own path, and striking a terrific balance between a pulpy, conspiratorial vibe and the zanier sci-fi elements that crop up in the latter half of the book. Ryan Winn and David Baron provide the finishing touches, with nicely detailed inks, and a colour palette that expertly adapts to the story as it changes settings from Cold War Russia to modern Australian outback.
Overall, if you’re still looking for an excuse to throw your money at Valiant’s stable, this is yet another fantastic jumping on point – only this one is a brand new character, so if you haven’t dived aboard already, you’re really running out of excuses. Chop chop.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24