Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review - 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 (@ValiantComics)


"Salvage! Major salvage discovered!"

New Japan is a location in Valiant books that emphasizes technology ruling the world. The current storyline 4001 A.D. has that concept imploding spectacularly and the fallout is being felt by the entire Valiant Universe. 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is another foray into how what's happening above affects the lives below. The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Tomas Giorello, colored by Brian Reber and lettered by Dave Sharpe

In the 41st century, much of the planet has been reduced to a barren wasteland. New Japan orbits the Earth as a floating oasis that towers over the ashes of the old world. The survivors of this desolate new age, robbed of the planet's once-lush natural resources, must endure great hardships to survive. Amidst the devastation, one outpost of scientific knowledge has thrived by adhering to a strict code of isolation. But even the denizens of this walled city must venture out into the wasteland to gather supplies from the remnants of what was. This task is designated to one and one alone: War Mother. Armed with a newly born sentient sniper rifle, War Mother is a one-woman army bent on sacking the crash-landed sector's technology-laden debris for anything of value to her tribe. But, as calm turns to chaos, Sector 8146 will reveal a telling secret about Earth's true order that will collide War Mother against her community, her code, and her calling...and bring destruction down upon one of humanity's last surviving outposts of order.

Another entry into the grand dystopia that the Valiant Universe is quickly becoming as a result of 4001 A.D. is 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 and Van Lente has the depression firing on all cylinders. War Mother is a character akin to that of Furiosa of Mad Max: Fury Road and Van Lente writes her with both a sense of duty and compassion. The premise behind 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is pretty sound as well, as War Mother must venture out of the walled settlement she inhabits in order to find rare resources imperative to survival. Van Lente handles the script and plot well in this regard, as War Mother is forced to contend with dangers in the field and a potential danger back home. There's also a surprising amount of levity provided by her newly sentient sniper rifle that's reminiscent of the whale coming to terms with existence in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Giorello's artwork is simplistic yet elegant. His approach is steeped in using brush-strokes to illustrate the action as War Mother ventures into the wilderness to accomplish her mission and Giorello really captures her ferocity well. This approach allows the characters to blend together and appear to the reader as if they're all part of the same world--a testament to Giorello's abilities. The backgrounds sport a similar approach and are rendered with an attention to filling out the world suffering at the hands of New Japan's destruction. Reber's colors are soft and vibrant, effectively showcasing the lush jungle life that is building up around the aftermath of the aforementioned destruction.

4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is another great foray into the massive, universe-spanning event shining a light on some of the lesser-known corners of the universe. War Mother is a fierce defender of her village, but she's willing to what she thinks is right when the situation calls for it. Van Lente is no stranger to the corners of the Valiant Universe and his portrayal of War Mother is one that's strong and righteous. Giorello's illustrations are beautiful and evoke a sense of history in their appearance. 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 keeps Valiant Universe among the top publishers around these days and ties in quite well to the grander, overarching storylines occurring in the universe.

4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is in stores now.

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