Review - Fallen World #1 (@ValiantComics)

"Listen to the helpless screams, the voices of the doomed."

The world after a cataclysmic event typically brings with it a lot of pain and suffering. Usually those suffering turn to someone to help relieve their suffering and in Fallen World #1 from Valiant Comics, that person is Rai. The issue is written by Dan Abnett, illustrated by Adam Pollina, colored by Ulises Arreola and lettered by Jeff Powell.

A cyborg samurai named Rai struggles to find his morality in the year 4002. Can he become the inspirational figure that humanity desperately needs, or will he resort to solving his problems with a sword? A nanite-filled supersoldier named Bloodshot is also on a mission to save the citizens of Earth. Will the brutal Bloodshot and the peaceful Rai work together for the greater good? All signs point to no. Oh, and did we mention there are also dinosaurs on the loose and powerful animal-human hybrid mutants? Good luck with that, Rai.

There's a lot of picking up the pieces in Fallen World #1 and Abnett does a wonderful job of making that known to the reader. Rai is essentially ruling the remnants of New Japan on Earth, struggling to reconcile his position with his knowledge that the same position that Father abused. Abnett characterizes Rai as sufficiently reluctant in his new responsibilities, leaning on those around him to help him govern and shepherd the people through the rapidly changing environment. What Abnett also does really well is incorporating both Bloodshot and the Eternal Warrior, making them feel like they're naturally part of the story without trying to shoehorn them into anything. The ending of the issue is a fascinating twist as well, capitalizing on the aforementioned characters in a way that--again--feels natural and will be a lot of fun to watch unfold.

Pollina's illustrations are very intricate in their presentation of the new world. Rai looks reluctant in his role, emphasized by Pollina's approach that offers the character as a simpler, more at peace character that harkens back to the silent samurai of the past. This contrasts well with the always "on" intensity of Bloodshot and the relative calm of Eternal Warrior, both of whom Pollina also illustrates well to underscore their unique personalities. Surrounding the characters is a very rich environment that successfully fuses together the organic and technology; there's a series of panels in particular where a character is pixelated in a way that reinforces this approach. Arreola's colors are dark for most of the issue, but not so dark that the reader can't keep up with what's going on.

Fallen World #1 is very ambitious in its scope, but so far things are looking good. Rai and Eternal Warrior are struggling to bring together a group of weary survivors while Bloodshot is in the midst of an identity crisis of sorts. Abnett's script is very well-paced and effectively sets everything up for things to play out. Pollina's illustrations are very tight and well laid out, showing off some of Valiant's bigger characters effortlessly. Fallen World #1 is brash issue that's charging forward with a rather large vision.

Fallen World #1 is available May 1.