Review - The Visitor #1 (@ValiantComics)

"The city has officially gone to hell!"

New York City is not without its charms. One of those charms is its ability to seemingly be at the center of the world at times, including in The Visitor #1 from Valiant Comics. The issue is written by Paul Levitz, illustrated by MJ Kim, colored by Diego Rodriguez and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Unstoppable. Untraceable. Unkillable. This is how he changes the world... Who is the Visitor? Why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? And will they live long enough to find out?

In the opening issue, Levitz keeps the pace moving quite briskly as the reader follows one attack in New York City to another. The primary players involved include a group of Japanese researchers working on a potentially game-changing project as well as Talia Dauber, a UN Security Agent tasked with protecting the aforementioned scientists while also witnessing some of the newer attacks. Levitz keeps things mysterious throughout the issue, focusing on the attacks themselves while offering breadcrumb hints to the reader as to who the perpetrator is. It's very much a cat-and-mouse set-up that Levitz reveals to the reader, yet he does so in a way that doesn't allow the story to get bogged down in the minutia of the chase. There's very much still a story to be told and the dialogue by Levitz handles the exposition well.

Kim's illustrations are a great fit for the book's pace in that they feel very heroic. The linework is minimal, affording the characters a relatively delicate presence on the page that doesn't feel overwhelming. Most of the pages boast plenty of overlaid panels floating atop one another and providing a staggered look at the drama unfolding throughout the city. The reader is never given a clear look at the Visitor which Kim leverages to maximum effect in fostering a sense mystery and intrigue around both the character and the actions supposedly attributed to them. The work of Rodriguez on the colors is vibrant in that each of the colors pop very well.

The Visitor #1 is a very frenetic first issue that seeks to establish a new character by raising plenty of questions. Talia is a character who will quickly realize that things might not be what they seem, both in terms of the frequency of attacks and the clientele she's been tasked to protect. The script by Levitz is fast-paced and engaging, offering to the reader plenty of things to think about. Kim's illustrative style is a great fit for the book tonally as it grounds the book in a sense of reality. The Visitor #1 is a good start to a new series.

The Visitor #1 is available now.