Title: The Price of Victory
On Earth 2, a different trinity of heroes fights… but what happens if they fall?
Writer: James Robinson
Pencils: Nicola Scott
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Cover Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Rod Reis
Editor: Pat McCallum
Publisher: DC Comics
The Multiverse is back with this new title, the first book set in a world outside of the universe of the New 52. Five years ago, the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman of another universe fought fiercely to save their world from an invasion by Steppenwolf and his Parademons. The world survived, but at an incredible price.
This issue is a lot of set-up, but it’s the most action-packed set-up you could possibly ask for. It’s clear that the classic DC trinity, although they’re in center stage here, will not be the stars of this title. Their appearance, in fact, is mostly here to set up the return of some other classic characters, albeit in new forms. It works nicely for that. This is the sort of all-out war you probably couldn’t get away with on “New Earth” (or whatever they’re calling the universe of the New 52 these days). Plenty of devastation, plenty of death, too much to deal with in 50 or so titles linked together in a single, current continuity. But as this book takes place on an alternate universe, and there are no other books set there (Worlds’ Finest is a spin-off, but that’s not quite the same thing) James Robinson could theoretically have a pretty free hand to go nuts, make major changes, and drastically alter the world as the story dictates. He’s done it before, but in things like The Golden Age. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with a book like this on an ongoing basis.
I’ve been a fan of Nicola Scott for some time now, but with Trevor Scott and Alex Sinclair joining her on the art for this book, we’re seeing some of the greatest work she’s ever done. The battle scenes here are incredible, and she gives us depictions of DC’s three biggest guns that look very familiar, but just different enough that we accept them as alternate versions of the characters.
This first issue was great, even if it felt more like a “zero” issue. It doesn’t really matter that much what the number is, though. It’s a fine way to start, and I can’t wait to see where this newer universe is going to take us.
Title: Blades and Open Fields
Writer: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Cary Nord
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Colors: Moose Baumann
Cover Art: Esad Ribic, David Aja, Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, Cary Nord
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
In 402 A.D., an army of Visigoths prepare to face the forces of Rome. Outnumbered and outmatched, the warrior called Aric refuses to back down – a determination that serves him well when he is taken captive… not by the Romans, but by alien colonists looking at Earth as their next target.
In fairness, I should tell you guys that I am a huge fan of old-school Valiant Comics. They came into their own as a publisher at roughly the same time I really began to expand as a reader, and as such, there’s always been a soft spot in my heart for them. That said, I’d like to say I’m objective enough to admit if the book sucked. I’m glad to say it doesn’t. Robert Venditti has captured the flavor of Aric of Dacia nicely, presenting a rebooted character that feels very similar to the original. If there had never been an X-O Manowar #0 from the original Valiant Comics, this story could easily fit with the rest of the regular series.
That’s not to say, however, that the book is married to the original. There’s a very interesting subplot introduced in this book that doesn’t seem to play into anything that was done with the character in the old universe, but that’s just fine. Let ‘em try something a little different. As long as it feels true to the character, I welcome it.
Cary Nord does some excellent work here. The book looks like a sword-and-sorcery comic, a style that would fit in with the likes of Conan the Barbarian (which Nord has done before). When the sci-fi elements arrive, though, they don’t look out of place. Aric fits with the world of the alien spaceships and armor that are essential to the story at hand.
I’m ecstatic to have the Valiant Universe back to begin with. I’m even happier that the first issue starts things off so well.