Valen the Outcast #3
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Matteo Scalera (cover by Liam Sharp)
Valen and Cordovan are asleep, but not for long. It seems that Zjanna has been magically mind-controlled by one of Korrus Null’s lackeys. She immediately tries to kill Cordovan, but he uses his agility to get out of her reach. He screams for Valen, and eventually the big man comes to his aid. The two men manage to fight her off and get away to a nearby forest. The forest allegedly is home to a beast called a “Skulk,” so the two try to make their way to a nearby city by going around the beast’s lair. The problem with that idea is that it leads them closer to Zjanna and her blood-thirsty self! Cordovan tells Valen that once they reach this city, they’ll be OK, because he has a friend there that will provide them with safe passage across a sea, and one step closer to Korrus Null.
Alright, well, I’m still really liking this series, but this issue was kind of slow. It did have some great action scenes, but fell a little flat for me for two reasons. One, the story really is still in the same place it was last issue. If this was an ongoing, I wouldn’t really care, but the fact that this is a mini-series really puts the pressure on for every single issue to deliver. Secondly, the beast that was so dangerous in the woods? Yeah, where was it again? Did I miss it? It never appeared, and if it appears later in the series, that’s fine, but if it doesn’t, that would really bite. Valen and Cordovan made it seem like this creature is the craziest thing you’d ever see and could rip everyone apart. So again, still a good issue, but really lacked any oomph.
Scalera is delivering big time on the artwork, though, and that helped carry this book. Once and a while I think a facial expression might look strange, but all in all, he does a great job. Valen looks menacing, Cordovan sneaky, and Zjanna very sexy and dangerous! The settings are cool, but the characters definitely are what makes the book solid. The pages that I like the most are the ones with fire. Yeah, I know it sounds kind of juvenile (a la Beavis & Butthead), but those scenes are very well done. Oh, quick side note here. If you are a big PETA supporter, don’t read this book. They kill a make believe horse in it. Check out the cool alternate covers below! Rating 3/5
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