May 30, 2012

BOOM! Studios Reviews: Valen The Outcast #6

Valen The Outcast #6
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Matteo Scalera (cover by Khary Randolph)
Colorist: Archie Van Buren

In this issue, we find out some back story on Zjanna. She’s been the most mysterious character to date, and also the coolest! She’s one of the “Skulk” that have been feared for a few issues now. These ferocious packs of women are ruthless, and only use men for breeding. Sounds fun, you say? Well, if the woman bears a girl, you’re fine, but if she has a boy, you get castrated and bleed to death in front of the entire clan. The Skulk are an all female clan who take justice into their own hands. They hate men, and protect their territory like ravenous animals. They have caught up to Valen, Zjanna, and Cordovan, and Valen then tries to buy them some time by facing the Skulk by himself. To make a long story short, Valen gives his best effort, but ends up getting drawn and quartered!

BOOM! really has a good thing going with this title. Valen and the others are all strong characters. The initial plot, or so I thought, was moving slowly, but in all honesty, I thought that Valen getting his soul back would be the first arc and be over by now. However, the more issues that pass by, the more it become apparent that the story is more about the journey rather than Valen getting his soul back. As long as the action stays where it’s at, and the characters continue to develop, that’s fine with me. Nelson really does a fine job with the story, and shows no signs of slowing down with the great pace that this book has.

Matteo Scalera’s work is absolutely perfect for this book. He draws strong and tough looking characters, or in the case of Cordovan, a good drunk, as well! Don’t be fooled, though; Cordovan is a skilled fighter, too, he just doens’t look as much the part compared to Valen and Zjanna. Scalera also does quite well with the backgrounds and animals. The colorist, Archie Van Buren, is more than adequate at his job, as well. The job he does on Zjanna alone is great. Her skin tone, along with her tattoos and red outfit, are fantastic. The contrast really brings her to life on the pages.

This series is definitely a must read, and everyone needs to get on board with this book. The writing, artwork, and everything in between are selling points, so go out and grab a copy today! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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