Valen The Outcast #7
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Matteo Scalera (cover “A” by Khary Randolph)
Colors: Archie Van Buren
As we left off with issue #6, Valen, Cordovan, Zjanna, and Fiona were confronted by Tyroll, the would-be King that has been manipulated and trained by the evil Korrus Null himself. Tyroll claims to be there on a peaceful mission to escort the group to the city of Wraithendal, where Korrus Null rules. Valen doesn’t believe him at first, but when the group is attacked by an enormous beast, they quickly agree to follow him. Cordovan is noticeably nervous, and claims it’s because he needs a drink. They arrive at the castle of Korrus Null, and are greeted by an army of sixty-thousand men. These men, as told by Tyroll, are to be the army of Valen, after he speaks with Korrus Null. Once inside the chambers, Valen quickly engages the guards and slices them to pieces. Null tells him to calm down, but Valen is furious. Zjanna reaches for her blade, but Tryoll tells her not to join in, because the guards are instructed to not harm Valen, but anyone else is fair game. Valen eventually calms down, but then his temper rises again when he hears the offer Korrus Null gives him!
This book has been quite a breath of fresh air for fantasy readers. It has some Conan vibes and also Solomon Kane, as well. Throw in a dash of Dr. Strange, and you have a great book that has no equal. It really does tell a unique story, with characters that have depth and make you want to like them and know more about them. We’ve certainly been given back story on each, but further adventures revealed from their pasts beckon. The supporting cast really makes the book, but that being said, Valen is well written, too. The young boy, Tyroll, that is a future king, has some intriguing things about him as well, and it should be interesting to see where he ends up when all is said and done.
Scalera and Van Buren do a great job on this book with the pencils and colors. It’s generally a dark book, but not so dark that it’s impossible to tell what’s going on. Valen is rugged looking, as you’d expect, and the sexy Zjanna is quite a good contrast. Cordovan looks the part of a drunken, sneaky thief. The cover by Randolph is great, too, and he (as well as with his work with Aspen) always delivers. Throw in a couple of variant covers (below) that rock, and you have a great series that should please any fantasy fan! Rating 4/5