Writer: Matt Kindt
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Dave Sharpe
No one can ever say that Valiant comics are afraid to experiment. Yes they are rooted in a superhero universe but often delve into other arenas. They allow their creators to play around with hard sci-fi, horror, a fluid timeline with story set in the future as well as the distant past and now with Rapture #1 high fantasy. Rapture #1 reads more like Tolkien story then a modern day superhero story. You don’t even see a Valiant Superhero until the last ten pages of the book. It wasn’t at all what I expected from a Ninjak/Shadowman centered event but even though not what I expected I found myself riveted with the tale being told.
The Rapture mini-series as a whole is grounded in a combination of historical fiction, horror, and magic. Rapture #1 opens with a quest, a quest by Earth’s latest Geomancer, Tama. Tama is technically from the future but now exists in the present day Valiant universe thanks to Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, who sent her back in time with the Book of the Geomancers to help guide Earth’s future. Which brings Tama to the Deadside, another dimension in the Valiant universe that is home to the dead, demons, and other hordes of horror fiction. Something from the Deadside is threatening the Earth and Tama needs to know what it is and how she can stop it. Without giving too much away, a being of the Deadside known as Babel wants to pierce Heaven with army and standing in his way is an elder warrior and his barbarian horde. Joining them will be Tama and her allies from Earth, the British Spy/Assassin Ninjak, , the recently returned Shadowman, and my favorite pink mohawk voodoo princess, Punk Mambo.
There is a lot that happens in Rapture #1 and very little that happens. By this I mean that there is a lot of set up in this issue. Matt Kindt tells the story through Tama’s eyes, as she is our guide while working to discover what the threat is and what she needs to do to stop it. Rapture #1 is dense as there is a lot of information and explanation but it does not drag. I found it to have a classic comic feel, which is aided by Cafu whose art and page layouts would be at home in a classic superhero book just as they are here. By the end of the issue all of the players are in place and I have no doubt that the conflict will escalate in Rapture #2.
Verdict: If you are a fan of high fantasy and superheroes then Rapture #1 is a definite Buy for you. Tama is a delightful protagonist and the book is ramping up to be a fun summer event.