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War Mother #1 Review

Written by Fred Van Lente

Art by Stephen Segovia

Colours by Elmer Santos with Andrew Dalhouse

Letters by Dave Sharpe

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

When I was younger me and my brother were friends with someone who was passionate about Yu-Gi-Oh, the card trading game, so much so that he took it upon himself to teach us about the lore and mechanics; this resulted in the fact that each time we went to their house we left with homework to complete and the first thing they would ask when we arrived was if we had completed that homework. Thankfully, it is not required for you to do such homework and deep diving into Valiant lore to understand and enjoy War Mother.

Picture a future where there are sentient bio-guns, twisted (and I think malformed, but don’t quote me on that) beings called urbanites and society as a whole has regressed into tribes with the buildings of the past being filled with flora and fauna. Ana is the leader of one such tribal settlement called the Grove, and she along with her sentient gun, Flaco, start out this comic in style with some action and playful exchanges. Ana then finds out that there has been a broadcast drawing people to what was previously a swish apartment complex and the Grove decides to move in, but let’s just say they are not its only residents.

Lente does a great job of making the lore feel inbuilt and organic allowing newer readers to not feel lost as there is enough to grasp and veterans do not feel like the whole comic is a rehash, as the comic reads like a solid dystopian future story and does not require prior knowledge about Valiant. The characters are endearing, but are all distinctly different, not just one note characters and they make you want to read their previous adventures.

Segovia uses the panelling to create a real sense of motion to the action beats especially, but the art, in general, is a cut above the standard house style. In particular, the opening pages which evoke the best run down overgrown futures such as Horizon Zero Dawn or I am Legend (I could go on with examples, but I would be here a while). Santos’ and Dalhouse’s colours are stunning in sections of this comic with the muted colour and use of lighting to create a wonderful atmosphere, in addition to some bold colours to highlight key aspects.

Verdict:

Buy. This is a great Valiant comic to jump on board especially if you like sci-fi, action or dystopian futures and if you don’t like any of those things there is even some great relationship building and dynamics even in the first issue.  War Mother is world building at its best.

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