Valiant’s summer event continues in Book of Death #2! We’re down to just two reviewers on this issue so let’s get a quick summary of the issue from Valiant and then dive into reviews:
You ain't seen nothing until the Eternal Warrior squares with his former allies in Unity next Wednesday in BOOK OF DEATH #2 (of 4) by Valiant masters Robert Venditti, Robert Gill, and Doug Braithwaite! Get ready to see the Eternal Warrior unchained for the very first time...and then steal another glimpse of the definitive future of the Valiant Universe with another flash-forward from the Book of the Geomancer!
Book of Death continues to impress with this second issue which – while not quite as good as the first in my opinion – is still a darn good read. My biggest problem with this issue is that it is comprised mostly of a fight scene, the stand-off between the Eternal Warrior and his former allies Unity. I found it quite jarring how quickly the team turned against one of their founding members, especially when said member is undeniably the foremost expert on Geomancer’s in the entire Valiant Universe.
The fight itself is entertaining and for the most part easy to follow, but at times was illustrated a little confusingly; for example, one panel appears to depict Gilad’s axe cutting X-O Manowar’s hand off but evidently this never actually happens. Aside from nitpicky errors however, I actually found the art to be stronger here than in the first issue with both Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite really bringing their A-game.
The final page reveal of this series’ true villain was an interesting surprise and leaves me optimistic that this book could be one of the strongest event comics we’ve seen since… well… Robert Venditti’s last Valiant event, 2014’s Armor Hunters. Indeed, the Valiant Universe is seemingly the place to be for those who like their super-hero comics of a consistently high quality.
I probably would have enjoyed this issue more if the series villain wasn’t spoiled for me by Valiant’s own press release. That was a bit of a bummer because it was a great reveal and actually grabbed my attention.
This issue though is pretty good. It’s a bit like Batman taking down the Justice League in that we see the Eternal Warrior take down each member of his team. Let me just say that I haven’t really liked the Eternal Warrior all that much. He’s okay, but now he’s actually pretty bad ass. I wish that this side of him was shown more because he kind of comes off like a smash first ask questions later type of guy most of the time. This issue and the last issue of Unity have shown a different side that I’m really liking. The battle was good. The story progresses and overall I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t amazed by it.
Starting off with Robert Gill’s artwork was a bit of a shocker. I expected to see Doug Braithwaite’s art to start off just like the first issue, but I guess not. The art is still solid, but I’m not really confident that these two art styles should be in the same issue. Gill and Braithwaite are just two different talents and while both are good in their own respects, together you begin to compare things that you shouldn’t. Didn’t hate the art, but I wasn’t pleased by it either.
Overall, it was still an enjoyable issue and far better than any other event book I’ve read this summer from any other publisher (big or small).