I want to like this series, I really do. It comes from a writer who I’m usually a fan of, the artwork is beautiful each and every month, and the story is telling the origins of one of the Valiant Universe’s most powerful characters. That being said, with each issue of this series that comes out I find myself struggling more and more to get on-board with the plot unfolding within. This penultimate installment is the weakest yet, something which isn’t helped by the brevity of this issue; coming in at about sixteen pages of actually new material, it feels like Van Lente is rushing his way through this story in order not to exceed the restrictive page count. I understand that this is an incentive series and so perhaps can’t afford to provide as much material as a regular mini-series, but when the story is suffering so much as a result you have to wonder whether making this book an incentive was a good decision on Valiant’s part. This issue continues the story of Anni, Padda and Cuth and admittedly does venture into more interesting territory than the previous books. After Anni is bestowed with great power in the book’s opening pages and goes on to carry out some morally ambiguous acts, it creates some intriguing rifts among the three characters who until this point seem to have had a relatively smooth relationship. Additionally, this issue is quite possibly the strongest in terms of visuals that we’ve seen so far with the art team of Juan José Ryp and Jordie Bellaire continuing to impress. Their depictions of some of this issue’s darker moments are very effective, and the actions sequences particularly remain energetic and exciting.
Still though, this book continues to suffer primarily for its bland characters. With only one issue to go I still don’t particularly care for Anni, Padda or Cuth, nor do I have any desire to read about more of their adventures together. As a result of this, the plot fails to grab my attention – although in part this is also due to the predictable elements of this story. While this issue does go to some unexpected places, the endgame of this book has been clear since the very first issue and judging from the cover to issue four things will wrap up exactly how I expected them to. Although, the covers to this series have generally been quite disconnected to the interior material thus far so maybe it isn’t a good idea to use them to predict what’s coming next. Indeed, just as issue one’s cover was entirely unrelated to the events of that installment, the cover to this issue is also very misleading. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but nonetheless it is frustrating when a comic-book cover has practically nothing to do with the story being told within. Ultimately, Legends of the Geomancer remains quite a bland and forgettable story, and the fleeting moments of greatness aren’t worth the time and effort that it may take you to track down the issues of this strangely distributed series.
Book of Death – Legends of the Geomancer #3 Writer: Fred Van Lente Artist: Juan José Ryp Colorist: Jordie Bellaire Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 09/23/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital