Valiant's series make me do two things, 1. Laugh and 2. Makes my eyes orgasm over the art. Their quick jokes or long drawn out parodies makes me look forward to the story. They also have a knack for picking some damn good artists. So when I came across Dead Drop, the art popped off of the page. You really can’t help but drawn into Adam Gorham’s beautiful art with Dead Drop. He gives his character’s real personalities that can be seen in every emotion. Even the cover by Gorham, Raul Allen, and Michael Spicer comes across badass. The contrast between the blacks, whites, and reds gives the illusion that this comic is something you need. If only the story matched up. Neville Alcott is after a teenage girl. This girl has stolen an alien virus that will pretty much wipe out Earth. Alcott has to stop it, so he enlists some agents to come to his ad. At first, he gets X-O Manowar but fails epically. Well maybe it isn’t so epic but just flat out embarrassing. Then he asks for Archer’s help. Again a huge fail. So who is trying to help him out now, Beta-Max. I know I don’t keep up with Valiant titles as best I could but who the hell is Beta-Max?! Yeah none of my friends knew either. I literally had to do a Google search on this joker to realize that he was in an issue of Quantum & Woody, beyond that I didn't research him anymore. This could be because he reminds me of Jar-Jar Binks, so I didn’t want to get to know any better than I needed to. Much like Jar-Jar, Beta-Max is annoying, has a hyphenated name, trips over himself, and doesn’t know how to stay out of trouble. I will admit that there were moments where he made me laugh, but they were short lived.
We start the comic with Alcott needing some help. He has found the latest drop off, but without knowing the traps around this drop off, he enlists Beta-Max’s help. He has tons of abilities, being a cyborg (which is one the more humorous parts because he is literally half human and half robot). Alcott needs him for his x-ray vision, but never one to mention something completely useful, Beta-Max makes it clear that he can also fax and is stuck in the 80s.
I am wondering why they went with Beta-Max at this particular moment. It seems with all the cool Valiant options out there anything could have worked better and had some fan backing besides this pick. I personally think Vincent Van Goat could be a good option.
I think the problem is if I wanted to read a Valiant comic, why wouldn’t I just pick up with X-O Manowar or Archer, instead of reading a mini-series with very little substance. It didn’t add anything to the other stories, and I didn’t find it more funny or more artistically pleasing than other titles. So I guess it just leave the reader and myself at this confusion level. A confusion that will lead readers away.