Yeah I liked this issue. I thought that once Jordan was in the driver’s seat solo that this book would take on a different tone and it sure as hell did. There are more shocking moments that fit the medium better and make this series even better than before. I think I missed issue six, but I was able to jump right into this issue and figure out what had happened pretty easily. I can’t say that everyone can do that, but if you’ve been following the series in any capacity then you should be able to catch up. This issue picks up with Jack and Alyssa restrained by Baron Samedi’s goons, but he’s a very calming dude. Unfortunately the conversation that he’s trying to have is interrupted by Dox’s bullet to the Samedi’s brain. After Samedi pulls the bullet out and insults Dox and then sics his zombie goons on him as well. Finally a conversation occurs and Samedi tells him that he wants to make a deal to stop Darque. He doesn’t want him on earth any more than they do and is willing to help prevent it. Jack is willing to listen, but Dox warns him that no matter what Samedi isn’t to be trusted.
Samedi lays down his plan which is to capture Darque’s human contact in the Brethren, if they destroy the Brethren then they needed worry about Darque’s return ever. Jack says that he’s in, but Dox tells him that Alyssa and he are out. If he goes with the plan then he’s on his own.
In the Deadside we find Darque hunting down ghosts and attaching them to a tower of some kind. It’s like if the Tower of Babel was created with dead bodies and looked really evil. We check in with our talking monkey and I’m beginning to think that he’s really not on board with all this evil shit. I hope that he makes it to the land of the living and rides around on Jack’s shoulder spouting one-liners and shit, but that could just be me. Darque’s “work” is interrupted as the Brethren contact him to receive their next instructions. There is a huge plot point in this issue and I have no idea what the results of it are going to be in the future issues, but I’m looking forward to it.
This feels like a Justin Jordan issue; no offense to Patrick Zircher, but I don’t think they complimented each other as writers. The story so far has been good, but now it’s approaching great. The simple little things that happen in this issue prove that point. Samedi is a total badass and it’s pretty hard not to like the guy. I know he’s evil, but part of me wanted to join his team. Just rip my shirt off and tattoo a skull on it, I’m part of the Samedi gang now… sorry mom and dad. Seriously though, he’s a charismatic villain that steals the show and that’s what I expect from Jordan’s writing. Because of this issue I’m going to go back and see what I missed in the last issue and I rarely back track.
This was also my first exposure to Neil Edwards handling the entirety of the art duties. Frankly, it was damn good. Sure his style is different from Zircher’s, but it’s still incredibly detailed. The most important part of any art change is maintaining the feel of the world and Edwards does just that. I didn’t open the issue and question if I was reading the same series, instead it didn’t even miss a beat. The art is really strong and the action and deaths are incredible. Edwards and Jordan are a great fit and I’m looking forward to future issues.
I feel like an asshole for missing the previous issue, but there was nothing that was going to keep me away from this series. All of Valiant’s titles have been good and most of them great. Even a good issue is usually better than a great issue from the “big two”, but now the entire line is approaching greatness. Soon Valiant is going to be quite the force to reckon with and with titles like Shadowman improving as they go, it’s no wonder.
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Neil Edwards
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 6/5/13