Review: Book Of Death #1 (of 4)

bookofdeath#1“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.”

The Valiant heroes. X-O Manowar. Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Harbinger Renegades. Unity. This is how they lived. This is how they died.

Although my exposure to the Valiant Universe has been relatively small, I’ve enjoyed what I have read so far, and Book Of Death #1 is no exception. If you’re expecting me to say that if you’ve never read any comics from Valiant, then don’t start here, well, I won’t. Personally I have little more than a passing familiarity with the Valiant characters, and what little I did already know about a few of the characters was handily covered in the comic itself. So yes, this can absolutely be your first Valiant comic.

Robert Venditti crafts a brilliant first issue that has the potential to build into a fantastic four issue event. The art work in this issue is fantastic, Robert Gill with Doug Braithwaite give us some fantastic back drops to the action, and there’s a couple of fantastic full page panels near the end that when combined with the colouring from David Baron with Brian Reber are spectacular. Unlike some other comic book events, Book Of Death #1 doesn’t start off slowly; there is an underlying sense of urgency for all the characters within the comic. Book Of Death #1 finds the Eternal Warrior on the run from his former colleagues, trying to protect a little girl as they try to save the world from another Dark Age. But why are the other heroes of the Valiant Universe trying to stop them? Well for that answer you’ll need to read the comic.

This may be billed as the eulogy for the Valiant Universe as we know it, but Book Of Death #1 opens the four issue miniseries with a bang. If you’re only slightly familiar with Valiant and their heroes, don’t be afraid to dig into the comic. You don’t need an encylopedic knowledge of the publisher to be able to enjoy this comic. In fact if you’ve never read any Valiant before, then make this your first comic. Valiant have a rich universe filled with some fantastic characters, and Book Of Death #1 provides an excellent first glimpse at many of them.

The first issue of this monthly series is out on the 15th of July. If you get a chance to read Book Of Death #1, then take it. You won’t regret it.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Robert Gill with Doug Braithwaite
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review