Review: 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1

4001AD-WARMOTHER_001_COVER-A_MACKValiant have been teasing this comic long before 4001 A.D. began as a mystery cover; for sometime after the initial announcement of the 4001 A.D. miniseries they wouldn’t even show the cover, or give the name of, War Mother. To say that Valiant have some pretty high hopes for the character would be accurate. In May,  Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons said that: “Much like  Divinity or Generation Zero before her, War Mother represents a phenomenal new addition to Valiant‘s formidable roster of comics icons. Against the backdrop of the 4001 A.D. event, Fred Van Lente and Tom Giorello are zooming out to reveal a personal, yet incredibly action-packed story of what life looks like on the fringes of Earth two thousand years from today – and, via War Mother‘s staggering debut, opening up a entirely new frontier for storytelling in the Valiant UniverseWar Mother isn’t just a new character, she’s Valiant‘s next great heavy hitter.”

But before we address the elephant  in the corner  that’s wearing a “Huge Expectations” pin,  I feel that it’s also worth mentioning that, as with most of the 4001 A.D. one shot tie-ins, this comic can be read as a standalone story.  Just like 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot, 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is a comic that’s genuinely worth reading even if you have no intention of ever reading 4001 A.D.; indeed the previously mentioned tie-in is great for fans of Bloodshot whether they’ve been reading the main miniseries or not. The tie-in part of the comic is very minimal, and is explained well enough in five words that you don’t need to know anything more about the events of 4001 A.D. aside from what is presented here.

That said, it’s time to talk about that elephant of expectations, folks, because this is a fantastic read.

Fred Van  Lente has written a great introduction to the newest character  in the Valiant universe, set in a post-apocalyptic  world that’s wonderfully realized by Tom Giorello. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was so taken so quickly  with a character and their world as I have been here. There are some great moments within these pages, but one of my favourites involves War Mother‘s sentient gun.

Yes, a sentient gun.

It’s a brilliant little piece of technology that’s strangely endearing,  and works as a way for War Mother to explain just what it is that she’s doing as she venture alone outside the protective walls of her home.  Despite expecting a lot from this comic, it delivers a great story that leaves me wanting to read a lot more about this new group of characters in the 4001 A.D. timeline.

That the comic was launched under the 4001 A.D. banner will hopefully attract readers, but honestly I’d have brought this if it was just War Mother #1. Echoing Warren Simons’ words above, this is an action packed story of life on the fringes of Earth, many years from now. But it’s also a very personal tale that’s got some genuinely warm and funny moments dotted within it’s pages.

If War Mother is the future of Valiant, then based on this comic, the future is incredibly bright.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Tom Giorello 
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.