Review: Livewire #5
New story arc! “GUARDIAN,” Part 1.
Investigating the disappearance of a young psiot girl, Livewire stumbles upon OMEN’s answer to the psiot “problem,” a facility where young psiots are taken and taught to control their powers. Is this facility the safe haven Livewire’s dreamed of or is there something more sinister to this sanctuary?
The first four issues of Livewire took us in a uniquely framed redemptive arc for the title character; redemptive not because she is suddenly viewed as a hero in the Valiant universe (she isn’t), but because she seems to have come to terms with her choices and actions during the events of Harbinger Wars II. Vita Ayala was able to acknowledge these actions and bring us very organically past the elephant in the room.
After a slight dip in the series with the previous issue, I’m more than happy to report that the series has returned to its earlier highs – if not more so.
This issue is perhaps one of the best starting points for new readers; indeed there can be arguments made that this is actually a more accessible place than the first issue because of the focus on new character Phoebe Daniels rather than on the title character. It’s a bold choice by Ayala, but one that pays off as we develop an attachment and understanding of the young psiot who is bound to play a bigger role in the series in the future (and possibly the Valiant universe as a whole).
Joining Ayala on art duties this go around is Kano, whose style is visually similar enough to the previous art team, while still be able to deliver an injection of freshness to the series. This is ultimately irrelevant to those starting with this series, unless they choose to pick up the first four issues (and you should do such a thing), however what isn’t is that Kano is a brilliant visual storyteller. His panels, angles and framing in this comic are subtle and yet strangely exciting, lending the comic an odd technological bend at times without relying too heavily on digitized flavours.
Livewire #5 is a return to the quality that Ayala established early in the series, and it’s a comic that adds a lot to the Valiant universe when you look at the potential opened up by Ayala in this issue. A new arc means a new jumping on point, which means potential new readers; thankfully, with this comic those new readers are going to be able to embark on a fantastic journey with one of Valiant’s more complex characters.
Story: Vita Ayala Art: Kano
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review