Review: The Forgotten Queen #4
Vexana’s true origin story is revealed in The Forgotten Queen #4! How does it change the history of the Valiant Universe? You thought you had family drama? Try being an immortal conqueror!
Whereas the previous issue had a plot that kept me engaged from beginning to end, The Forgotten Queen #4 plays off the revelation from the previous issue as Vexana’s first days as an immortal are retold in greater detail, which brings the story full circle – though it also has the adverse effect of making everything seem too familiar.
The best way for me to describe this comic, is that it is a comic of moments. Moments that are going to linger with you long after you’ve finished the comic. These moments, such as the culmination of the segment of the comic on the beach are fantastically memorable, but they’re not the entirety of the comic.
Tini Howard gives us about half a comic that is essential reading for Valiant fans looking to find out more about Vexana and her relationship with the characters we know and love, and half a comic that seems to just miss the mark (perhaps a perfect example of this is a panel with either flying fish, or a mis-coloured sea floor; the art is solid, but a lack of clarity regarding the colouring takes you out of the moment.
The focus on last issue’s revelation hampers the issue a little. It’s a choice that I wouldn’t change though. There’s a lot of throwbacks to some earlier Valiant issues that you’ll read with new eyes because of this book. Added to that we also see the character react brilliantly when faced with what must be a very tempting offer. Brilliantly, and very true to Vexana’s nature.
Amilcar Pinna and Ulises Arreola combine for a comic that, again, has moments that are visually solid and moments that are less so. For every panel that pulls you into the comic (there’s a great close-up of the titular character’s eyes) there’s one that makes you stop to try and figure it out. The flying fish, for example. It’s not that the art is bad, but the moments in which you need the art to be strong to balance the script… it isn’t.
The Forgotten Queen #4 has none of the quibbles I had regarding the previous issue. Instead it surpasses my expectations with what I thought would be possible with a series focusing on War Monger. If you’re a Valiant fan, it’s absolutely worth reading this series. Whether War Monger will play a larger part in the future of Valiant, I don’t know. But, it never hurts to gain additional insight into a character that hasn’t had the spotlight in recent years.
Story: Tini Howard Art: Amilcar Pinna
Colours: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powel
Story: 7.1 Art: 7.3 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review