Limited event series! A new villain approaches!
Beyond the margins of human reason lies a realm known as the Deadside, where the souls of the dearly departed linger – and where demons wait for us in the dark. For countless ages, Earth’s chosen protectors have guarded the veil between both worlds – but there are other doors to the Deadside, through which gruesome terrors from galaxies untold can trespass… With the planet’s freedom at stake, can the reigning Geomancer and her steadfast Eternal Warrior stand together against an invasion unlike any they’ve ever witnessed?
The book that finally sold me on Valiant‘s comics was the 2016 Book of Death four issue mini series that focused primarily on the Eternal Warrior and the Geomancer as the former sought to protect the latter from a mystical threat. The story still holds up today. Needless to say, when I saw the blurb and art for Incursion, I was excited to see the Eternal Warrior and the Geomancer facing another threat – although this time slightly more alien in nature.
Andy Diggle, fresh of his run on Shadowman, takes the scripting helm here with Alex Paknadel and wastes no time in establishing the threat and setting the tone for the following three issues. We don’t know a lot about the antagonist, yet, but what we do know is just enough to tantalize. The preview text (the first paragraph above) hints at an epic confrontation between the Geomancer, a person with the ability to commune with and utilize the powers of the Earth, and the Eternal Warrior, the Earth’s immortal champion, and a newly introduced antagonist who seems to hunger for life force in a way not too dissimilar to Marvel’s Galactus. However, by the time you’ll make the comparison, you’ll notice a very specific, and perhaps more horrifying, difference; where Galactus takes moments to devour a planet, Virago seems to take years (this is only a minor spoiler for the first few pages, which have been previously revealed in the back of other Valiant books or preview pages).
The writing duo have set up the following story wonderfully with a well paced opening that doesn’t fall into the familiar trap of too much exposition and not enough story progression. Instead we have a comic that’s about as complete a comic as any first issue can be; that is to it checks every box it needs to.
Speaking of checking the boxes, the comic is very nice to look at. Doug Braithwaite‘s art seems to have very minimal inking, and based on the comic’s credits at the beginning, that’s because he penciled the book and Jose Villarrubia and Diego Rodriguez were on colour art duties. There’s no specific mention of an inker, nor is Braithwaite credited with anything other than penciling the book. I mention this because there’s a very soft edge to the art that works really well. With the definition feeling far more… I don’t want to say classical/high art style, but that’s exactly what it feels like.
I’m normally hesitant when it comes to multiple writers on the same project as in my experience aside from Eliot Rahal and Donny Cates on The Paybacks, the results are usually average at best. At best. With Incursion #1, however, Diggle and Paknadel have delivered a comic that’s every bit as good as I hoped it would be, if not more so. For some context, the series I’ve read featuring the Eternal Warrior as a prominent character (Book of Death and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior) are some of my absolute favourite so my expectations are naturally higher for any comic with the character as a focal point. And yet, I loved this issue, and am happy to say that Incursion #1 is a great comic.
Story: Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel
Pencils: Doug Braithwaite
Colours: Jose Villarrubia and Diego Rodriguez
Letters: Marshal Dillon
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review