In Incursion #4, it’s time for the boss battle: Eternal Warrior vs. Imperatrix Virago! Young Tama’s life hangs in the balance during this otherworldly battle. Will she survive, or will the Earth need to choose a new Geomancer? It’s the epic conclusion of Valiant‘s miniseries.
My first question when starting this comic was whether it would be as good as the previous issues. A series that has, for my money* has been one of the best things Valiant have published in awhile.
Incursion is about an alien ivader Imperatrix Virago. She’s a being who extends her life span by devouring the life energy of planets and uses reanimated corpses as her armies. She has fatally poisoned Tama, the Geomancer – the voice of the Earth; and the Eternal Warrior’s quest to save the Tama, and consequently the world.
But there’s a lot more to it than that; Incursion isn’t just a battle to save Tama’s life; it’s also a story about saving two souls. It’s a story about an immortal guardian and his mortal charge. But it’s also story about family.
The finale of this series gives us three or four stunning set pieces. Each had me at the edge of my seat for most of the twenty odd pages of the comic. It’s capped off with an epilogue that serves to tie up the story. It also sets the stage for Gilad Anni-Padda and the Earth going forward. In other words, Incursion #4 is one of the best concluding chapters to a miniseries that I have read from any publisher in some time; delivering on and frequently exceeding expectations in both the writing and art.
Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel have crafted a wonderful story that will likely end up among my top five Valiant stories once I’ve given it some time to soak my brain after the third of fourth reading. The relationships between the protagonists, the oddly tender moments from Gilad and the line that had me grinning early in the comic that opened with “I’m Gilad…” were like the sprinkles on a chocolate strawberry. But that’s not to say that there isn’t any action here; as one would expect from the finale of any story featuring such brutal combat as Incursion, there are several great fight sequences within the comic.
The art, and the fight choreography, once again is phenomenal. Doug Braithwaite must be one of the most consistently brilliant artists in comics; his near photo-realistic facial expressions add a level of emotional understanding that you instinctively grasp; Braithwaite’s work means that Diggle and Paknadel don’t need to spoon feed you the story, which means that the words they use have a greater impact because of the lack of over saturation.
Incursion #4 rounds out a fantastic four issue series, one that keeps the stakes high in regarding the consequences of Gilad’s failure, but never once feels as though he has any choice but to act (almost) alone. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and hope that we get to experience the next step on the Eternal Warrior and the Geomancer’s journey very soon.
Story: Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel Art: Doug Braithwaite
Colours: Diego Rodriguez and Leonardo Paciarotti
Letters: Marshal Dillon
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
*because despite getting access to the review pdfs I will still buy then floppies.