This is it. This is the end to what is one of the best stories I have read within my small run as a comic fan. I know I am showing my hand early by saying this was a fantastic book but I need people to understand that they need to read The Valiant the moment this gets collected. Screw it, get all the issues right now and read the whole thing. Seriously, if this movie deal that Valiant has doesn’t involve this story somehow, I will be thoroughly disappointed.
Where do I start? Actually, let’s pull back a bit before talking about what actually happened in this issue and lets just talk about the art in this issue. Paolo and Joe Rivera out-did themselves for this issues. I may not have mentioned much about the art in my previous reviews so I wanted to make up for that. You felt everything in this issue. Fear. Pain. Regret. Relief. It was all there on the panels. From the way the Immortal Enemy was rampaging through a mall to the way Bloodshot’s eyes lit up a dark corridor. The last half of the issue was damn near perfect in how everything came off so cinematically. Again, this thing needs to be a movie. It can work.
Kay and Bloodshot were obviously the starts of the show. Kay more so than anyone. Since the beginning of this book, Kay was trying to figure out who she was. The title of the Geomancer carries a lot of weight with which she finally owns up to in this issue. She finally realizes that she doesn’t have to wait for her knight in shining armor to come rescue her. This was something I was really happy to see and really wish we got more of. If I did have a complaint is that I want to see more of Kay being a badass Geomancer but sadly we won’t be able to see that given that this is the end of this book. Speaking of would-be knight, Bloodshot took up most of the badass quota from this issue. There are some really great scenes that may turn a few heads away from the page but don’t worry Bloodshot can take a couple of hits. Regardless, there are some great back-and-forth between Kay and Bloodshot that exploit the chemistry that these two characters have. I would have loved to see these two in other situations that didn’t involve evil forces of nature.
Gilad was the glue that held this story together. Even though he wasn’t the main focus, everything that he did was vital to what was going on in this mini-series. Having to live with his past failures throughout the years, Gilad is spent by the end of this issue. You just want this dude to get a win by the end of it. Yeah, I don’t want to really give away what actually happens in the end of this issue but I will give you this: There is only one way to beat the Kobayashi Maru, you cheat.
Where do we go from here? Well if you read ahead, you may already know that there going to be a new Bloodshot series which I may end up having to check out since the story from here continues on in there. It also helps that Jeff Lemire is so it won’t be too hard to transition into.
I am so upset that this is over. Yeah, I would have loved for this to go on a couple more issues but I think what I got was exactly what I needed from this book. It was well executed, precise, and hard hitting. This is a must read regardless if you are already a fan of the Valiant universe, a new fan, or just plain new to comics. This is why comics are cool. I give issue 4 of The Valiant five out of five.