Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: Stephen Segovia
Colors: Elmer Santos & Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: VALIANT COMICS (August 2017)
Welcome to 4001 A.D. The story picks up after the end of the War Mother one shot during the 4001 AD event and we see our lead, Ana, now leading the people of the Grove. With the plant life dying and they needing food, War Mother investigates a possible new home where they can grow food and have shelter. Yet, what this abandon hotel resort has might be more than what Ana and her people can take.
The Moment of the Issue:
Honestly, the entire issue is great,but the burn by Ignacio in front of Max was pretty brutal … and a bit too human that I just loved and felt for all the characters for.
The art is clean and interesting. Segovia, Santos and Dalhouse render some powerful, eye catching panels and does a good job of creating an atmosphere to show this future of 4001 A.D. Segovia’s panel work is sharp … capturing emotion well and making action look vivid and rough. Santos and Dalhouse makes sure the colors fit the world and atmosphere of the page with this kind of muted look with the colors throughout the book when dealing with the world outside. It’s a good astetic that works in creating how this world is different from the modern Valiant Universe and even more different from Rai or the second arc in Greg Pak’s Eternal Warrior book.
Van Lente clearly loves War Mother. Why do I say that so quickly after 1 issue? This book does a lot within its pages to progress the characters and world of War Mother. Readers quickly learn the struggles that Ana has since the end of the 4001 AD one shot she had as leader of the Grove and her new family that she has with Ignacio, their adoptive son Max and her gun, Flaco. Van Lente makes the book accessible to new readers while still doing a good job of giving a quick summary of the one shot. Van Lente gives the one shot importance, but new readers don’t have to read it. Van Lente makes sure that readers get a good feel of the personalities of our main characters, while still making sure they are multi-faceted. Ignacio is the best example of this as we get to see him being a loving father and husband one second to being a hurt man feeling insecure and abandoned by his wife because of her need to be a hero. This particular dynamic alone sells the book, but the sci-fi elements of this part of 4001 AD will keep readers here. With a good amount of action and different kinds of threats, Van Lente builds a seductively fun opening issue with thrills and chills and action.
War Mother #1 is a brilliant first issue. We are treated to a different kind of future with War Mother kind of going with a blend of Mad Max meets the Planet of the Apes. We have a strong lead that is multi-faceted, wonderful supporting characters, mystery, action and conflicts that will keep readers engaged. It builds upon what came before while doing its own thing. The art is superb as Segovia, Santos and Dalhouse show us this grim but vast future. And it sucks you in and doesn’t let you go.