By Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry and Brian Reber
Valiant NEXT is in full swing and we’ve finally arrived at Ivar, Timewalker. One of the characters from the old Valiant, Ivar has the ability to jump through time if he catches a wormhole at just the right moment. Ivar, Timewalker has almost a Doctor Who feel to it, at least within this first issue, and really that’s not a bad thing. Plus, it’s only subtle little similarities here and there and, hell, half of them might just be imagined after that Christmas marathon, so it’s all very fresh.
Anyway, any kind of comparisons aside, Ivar, Timewalker #1 was an interesting start. We’re getting more of the expanded Valiant Universe (VU) and we’re starting to get different characters. Not necessarily just punch or shoot or chop with a sword until the bad guys go away, which is still awesome, but something a little more. Sure, Ivar spent a good portion running away, but sometimes that’s the best option, right? Regroup and come back stronger once you know your enemy. Plus, he’s got a bit of a mean streak in him and considering his relative (who makes an appearance but which we won’t spoil here, go read it) you probably could see that coming a mile away.
<< Insert random, but awesome, Rai guest appearance here. >>
Read the issue and you’ll get our random Rai moment. Also, Valiant, can that be a thing? Random Rai in every issue? Who cares if it doesn’t make sense, it’ll be awesome! Fine, fine forget it.
Anyway, Clayton Henry and colorist extraordinaire Brian Reber kill it on Timewalker, but you’ve come to expect that when you see the big “V” on the cover, right? Henry nails all the right notes, particularly in the first few scenes with Dr. Sethi; both she and Ivar’s expressions are just spot on perfect. Reber, of course, makes Henry’s pencil and ink work even better and really adds subtle touches and color variation to each time they happen to walk to (yes, I went there). Henry and Reber really do combine for some great pages and panels and prove once again that Valiant has some of the best creators out there on the payroll.
Ivar, Timewalker is impressive, particularly for a first issue. Valiant doesn’t mess around and this team of creators is certainly a fantastic choice for this book. Time and time again, Valiant puts out books that are just above and beyond other things available, especially in the superhero department. The VU is so good, and the creators are so great at what they do, that sometimes it feels like you can drop the Big Two and just stick with Valiant to get your superhero fix, and then some. There might not be a compliment that tops that.