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Round Robin Review: Book of Death #1

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Valiant’s Book of Death #1 is easily one of the most anticipated Valiant books of the year, if not one of the most talked about titles since the relaunch of the universe in 2012. Will it hold up to the hype, or fail to live up to expectations? Read on to find out in this spoiler-free round robin review!

Amy’s Take:
What a good read! Thanks for sharing it.

The hype surrounding Book of Death is well-deserved. An exciting mix of action, horror, and intrigue, the story holds plenty of surprises even for those who have read all the previews. This may be my favorite Venditti book yet. I can’t wait for the next issue!

Martin’s Take
Book of Death #1, Four Color Grails variant. I could not wait to read this when it came in and I must say that it did not disappoint. Those of you who read Armor Hunters last summer or who follow his work on Green Lantern should be well aware that Robert Venditti can write a terrific event title and this is a rocking first issue. From the opening page to the final panel, Book of Death #1 is a thrilling adventure with some incredible surprises and the return of characters that pay a great deal of fan service to those of us who have been around since the beginning of Valiant in the 90s.

Usually I’m a little perturbed with books that share art duties among a few artists but it really works well here with Robert Gill’s solid pencil work being used in the present day story, and veteran artist Doug Braithwaite infusing the future glimpses with incredibly dynamic scenes. If you’ve never read a Valiant title this will be an incredible jumping on point for you, but for those of you who have been enjoying what Valiant puts out month in and month out, you are in for a very tasty treat.

Scott’s Take
In Book of Death #1, Robert Venditti delivers everything that the first issue of an “event comic” should: a source of major conflict is introduced with several smaller problems stemming from that major issue thus giving the book an organic reason for multiple characters and titles to be involved.

Robert Gill’s artwork is also a real treat for anyone who first took notice of him during the Armor Hunters: Harbinger mini-series. There’s something particularly appalling about gruesome death when it’s being drawn by someone with such a whimsical cartoony style like Gill’s (much like the deaths in Archie vs. Predator are way more shocking when depicted in Fernando Ruiz’s “Archie House Style” than in a normal Predator comic). Gill’s star has been on the rise, but this comic really could prove to be his breakout.

Altogether, this is a strong first chapter. We’ll have to wait to see if the creative team can capitalize on it, but given their track record, I’m inclined to think they will.

Book of Death

BOOK OF DEATH #1 (of 4) – Cover A by Robert Gill

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