The Valiant #2
By Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt and Paolo Rivera with Joe Rivera
“Giddy as a school girl”, “feels like Christmas morning”, “happy as a pig in sh…” well you get the idea. The wait for The Valiant #2 has been excruciating, but it’s over! The struggles, the tears, the sleepless nights are all over because it’s finally here! Also, in just a few short intro pages could these guys leave you any more excited for Ninjak?! Holy crap that’s going to be sweet… but that’s a whole ‘nother kind of piss-your-pants excitement, and one for a different review a few months down the road… @%#^ can’t stop thinking about that book now. Damn you, Valiant!
So, the pairing of Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt is just as amazing as you thought it was going to be when Valiant announced this. It’s like a weird, insane, creepy dream come true and it’ll give you some messed up nightmares. After the initial badassery with Ninjak, Lemire and Kindt throw you right into the horror of Mr. Flay and whether it’s the relentlessness of him, or his arrogance that no matter what Kay does she’s doomed, or whatever, but something about this villain just puts him on another step from everything else thus far in the VU (Valiant Universe). Plus, that face splitting thing he keeps doing has got to be one of the creepiest “Here’s Johnny!” moments ever. Only, you know, it’s not a door he’s peaking through, it’s his face and it’s gory.
All that needs to be said about Paolo Rivera’s art is this: PAOLO RIVERA, OUT! Followed by smashing and crashing as everything, including his pencil, is tossed on to the floor and he quietly walks off into the sunset.
Okay, maybe that’s not all that needs to be said about the art, but it’s definitely a good starting point. If you didn’t already get the message the last time we looked at The Valiant, Paolo Rivera is slaying this book like nobody’s business. Being of fan of his work on Daredevil and then seeing this is also unbelievable. He did an amazing job on Daredevil, and certainly paved the way for what that series has become, but this right here, his work on The Valiant, has got to be some career defining work. It really is a new benchmark for every other artist out there to strive for, because it’s just so, damn perfect. Even trying to look for flaws (as one does when one has to, you know, type some words about it) is like looking for a needle in a forty-foot haystack—simile overload, totally not intentional—and seeing nothing but amazingly crafted hay that you just want to hang on you wall.
Well, that got weird quick…
Okay, okay, okay, okay, look: The Valiant is the real f^#&ing deal. No jokes. No more similes or metaphors or colorfully painted pictures. The Valiant is literally the new comic standard for superheroes and if the next two issues are anything like the first two, who knows when (or if) this mini-series is going to lose that distinction.
Oh, and make sure you spend some time with the commentary at the end of the book. Not only some great insight into how the book was made, but very cool art made from pencils to finished product. Definitely don’t overlook this stuff.