Sunday, May 24, 2015

Comic Review: Valhalla Mad #1

(I tend to read every #1 issue that comes out from Image Comics. Are they all good? Well, let's find out.)

When I picked up this comic, I knew nothing about it except for recognizing the writer/artist team. I knew Joe Casey and Paul Maybury from Catalyst Comix, a Dark Horse series that caught me by surprise with how much I liked it. True to that series, this also has a great, manic energy to it, if somewhat inconsistent overall.

Here is the setup: we follow a group of superheroes from Viken who last came to Earth 40 years ago. As the name indicates, they are very influenced by Vikings, including an old-English style of speaking. They arrive just in time to make a very splashy entrance, saving a plane from crashing, and are immediately noticed by everyone in New York. They have arrived for Gluttonalia, a festival defined by ingesting far too much alcohol, as the name would imply.

The premise is not complex, and for the most part, it works well with that. The main characters are fun, if not very deeply characterized yet. The language has mixed results, sometimes being humorous and other times feeling like a joke that has just gone on too long. The biggest problem is that there is not enough story to fill this issue. In the process of setting up a cliffhanger for the end of the book (which has me interested, admittedly), the story is stretched too thin, and there are long periods where nothing happens but the characters talking to each other, and not about anything of real interest. There was no conflict, with small hints towards things that should pay off later on, but nothing that is all that interesting in the present time.

I don't usually talk about the art, but here I just have to. I wish I knew how to talk about art, because I love the way this this book looks and feels, and I'm unable to put my finger on exactly why. The best I know how to say it is that it feels like comic art in the most fun sense, with a lot of colors to keep things looking interesting and fun, even in the times where the story seems to drag a bit.

My question for these issues is always "Do I want to read the next one?", and for this one, I don't really know. I like the creative team, but given that this entire issue is setup without any real payoff, I'm going to have to wait and see if these things are paid off, and how satisfying it is. Likely, I won't make that decision until I'm at the store paging through the next issue, since this issue leaves me undecidedly mixed.

No comments:

Post a Comment