REVIEW: Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer #1

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT
On Sale JULY 15

It is a common idea that as a species, we are scared of what we don’t understand.  This has been the case for quite some time, including the period when the Tillers of the Earth roamed the planet.

Enter Nergal, suffering an earth like zombie quickly blames a local witch who turns out to be having a major impact on not just the past of the world, but also the present and also the future of the Valiant universe.

This summer see’s Valiant crossover event.  As an industry, we may be suffering from overkill.  I mean so far we have had Convergence, Secret Wars, Swords of Sorrow and now the Book of Death.  But with Valiant, you know what you are getting.  Valiant is kind of like that ok looking girl or boy, that is desperate for your attention, who you shun for the cooler kids.  But take the time and you will be rewarded with not just good-looking books, but quality product by quality writers and artists.

Take this book.  Written by Fred van Lente, who has been on top form with Ivar Time Walker and is used to dealing with times other than our own.  The script is on form, creating a genuine feeling of how people from this past would interact, with their superstitions and worries.  It’s quite an odd feeling.  During the book, you are unsure who you are rooting for.  Is it the leader of the tribe? The guard? The witch??

Juan Jose Ryp is the artist on the book and has delivered a book that is vibrant and equally as genuine as the script, going a long way to work in conjunction with the script.  Jordie Bellaire steps up to the plate and delivers a quality book, showing a number of earthy colours, setting the scene for which van Lente to work and to create a world in which we the reader, can feel totally immersed.

This mini series of books is geared to promote the ongoing Valiant crossover and in some cases, publishers only pay lip service to the demand of the readership.  Valiant has gone the complete opposite direction, having some of their strongest talent work on this, which if you are cynically minded, could be seen as just an advert.  Valiant are giving their readers the ultimate respect by having such strong book compliment the main story.  This is the first issue and such, don’t expect all your questions to be answered.  Instead, enjoy the ride.

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