Written by Ales Kot
Art by Adam Gorham
Colors by Michael Spicer
Published by Valiant Entertainment
A lethal virus of alien origin with the capability of eradicating all life on Earth, or any other planet for that matter, has fallen into the hands of violent anarchists. One of the mightiest heroes of the Valiant Universe, Aric of Dacia, a.k.a. X-O Manowar, is sent into New York City to track down an individual who is carrying a vial of the deadly germ. The unidentified terrorist is but one of the few perpetrators involved with mobilizing the virus using an intricate series of dead drops – a method where objects are exchanged inconspicuously at public places.
The plot is quite simple to follow – find the dangerous alien virus, save the world. The reader is reminded of this concept several times throughout the issue. Despite the unsophisticated scheme, this latest Valiant tale calls upon an elite character in X-O Manowar to lead things off for the series. For those of us that are familiar with Visigoth King, it instantly conveys the message that the magnitude of this extraterrestrial disease is so high that it warranted the immediate services of one of the most powerful characters in the Valiant Universe. For those of you that are not too familiar with Aric of Dacia, this story serves as yet another jumping on point with X-O Manowar and Valiant in general.
Ales Kot provided a script that set up an intense level of urgency that coincided well with the “thrill of the chase” scenarios. However, that same urgency affected the pace of the story. I read this issue in hardly any time at all, only pausing for the couple of pages where we gain a little background info on the alien virus. I’m very curious to see how the rest of the script for this series plays out with the other Valiant characters that are scheduled to appear next.
I’m on the fence with the artwork by Adam Gorham featured in this issue. Most of the panels flowed well with the light speed tempo of the story and they were uniquely presented from a variety of angles. The characters were flexible, but in some cases, they appeared to be hyper-extended. There’s no lack of action sequences with this book, that’s for sure, but for a series that starts off in Manhattan, an atmosphere where the senses can be overwhelmed, I felt that some of the background art lacked strength, as it was either incomplete, too faded or missing all together. The coloring by Michael Spicer included an abundance of blue, brown and yellow. Some of the panels looked drenched, but in others, it may have helped add depth to the penciling.
Overall, this issue was entertaining but I was lightly disappointed. I wouldn’t recommend giving up on Dead Drop based solely on this first installment. The rest of the series has yet to be released and Valiant has yet to dissatisfy….will they X-O?
Until next time!