Writer: Fred Van Lente
Penciler: Francis Portela
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Don’t you just hate it when, the family member you dislike the most actually ends up saving your life, kind of, after causing the trouble in the first place? Ivar is in the midst of a personal quest to save Neela, who is having her own problems with family, sort of. Confused? All will be explained within the book, along with a great theory of how to understand time travel, which works for all time travel.
Fred Van Lente is clearly having fun with Ivar. This benefits us as the reader as we get to see Ivar’s transition from selfish wanderer to caring about someone. Why this is the case is still up in the air. Does he really want to stop Neela from creating time travel to save the universe or is there an ulterior motive driving him. Whilst we are waiting to find out, we are treated to some fun dialogue, reminiscent of some of the ensemble cast episodes of Doctor Who. This is a fair comparison, as at times, the Doctor has his own agenda, leaving the contrast to be made by his companion’s often different point of view. It is this ambiguity of character that makes this book an interesting read.
The art by Francis Portela is serviceable for the most part. The action elements are well choreographed with a steady pace to proceedings. Where Portela excels is the interactions between the Neela’s, who pure exuberance at resolving the time travel problem, is a more genuine reaction than most of the recent changes to some of the Big 2 characters. Yes, I am looking at you Batgirl and you Silk!
Ivar is a good read, the fact that it now features the Eternal Warrior and Armstrong helps to ground the book into the more over reaching Valiant universe, which may turn out to be a more effective way than a massive cross over event. The fact that Valiant is looking at how its universe works, using different methods is a credit to the publisher who is not resting on its laurels.