After a more suspenseful issue, we get the penultimate War Mother exploring the connections Ana has made around her. This mini series focusing on the spin-off character from the 4001 AD has been keeping to the singular goal of finding a new dwelling for the War Mother’s people, but they keep running into problems. The biggest of these appears to be a fellow War Mother from the Cleansed. More than anything, this issue sets us up for the final issue as we can finally see how things might play out. I just hope they have enough pages in that final issue to provide a satisfying conclusion.
As previously implied, Writer Fred Van Lente uses this issue to explore the relationships between the War Mother Ana and her gun, her family, and her people. The most interesting of these is her relationship with Flaco. Van Lente pulls so much personality out of the sentient weapon and I admit I laughed out loud when the gun didn’t want to fire because he was mad at her for leaving him behind. I really like the way in which their relationship almost mirrors the Rifleman’s Creed. It includes lines such as “Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless” and “We will become part of each other.” Flaco may be described as a weapon, but so is the War Mother. This connection is more closely seen in the new War Mother, which, unfortunately, makes our Ana seem inefficient at best and her rival also has a stronger connection to her people and improved upon weapons. Adding to her problems, while Ana and Flaco were reunited and working in unison yet again, there are rumblings in her tribe that threatened everything she is working for. This apparent lack, along with the growing dissidence, can be dangerous in a storyline like this because it makes her seem weak.
The art is very typically Valiant material. Stephen Segovia and Roberto De La Torre do an amazing job of conveying emotion. Even when it comes to inanimate beings such as the Doctor Who like victorian positronics, which are very cool and creepy. The use of the solid black silhouette during the action scenes was a very nice touch that makes her feel more the War Mother instead of just some girl who kicks butt. Similarly, the way that the two War Mothers hold themselves conveys regalness and contrasts strongly against the other characters. Andrew Dalhouse’s colors and Dave Sharpe’s letters work off of each other quite well with the same tones at work both in the panel in and in the word balloons. Blues and red dominate when the War Mothers are the focus while earthly greens represent the tribe. This makes it feel like they are almost in different worlds and emphasizes the distance the tribe must still cross.
If you are not a fan of the 4001 AD, there may not be much here for you, but this issue made me care about the characters more than I did before. It is not perfect, but the last issue’s overall motif of motherhood is complicated and that is something that this mini-series needed. Of course, established fans will not want to miss it. We truly are on the edge of the journey’s end.
WAR MOTHER #3 (of 4)
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by STEPHEN SEGOVIA