Valiant Comics‘ latest event is drawn to a close as Imperatrix Virago has made her way to Earth to absorb the life-force of every living being on the planet. Nothing big at stake here then. Incursion #4 is gripping right from the opening, picking up with a thrilling fight scene between Doctor Mirage and Virago that feels epic as it unfolds. It would be easy for the personality of the main characters to get lost amongst the intergalactic threat, but the perfect writer partnership of Alex Paknadel and Andy Diggle keeps the dialogue fresh while the action maintains the pace.
The artwork in the issue is once again a rich tapestry full of cosmic horrors and violence. Doug Braithwaite, Diego Rodriguez and Leonardo Paciarotti have all masterfully brought this story to life in a way that feels original, yet also cinematic. The scope the artwork has would easily be translatable to the screen. No spoilers, but there’s a particular moment where Tama embraces her Geomancer abilities that’s a true visual treat. The lettering from Marshall Dillon here is perfect too – especially in the conversations between Hwen and Gilad. The issue is downright horrifying when it wants to be, just look out for a certain plant that’s deadlier than it might look. The haunting panel of crows eating some bloody remains has wormed its way into our brains, it’s a small moment but so effective.
As Incursion #4 fully moves into the climactic battle of the event, it suddenly becomes clear how outmatched Virago really is against Tama and the Eternal Warrior, but that doesn’t make her any less intimidating. By the time the story ends, a chilling warning is delivered that teases the audience with a potential future storyline. It raises the question, does the end justify the means? It’ll be interesting to see how Gilad deals with his choice in the issue, given that he was so gravely warned against his solution to beating Virago. Don’t be surprised if that decision comes back to haunt him later down the line…
We said it in our review of the first issue, but the Incursion event is a great way of introducing new readers to the Valiant Universe. While the focus is on Gilad A.K.A. The Eternal Warrior as well as Doctor Mirage, Hwen, Archer + Armstrong, XO-Manowar and Deadman all appear battling Virago’s forces in a fluid way rather than forcing them into the story. If you ever doubted Valiant Comics (and you really shouldn’t!) let this series make you a dedicated convert. Huge intergalactic warfare, spiritual journeys into the afterlife and a kick-ass warrior who doesn’t take no for an answer… What’s not to love?
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Incredible artwork, thrilling battles and a concise issue that neatly finishes off the event but also manages to look to the future in a minimal way? You shouldn't miss this.