Valen the Outcast
Story by Michael Alan Nelso and Art by Matteo Scalera
It’s very rare that I pick up a Boom title and like what I’m reading. Oddly, Valen is a title I enjoyed but am unsure if I’ll continue. It’s paced nicely and the art is decent, if slightly campy looking but I’m going to give it a couple more issues and see how it goes. Nelso does a damn good job of laying out this first issue as it is setting up everything for this story. Valen was a king of Oakhaven, murdered in battle, and then bound to a Necromancer. The story opens over random battle, with the current king being slaughtered so his brothers in arms can escape. It’s very valiant but unnecessary to this story unless it’s supposed to come into play later. Bone version of the Witch King shows up on his bone armored horse and seems to be looking for something. Cut scene to an introduction to Valen himself, getting a tattoo from voluptuous brunette, Zjanna. He seeks to mute the Necromancer’s hold long enough to kill him. He travels to a pub where we meet a wonderfully smarmy character named Alexio.
Zjanna is attacked while naked, somehow links up with Alexio and they join Valen on his quest. Valen encounters his brother as they’re leaving town and his brother refuses to believe his brother is alive and not just a dead abomination. This is when it starts to get lame. Valen is standing there, intelligently imploring his brother to listen to him and his brother ignores him and says things like, “DO NOT SPEAK AS IF YOU KNOW OF ME!” There is a wonderful cliffhanger that I’m intrigued by so we shall see how it continues!
The art is interesting. I don’t care too much for the woman character, or her outfit, but i like how they drew the thief, Alexio Cordovan. He oozes con artistry so I’m definitely excited to see more from Matteo Scalera, whether it’s on this title or on another. One particular panel is my favorite as the lighting on Valen is nicely done, and while he’s overly muscle-y, it’s not tacky. I like the grimness of his face.
Long and short of it, flip through it at your LCS, see if you’re into it. I’m on the fence about it which usually means I leave it but you never know, it might grab you!