Secret Weapons #1
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Artists: Raul Allen, Patricia Martin
Those of you who were able to hold a physical copy of Valiant’s recent runs Britannia or Divinity III, will appreciate the craft that’s gone into the next of Valiant’s prestige format epics, Secret Weapons. Valiant have bagged the huge writing talents of Eric Heisserer, writer of the blockbuster Arrival. And it shows. The language is powerful yet poetic throughout, with dialogue that could have been corny, if penned by a lesser hand.
The series opens with the introduction of a group of Psiots, individuals with dormant powers who have the potential to reshape history itself, with powers such as the power to talk to birds or to conjure random objects. They’ve been been trained to be next level warriors by a shadowy agency and herein lies their dilemma; after failing their training, the cohort have find themselves surplus to requirements and thus, fighting for their lives but with their newly activated skills to hand. All of this occurs under the watchful gaze of Livewire in her first solo series.
There is something clean and modern about the artwork and the use of city maps adds a layer of realism. The colouring is understated and works well to create a sense of suspense. Clever framing also adds to this, with the opening and ending of the book benefiting from a teased out, frame by frame sequence that could have been the idea of Hitchcock himself. All in all, intelligent art presented pragmatically at times.
The publishers have clearly thought hard about this release. In a twenty-four month period that simply couldn’t have gone better for Valiant, they’ve created a book that’s both a great entry level title, and one that doesn’t ignore the old faithfuls. Look out for the odd cross-title reference (do we still call those eggs?) and feel the warm glow of satisfactory smugness. Alternatively, read this for a Valiant title that introduces some of the key concepts within the Valiant universe and open the door to a publisher that doesn’t know the meaning of laurels never mind thinking about resting on them. All in all, a book that pivots on the keyword ‘craftsmanship’.
Secret Weapons #1 will be released on the 28th June 2017.
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