SECRET WEAPONS #1
Those with super powers most useful in a fight make up the majority of comic book superheroes but Valiant Comics latest release, SECRET WEAPONS #1, takes a look at those individuals with mundane powers that tend to get lost in the cracks. Eric Heisserer pens this series that focuses on the nobodies, the young children activated by the Harbinger program but whose power sets were deemed unless in combat. These children were sent to The Willows, a place where Harada could keep an eye on his investment while keeping them out of danger. Once Harada leaked the names of all the psiots to the public this facility was raided and the children were forced to flee. Now on their own, mostly living on the streets, these your individuals find themselves being targeted by a mysterious creature of great power. Why he was sent or what the scientist who created wants is still a mystery but one former member of Harada’s inner circle is out to find and protect them no matter the cost.
Heisserer’s script is engaging and quickly paced. There is a lot of information thrown at the reader but never once did I feel weighed down in narration nor was there ever an excessive information dump aimed at the reader to bring them up to speed. Instead the world of the Valiant universe is delivered in small segments of natural dialogue that fit the plot. While those familiar with Valiant will no doubt benefit the most from the stage setting of this first issue those new to the universe will not feel completely lost. Mr. Harada ran the Harbinger program that activated latent powers turning people into Psiots. In a massive leak to the public following the collapse of the Harbinger program these young people instantly became targets from nefarious government agencies and individuals all over the world. This story focuses on four young people who are just trying to peacefully live out their lives. Talking to birds and making objects glow is not going to win any fights but that does not mean they are safe from a world weary of those who are enhanced. I felt that these casts offs were very well written in this issue, they all seemed very ‘normal’ which goes along way towards the reader being able to identify with them. Nothing was overly exaggerated in either direction, they were not afraid and weak nor did they suddenly become capable of amazing heroic deeds.
Artists Raul Allen and Patricia Martin have put together a comic book that is beautiful to look at. This is, by far, one of THE best looking books to come out of Valiant Comics and I hope these two continue to find work and success in future releases because it is definitely deserved. Each panel is packed with detail, characters emote realistically, action movement from panel to panel is fluid, and the colors really pop off the page. SECRET WEAPONS #1 might be a hard sell to new readers but I really do hope it succeeds and finds an audience. I have long been a champion of Valiant Comics and the world they have woven together. This book reminds me of the various X-men stories over the years that highlight under powered mutants who are still hunted and discriminated against for nothing more than being different. This series looks like it could find a real heart so please check it out the next time you are at World’s Coolest Comics and if you like it there is a huge world of Valiant characters to dig into.