WAR MOTHER #1
The broken world depicted in WAR MOTHER #1 from Valiant Comics is not one to be taken lightly. Fred Van Lente drops readers right into the chaos with Ana, the War Mother of The Grove, on a mission to determine if a slight glimmer of hope is worth moving her people on a dangerous trek. Ana is a warrior and recently killed Sylvan, the former ruler of the Grove who treated it more like a prison than a safe haven. It was his connection to the Grove that kept it alive and without him it has started to wither. Starving people become desperate and desperate people latch on to hope. In this case hope is an ancient broadcast promising food and shelter, it is too much of a lure to simply ignore so Ana sets out on her own with her sentient rifle Flaco to see if it is safe. To nobodies surprise, it is not…
I love a good post apocalyptic tale and this one has it all. A strong female lead, a broken world, warring factions, monsters, cyborgs, and a group of people willing to risk it all just to survive. Fred Van Lente casts a fascinating main character in Ana. She is strong, composed, and driven but she is far more comfortable on her own in battle than she is being the leader of a group of people. It is a great dichotomy that has been used countless times before but when it is done well it is a blast to read. She reminds me of Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. A warrior by trade thrust into the role of protector. The cast that surrounds her gives her focus and regret. A young adopted child to protect and a lover who lives in his woman’s shadow. The writing is strong and the world building and plot were extremely well done using the entire first issue to expertly set the table for things to come.
Pencils on this title come from Stephen Segovia and they are really something special. His style is clean with lots of detail in the foreground and a nice use of effects to slightly blur that which is in the distance. The interesting thing about this world he has created is that the fall of civilization happened so long ago that nature is beginning to reclaim the steel structures of the world. Instead of a sea of brown and grey deserts this wasteland offers a nice touch of green. The world might look slightly softer but it is still very dangerous. Valiant Comics is just killing it lately with top tier talent on both words and art on so many books. From their shared universe to titles like WAR MOTHER #1 that exist outside of their main story the quality of content from this publisher is second to none and I will continue to extol their virtues until people get tired of listening to me talk about what they are missing out on. Pick this title up, if you are into science fiction stories without the capes it is a must read.