The world of 4001 A.D. gets even bigger! Hopefully you are ready to see more of how the ground-dwellers in Valiant’s future era survive the faux post-apocalyptic Earth they live on.
There must be a subset of Valiant fans that are really getting a kick out of this summer’s 4001 A.D. world building exercise. I am not one of them. The exploits of Rai in the main event mini-series are exciting enough, but many of these one-shots just aren’t able to compel. There is possibly an argument for this being a good jumping on point for new readers, due to minimal explicit ties to the almost five years of current Valiant Universe continuity. However, as far as I’m concerned, it isn’t interesting enough to entice newcomers, and it isn’t grounded in continuity enough to satisfy loyal fans.
It’s probably fair to call me a Fred Van Lente fan. I’ve enjoyed all of his previous work at Valiant, so much that I consider his Ivar, Timewalker to possibly be the high point of the whole relaunch. I am also really enjoying his Weird Detective series over at Dark Horse. I have no doubt of Van Lente’s talent, but I don’t see his usual witty personality present in 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1. There is a funny joke about conception about mid-way through. Other than that, we have a straightforward story about a woman challenging authority on the basis that morality trumps legality.
Tomas Giorello’s art is decent in this issue. Nothing really stands out as particularly bad, but on the other hand, nothing is exceptional either. It gets the job done, but lacks a sense of vitality that this book as a whole is missing. Giorello’s panel layouts are surprisingly non-standard, and help provide some sense of individuality or style to the book.
Brian Reber’s colors are probably the high point of the issue. He includes plenty of variety, never settling for a wash of neutral tones despite the grittier setting of the book. This isn’t a surprise given Reber’s solid record both within Valiant and without.
It might be starting to sound like 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is a terrible book. It actually isn’t, it’s just in the unfortunate state of being completely mediocre. I’m not sure that the book knows what it is. I certainly don’t. Im also uncertain who this book is for, other than die hard 4001 A.D. fanatics. There is a caption in the final panel that says “The Beginning”. If this indicates that the story is going to continue, then this issue is certainly not getting me hyped about it. Who knows though, sometimes a rocky start still leads to something great.
4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 is mediocrity incarnate. If you want to collect every Valiant book, or every 4001 A.D. issue then you aren’t getting something terrible here, you just aren’t getting something memorable either.
- Van Lente, Giorello, and Reber have jobs
- Seemingly inconsequential story
- Lacking a sense of vitality