A unique offering from Valiant comics, War Mother #1 has some truly gorgeous art and color work (thanks to artist Stephen Segovia and colorist Elmer Santos). Both the backgrounds and close-up characters are spectacularly rendered, and the character designs are unique and incredibly visually engaging. Ana’s outfit, hairstyle and ripped physique really give her the feel of a hardcore professional soldier or mercenary and her tattoos are unique without being overly complicated. There’s a lot of interesting tech in this comic as well, particularly Ana’s gun, Flaco, which is bonded to her and has a sentience of its own.
The comic also attempts a lot of very ambitious world building. Ana has recently liberated her people from a dictator called Sylvan, who once exerted total control over their homeland (known as “the Garden) using his ability to control plants. The world is interesting and unique, because it’s not simply another cookie-cutter dystopia narrative (like Walking Dead or Mad Max) People still have access to technology and are cooperating with one another, there are still rules and a sense of order to society. It’s obvious that the creators put a lot of thought and planning into the setting, and all of the visuals really help to build an engaging, believable world.
The dialogue and other writing in the comic, however, are probably the weakest elements. The comic opens with a prologue that doesn’t give you any information that isn’t repeated in the comic or do anything to set the opening scene. And in an attempt to immerse you in the world of “War Mother” the writing throws a lot of jargon and universe-specific terms without proper definitions at you and sort of expects you to figure it out. Of course, jargon and universe-specific terms are essential to building a world, but they need to be introduced properly for readers to internalize and remember them. The dialogue overall is a bit weak as well, with characters not always speaking in the most natural way.
Still, the fantastic art and fascinating setting more than makeup for the mediocre interior writing and “War Mother #1” is a pretty promising first issue. If you’re looking for a fresh science fiction comic with spectacular art, a dynamic protagonist and unique setting, you should think about giving War Mother #1 a try.
Art: 5 Stars
Cover: 4 Stars
Plot/World Building: 4.5 Stars
Dialogue: 3 Stars
TOTAL Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by STEPHEN SEGOVIA
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment