WAR MOTHER #1 Review – The Hero You’ve Wanted, The Hero You’ve Been Waiting For
AUTHOR: Fred Van Lente
ART: Stephen Segovia
COLORS: Elmer Santos/Andrew Dalhouse
LETTERS: Dave Sharpe
COVERS: David Mack, Clayton Crain, Kano, Jen Bartel, Monika Palosz
PUBLISHER: Valiant Entertainment
Ana – a.k.a. War Mother, is back and I couldn’t be happier! Many Valiant fans have been screaming for more War Mother since her introduction last year during her 4001 A.D. one-shot. A fantastic story about a woman who is her tribes lone warrior. She’s the main resource collector for her city (or Grove) as well and her job has been violent. She is also the only one who is allowed beyond the protective walls that keep the bad elements of that time away, and keeps the people inside safe. If you haven’t read the one-shot, this is your chance! Go read it before you read this. THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE ONE SHOT! It’s easy to get caught up, it’s just one book, and this book picks up right where the last book ended.
In her one-shot, War Mother was sent to explore a downed portion of New Japan, in hopes of finding some new resources. She had been given a weapon, one that is aware and can communicate with her. Through that first adventure, they bonded, as the weapon became her War Son, and she his War Mother. Much like a new born, this weapon needed to be taught the finer things in war, like why it is necessary to kill. Once they reached their objective, Ana was thrown another curve ball, when a young child appeared from the wreckage. Although not stated in the book, there were many questions as to who this child was. Was he an innocent? Was there some underlying evil about him? Was he Father, reincarnated? Upon returning, the leader of the tribe tried to have Ana killed. It all backfired on the leader, when Ana’s War Son killed him to protect her. Ana then became the Grove’s new leader, but the City has fallen on tough times. Food and resources are running scarce, and things have become all together tougher…
I was super excited when several months ago Valiant let out that War Mother would be returning for a mini run. While it still remains a long shot, I would love to see an ongoing book with her in it. Fred Van Lente has taken this new hero and done marvelous things with her. New bad guys have also been thrown into the mix as well. Not quite all animal, and no where close to human, these things are gruesome looking! Fred Van Lente begins by feeding us spoonfuls of story, easing us back into War Mother’s time frame. The world is post apocalyptic, and there are hazards at every turn. He sprinkles in a few twists and turns, never giving us more than we can handle, throwing us a few problem crumbs to boot. Before you know it, you really get a feel for what War Mother has to go through on a daily basis. Between going out and searching for resources, and the problems back at home, her “mothering” seems to be non-stop! Hats off to Van Lente, as the story really lays the ground work for an excellent story!
Artist Stephen Segovia and colorists Elmer Santos and Andrew Dalhouse do a number on this story. From the background art, to seeing Ana’s face, these pages just simply are beautiful! You’d expect things to be darker, but they utilize the idea of the surrounding light to ensure nothing is missed by the eyes. Even indoor dust particles are noted in a few scenes, especially with the larger panels. The action panels are bright and full of color, which lead to a more visual experience. The art alone, in each and ever scene, is fantastic. Sometimes, characters can vary from scene to scene, but this team seems to be all in on exactly what War Mother should look like. She has been made to look every bit heroic, from her landings, the one liners, the expert shots she takes with her War Son, she is a hero, and this team pulled it off!
One of the biggest surprises from the original one shot was the cover art by David Mack. Well, he has been specifically called back into action for cover art on all 4 of the War Mother mini comic books! Let me tell you, they are gorgeous! I love the way David Mack utilizes his water colors mixed in with some simple outlines and drawings. Best part, he gets the cover art on all of the A’s for the series! David isn’t the only one bringing the amazing cover art either, as there are a host of others that are well known. Clayton Crain, Kano, and Monika Palosz are all known artists that have worked a great deal inside Valiant and their titles. Kano’s cover (Sun behind War Mother) really looks amazing, and gives me “An Apocalypse Now” kind of feel, although that movie cover is much darker! Take a look at all of them and enjoy!
Peeps, this story book is fantastic, and the story is only gonna grow in intensity the further the book moves along. I for one am excited that it’s War Mother’s time to shine, and I know she will!