Brightest Daycare

Book of Death #1 Review & **SPOILERS**

review postRyan ClarkComment
 Book of Death #1 cover C by Clayton Crain

Book of Death #1 cover C by Clayton Crain

Valiant has really stepped up their game in the realm of events- The Valiant was a very solid four-issue arc, and I really liked both the story and the publication choices that Valiant made to have that series stand out on the shelf- I loved the heavy cardstock cover, and the matte finish, it really made the book really feel unique (I especially loved the subtle ghosted images on the inside covers of each issue as well). The Valiant really helped me to get over my dislike of the Eternal Warrior character- I had written a less than flattering review of the first volume of the rebooted series, and I had pretty much written off the character since that time. But after picking up the first issue of The Valiant because of Jeff Lemire and that unique presentation of the issue, I started to come around on Eternal Warrior, and I got onboard Valiant’s fast moving event train.

The Valiant isn’t necessarily “required reading” for this event, but it sure doesn’t hurt- the accessibility hurdle for both this and The Valiant are rather low, because they start from the ground up and let each character have their own bit of narrative exposition to tell us enough about the character to care about them. I really liked how this issue gave a little bit of a prologue with characters and places that are (seemingly) not directly connected to the story at large, but that are just helpful in setting up what is happening in this world- a boy is playing in his backyard, covered in small animals- rodents, vermin, insects and the like- and his mother discovers this and is horrified. Pair that with this boy (named David)’s rather euphoric reaction to all this attention from these animals, and it is safe to say it is more than just a bit unsettling. Couple that scene with one of a tactical squad of soldiers making their way through an abandoned town, only to find every citizen of the town- dead and impaled on a monstrously oversized tree.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this issue, but I knew that there would obviously be plenty of killing involved- I mean, cmon, the series is CALLED “The Book of Death”, what could you have expected? But there was quite a bit of death in this issue, and there promises to be a lot more death before it is all over. I wonder how things with the **SPOILERS** Geomancer from the future and this shadowy evil figure who has control over David and his animal power will play out. Not to mention that Eternal Warrior and X-O Manowar are quite at odds in this story as well- and there is enough conflict to go around, several times over.

The story so far has been quite good; enough backstory to tell you who everyone is, and to give you a bit of a framework of their intentions in the grand scheme of things- but still enough space in the story to build a more pressing immediate concern. I am very hopeful that Valiant’s efforts are, in fact- Valiant, and that they succeed in putting out a solid, and very effective four-issue event book that tells a meaningful story that isn’t just wiped away with yet another reboot in six months…

I have started to come around more to Valiant books lately- though I do miss my Quantum & Woody book, I hope that their series comes back again soon, because I really miss those rascally goofballs. I still need to read “Quantum and Woody Must Die” because I like to still have something out there left yet to read in case they never do come back. It is probably hoping in vain that they end up in Book of Death, but the story doesn’t really need them- it doesn’t really feel like the kind of story that would benefit from the 3 Stooges-esque comedic relief that Q&W provide.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story, the artwork was stellar, and the presentation of the book is something I wish more people would put into their events- I mean we are already paying a premium for most of these standalone event books, so why not FEEL like we are getting something more for that extra expense??? This book could really wind up being something huge in scope, and crazy in it’s outcome, so I hope plenty of people are reading this, because I have a feeling that THIS will end up being the REAL Book of Death, before all is said and done…