Before I start, I just want to point out that I’m a Michael Alan Nelson (MAN) fanboy. I loved his Cthulu stuff, his 28 Days series, his minis with Andrew Cosby – I love his work. So be warned, I may be reading Valen the Outcast #1 through nerd coloured glasses. Having said that, it was everything I expected from a MAN action/fantasy.
MAN’s strong point is his ability to right awesome action comics with characters that are just plain bad-ass. He’s not the most inventive or original writer out there, but he can take a well established narrative formula and tell a tale so fast paced and full of awesome-sauce it’s in danger of being mistaken as a James Cameron film. Valen the Outcast, published by BOOM! Studios, is no exception.
The book is about a king who is killed in battle and raised to life by a necromancer. He is shunned by his previously loyal subjects, and begins a quest to regain his mortal soul. Valen the Outcast is a lot like Conan – dark ages fantasy with strong supernatural elements and a bad-ass male lead. As one would expect from a MAN comic, the action sequences are fantastic, and the comic moves along at break-neck speed.
Mattea Scalera’s art is solid, but can be a bit crowded at times. Every now and then I had to give a panel a second glance, or check which character it was in the frame. Having said that, it serves it’s purpose in telling the story.
Valen the outcast #1 is a great action fantasy comic. If you like Conan, or Slaine from 2000AD, you’ll want to check this out.