4001 A.D.: WAR MOTHER #1 (Valiant Entertainment, release date August 03, 2016) $3.99, 32 pages. Writer: Fred Van Lente. Artist: Tomas Giorello. Color Art: Brian Reber. Letterer: Dave Sharpe.
WAR MOTHER packs a ton of story into a one-shot issue. Readers won’t be disappointed. More likely, they will be clamoring for more. Hopefully, there is an ongoing WAR MOTHER series somewhere on The Future Of Valiant horizon. It’s a great story, full of promise. The amazing art brings the futuristic fringe society and the surrounding environment to dramatic life. This certainly deserves to be a limited series, at least.
WAR MOTHER spins off from the current 4001 A.D. limited series and cross-over event in several Valiant books (especially RAI). However, it’s not necessary to read those books in order to understand or enjoy the events in this standalone issue.
The Earth of the 41st century is mostly a barren wasteland. The nation of Japan separated from Earth long ago, and now orbits the Earth as New Japan, a floating country in space. There are few natural resources left on Earth and the surviving small communities struggle to survive. One outpost has survived by keeping to a strict policy of isolation. They only send residents outside of their walled city when they need to hunt for supplies from the devastated countryside. War Mother (Ana) is the primary scavenger for her community. She’s a one-woman army utilizing a sentient sniper rifle. As the cover art indicates, she’s a hunter, a protector, a mother, and a warrior - - - and when she gets out on a mission, she’s a total bad ass!
During the conflict between the ruling artificial intelligence of New Japan (Father) and Rai, city-sized sections of New Japan are broken off and jettisoned into space. Large chunks of these fall to the barren Earth. Ana is called out to conduct some mega-salvage and recover any useful inorganic material - - metals, plastics and circuitry. As she departs, she is reminded of the community’s edict: “return home with nothing living."
During the course of the mission, various sections of the planet are revealed as well as various threats from other scavengers and predatory creatures. Ana and her intelligent rifle (she has named it Flaco) develop a friendship and mutual respect. As might be expected, there is more than inorganic material to be salvaged/rescued from the fallen city section - - which puts Ana in conflict with the ruling party of her community.
Great character development. A fully-realized and imaginative world. Incredible illustrations. An intriguing new character in Ana, War Mother. We hope there is more. Recommended.
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