New Comic Wednesday Review: WAR MOTHER #2
WAR MOTHER #2 OF 4 (Valiant Entertainment, September 27 release date) Writer: Fred Van Lente. Artists: Stephen Segovia and Roberto De La Torre. Color Artist: Andrew Dalhouse. Letterer: Dave Sharpe.
Background: Last year (in the 4001 A.D. limited series and one-shots) we were introduced to Ana a.k.a. War Mother, who served as chief warrior and resource collector for The Grove, a communal village established in the aftermath of the 4001 A.D. devastation. Ana is assisted in her endeavors by Flaco, a huge symbiotic sentient rifle that holds conversations with her and acts as unofficial advisor.
After introducing us to more characters and establishing the story thread in Issue #1, Issue #2 wastes no time in getting right to the action and suspense. In searching for a new residence for The Grove, Ana discovers the remains of The Montana, a residential high rise that appears to provide a safe and secure shelter. As soon as Ana contacts The Grove with directions to The Montana, she is taken prisoner beneath the sub levels underneath the complex.
Following an impressive splash panel with Ana bound and suspended by ropes above the floor level, she gains freedom from her bonds through the remote assistance of Flaco. They’ve been separated and Ana tries desperately to find him, encountering the strange and deadly inhabitants of the Montana sublevels.
Flaco is going through some changes, and experiences separation anxiety, fear, and envy. A cruel Grove schoolmate plants seeds of doubt within young Ignacio who learns some disturbing truths about his mother Ana.
BC RATING SYSTEM
STORY: There is plenty here to satisfy lovers of well-designed action scenes. What makes this issue and the story exceptional is the secondary story of Ana’s relationships with Flaco, her family, and conflicts between duty to her loved ones versus duty to The Grove and her programming. 2 POINTS.
ART: Van Lente lets the illustrations tell the story through the action scenes with no dialogue (since the antagonists are silent or limited in speech) and no captions to clutter up the panels. The fight scenes really stand out and shine, thanks to some great color work. 2.5 POINTS.
COVER: I’m a sucker for David Mack’s impressionistic covers. The other choices are just as good. 2 POINTS.
READ AGAIN? I certainly will, once I have all 4 issues. And I expect to enjoy it again. 1 POINT.
RECOMMEND? A great adventure story with engaging character conflicts. 1 POINT.
TOTAL RATING: 8.5 POINTS. Well above average, and worth picking up.