Book of Death #4

An evil Geomancer has torn the world asunder… The dark puppet master pulling the strings has been unmasked… And the Valiant Universe as we know it is being torn apart… The end is here! 

Now, not even the combined might of the Valiant’s best and brightest can avert the coming apocalypse – not without a sacrifice, that is. Who will pay the ultimate price to avoid the Armageddon promised in the pages of the Book of the Geomancer? And how will it irrevocably change the course of Valiant Universe?

Writer:
Robert Venditti
Artist:
Robert Gill
Doug Braithwaite
Publisher:
Valiant Entertainment

For a series that I’ve been borderline on for it’s entirety, Book of Death ends on a high note. The personal journey of The Eternal Warrior and the Geomancer under his protection comes to an end in a dramatic way I wasn’t expecting. I’m hopeful the changes it instigates will stick, as even in the Valiant line the possibility of Death isn’t one that sticks. Which is a problem for a series called Book of Death!

It was nice to see that the past two event series have been really about small, character driven evolutions. The villain himself is almost superfluous to the whole series to honest, instead acting to make our two leads change as people. One finally comes into their own and where they fit into a world that isn’t their own, whilst the other makes the meaningful choice they were always called up to but failed to in the past.

As a series these themes didn’t always carry on through that well – it really was this issue that introduced those elements and made them mean anything. Each prior issue could have been called a weak attempt ‘refuse the call’ part of the Cambellian myth building motif, but I’m not entirely convinced.

Regardless of if it pulled of it’s themes successfully, the art itself was superb this issue – the best of the series if I’m to be honest. The rich colours of the environment and the wonderful transition as the life is sucked from it by our villain was great to see represented so well on the page. Likewise, the ‘flash forward’ scenes were evocative – I think Doug Braithwaite is doing some of the best artwork in the entire Valiant line at the moment. It’s no wonder he seems to be able to pick and choose what books he is working on at the moment!

As a whole, this issue does what I’ve seen many types of media with weaker middle sections do – go out on a high and hope that makes the audience forget the rest of the work was average. But I much prefer it to not doing that at all!

Book of Death #4 is available from Valiant Entertainment

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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