A special BOOK OF DEATH retailer incentive! The true history and lineage of the Geomancers – revealed here in an all-new series of never-before-seen stories from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) and artist Juan Jose Ryp (Ghosted) that won’t be collected for the trade paperback!
Out of the pages of BOOK OF DEATH, the genesis of the very first Geomancer and the sacred pact that swore them to the service of the Earth can finally be told…but, with it too, the source of the divine mysteries that have haunted their line for centuries. Has their mission redeemed or corrupted the world that followed in their wake…and will the ultimate secrets of the Geomancers’ book doom us all in the end?
Fred Van Lente
Juan Jose Ryp
‘Retailer incentive’. Those words are going to haunt this review and possibly Valiant themselves. For what is ostentatiously a completely throwaway title, sprinkled in to try and pressure retailers into buying more of a certain line, it’s interesting how I enjoyed my time reading this issue more than the main Book of Death series itself.
Not that the series itself is a marvel. But compared to its parent, this comic has character motivations, really fun art and a sense of pacing. That’s all that should be expected of a comic book at a basic level. That art though – Juan Jose Ryp has come along since I last looked at his artwork in depth, his interior artwork more in line with his recent work on The Walking Dead than those overly messy and gratuitous covers for Avatar.
Which means that everything flows quite well from panel to panel. It is still a little odd to compare the two series side by side as I did find myself wondering why this series exists, as even by Valiant’s standards, there isn’t really any link between this series and anything else in the line. Perhaps that’s a good thing though, as Fred Van Lente is free to plot his own course a bit more.
Overall, there’s a lot of good things to recommend about this first issue. It’s just a shame it will be so hard to get hold of. Hopefully it will be collected at some point, so you too can enjoy a shaman kicking ass in a prehistoric world.
Images courtesy of 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.