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WAR MOTHER #4

by Thegreatmagnet on November 30, 2017

Writer: Fred Van Lente       
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Color Artist: Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: Valiant Comics
 
When Valiant introduced War Mother she was immediately touted as the next big deal. So much so, in fact, that they kept her one-shot “classified” when they unveiled last year’s 4001 event (a gimmick that they replicated when announcing the new titles for this year). When the one-shot dropped, Valiant fans’ response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and everyone wanted to see more of this character and the strange future world she inhabits. This title did a good job of developing her character and building her world, even if it didn’t ultimately do much to change the status quo or connect the character with the larger 4001 universe.
 
Perhaps the most significant aspects of this mini-series was to re-set the status quo for War Mother and her tribe. At the end of last year’s one-shot, the Sylvan (the leader and engine of the Grove) is killed, and consequently Grove began to die, forcing Ana to seek a new home for her tribe. The Grove now has a new Sylvan so they have avoided disaster and can return to their old home and way of life. Arguably, the difference is that under Ana’s supervision, the new Sylvan will grow into a benevolent leader, not a tyrant like his predecessor (and admittedly Ana does seem to be a good mother). However, even Ana admittedly allows for the possibility that the new Sylvan will also turn evil, and they must always remain vigilant. He will always be in the crosshairs, just in case. Arguably they are still at the mercy of the Sylvan if they want to remain in their secure shelter. Are they likely to kill him if it’s understood that they’ll be forced out of their home again and into the horrifically savage surrounding area, the Jade? Will Ana continue to lead the tribe and make important decisions now that there is a Sylvan back in place?
 
When considering this final issue, I thought that final battle seemed somewhat anti-climactic. Having learned the nature of the Montana and its guards, Ana was able to dispose of them pretty easily: we see a half dozen shots fired across one double-page spread before we cut to an exterior view of the building melting. Having made a big deal about the Cleansed creating their own replica of War Mother in issue 2, she barely gets any room in this final issue for a final showdown. It’s understandable given all the narrative threads they needed to tie up in this issue, but consequently it lacks a little ooph. Perhaps the takeaway is that Ana is just too badass, and cannot be properly imitated.
 
Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the character development that we’ve gotten for Ana in this series. I think they’ve done a great job balancing her badass warrior moments with her sensitive, maternal side. They’ve also showcased her impressive problem-solving capabilities and grace in the face of danger. They’ve teased a potential bombshell regarding Ignacio and Laura’s relationship, and the true parentage of Ana’s adopted children. What will happen when these revelations are brought to light (assumedly in the next issue)? How much does Ana really depend on her mate for her strength? Her altruism, selflessness and devotion to the tribe are impressive, having won over both Flaco and Max in this series, but will they prevail when she’s confronted by betrayal?
 
The art continues to be very solid. I am a fan of Segovia and his work is attractive and finely detailed. Meanwhile, Dalhouse’s colors are dramatic, bringing to life the strange and creepy environment of the Montana. I’m thoroughly satisfied with the art we’ve gotten from this book.
 
This final issue does a commendable job of tying up the various narrative threads of the miniseries and offering hints of the future, even if it does seem a bit rushed in parts. Ultimately, this miniseries was another tantalizing glimpse at what is shaping up to be a compelling character and a world with lots of potential. I hope that they return to these characters and places soon to build on this foundation.
 

Our Score:

7/10

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