Valiant Comics’ Incursion No. 1 review: An epic landscape of monotony


Valiant Comics debuts Incursion, a new series featuring the return of the Eternal Warrior, who is entrusted with protecting a young girl, and the Earth, from the Deadside.

Incursion No. 1

Writer: Andy Diggle, Alex Paknadel

Artist: Doug Braithwaite

Incursion No. 1 cover (Credit: Valiant Comics)

On an alien world, Imperatrix Virago has unleashed an infection on the planet, decimating its ecosystem. Though one of her scientists pleads with her to stop, Virago is unwilling to let go of the power the infection yields her. Instead she eyes a new realm to conquer in the latest Valiant Comics limited series, Incursion No. 1.

This realm is none other than Earth, where the Eternal Warrior Gilad has been tasked with protecting a young Geomancer. Tama is a young girl who is very attached to the environment around her, so much so that the animals Gilad kills for food come back to haunt her in the realm of the dead – called Deadside – questioning her about their murder.

While Tama squabbles with Gilad over food, Virago’s actions in another part of the galaxy are going to affect the girl. Through the mysterious world of the Deadside, Virago sends her associate, Syntilla to capture Tama. Can Gilad save his ward, or will Tama fall prey to the machinations of this evil monster?

For anyone intrigued by the afterlife and eerie landscapes filled with people’s personal demons, the Deadside is enough to pique anyone’s curiosity – if only it would get its day in the sun.

Valiant Comics has been expanding its roster of realms with its BEYOND initiative – after the recently concluded Faith: Dreamside series dove into the Deadside, that world will play a significant role in Incursion as well. In the first issue, the Deadside is mentioned as a conduit, but the creators do not explore it in depth. With only four issues in this series, one hopes that writers Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel will give this dimension more page space.

We received an early review copy of Incursion No. 1 which doesn’t give its epic art the credit it is due. Not everyone will enjoy the grotesqueness on display, but Doug Braithwaite has imbibed plenty from comic and cinematic art of yore to create a vivid and alien landscape for the series. There’s an essence of Lord of the Rings in the sprawling panels, while the alien races that Virago oppresses seem derivative of Marvel’s Kree. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps an injection of imagination wouldn’t be amiss in this series.

Panel from Incursion No. 1 (Credit: Valiant Comics)

Fans of Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, who has been in and out of the Valiant Universe, will be glad to learn that he is back to his brooding best once again. Gilad is burdened with a millennia of memories protecting Geomancers while his own life is put on hold, and one can hardly blame him for being dogged and determined rather than arresting. However, he will have to have more personality if the writers are to maintain a readership for this series.

There were only a couple of panels in Incursion No. 1 that came alive with a wry sense of humor, but because of that reason the humor felt out of place and out of character. Had Diggle and Paknadel undercut some of the darkness in the rest of the book with similarly jovial moments, the reading experience would have been less monotonous.

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If you are a fan of alien battles suffused with medieval politics, this series could be for you. But, the first issue was a bit of a slog with sluggish pacing and lackluster characters. Incursion may become more interesting once it enters the Deadside, but will your patience wear out before that?

Valiant Comics’ Incursion No. 1 is out on February 20.