As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, the same applies to Valen the Outcast. The folks at Boom! deliver a non-stop, action-packed thrill ride in this 8th, and final installment of the Valen Brands’ undead journey to retrieve is soul. It’s not often that one empathizes with an undead monster but Valen is something special. While the conclusion is a bit dry, I wish there were more books like “Valen” on the market.
WRITTEN BY: Michael Alan Nelson
ART BY: Matteo Scalera
RELEASE DATE: August 29th, 2012
At the end of issue 7, it appeared as though all was lost for the forces of good. Zjanna was resurrected to join Valen as an undead minion of the lich Korrus Null. Turns out, this is too good to be true for the millennia old lich, and Zjanna is able to sever Valen’s connection to the lich. Swords have already touched tips, but issue #8 delivers the epic battle that we’ve been waiting for. Valen makes a final attempt to regain his humanity, Zjanna seeks to obliterate the undead spirit of Darlenna, and Cordovan runs into the boy he saved. This issue is designed to get the blood pumping. Battles are raging continuously and the plot twists actually had me dropping my jaw.
At the artistic helm, Matteo Scalera does a fantastic job of bringing Mr. Nelsons ideas to life. This is the kind of great artwork we’ve come too expect since issue #1. The panels are full of detail, clean lines, and involving panel layouts that help to carry out the battle scenes. The transition between drama and fight is seamless. Archie Van Buren’s coloring brings this book to life. The color spotting used for the eyes of the undead creatures is particularly chilling.
The resolution is a bit unsatisfying simply because the series could easily run a few more issues to deliver a real punchy ending. Nelson takes a path that has been tread upon before, diminishing the otherwise unique feel to the series. Perhaps it was inevitable from the get go.
The question remain: will there be more “Valen”? Unfortunately, Michael Alan Nelson told us that this is the end. “Valen the Outcast” is a solid of modern fantasy comics, and it should not be missed by genre fans.
Reviewed by – Green Basterd