INCURSION [Review]: Welcome to the Deadside.

INCURSION #1 – Valiant Comics
“Reverend” Ryan Ford

Imagine, if you will, a world unlike another. A world in which the dead are alive and demons lie in wait, offering transport to far off regions of an unexplored and uncultivated universe. A world that is not for existing, but a tool for travel — and annihilation. Welcome to the Deadside.

Valiant’s latest expansion into the Beyond Initiative brings the fight home with a reincarnated warrior and a geomancer — a human in touch with and able to control the very Earth around her. Together they hope to rid the universe (and all realities) from an evil conquerer hellbent on destroying life so that she may retain immortality. This is the work of acclaimed writers Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel. While the initial concept is fairly straight forward, trying to figure out where the plot goes next is like trying to determine the hidden image of a Magic Eye poster by a single dot (A schooner is a sailboat!).

Lots of little details peppered into the story — either verbally or visually — create a rich tapestry of history, both past and present, that expand outward into a viable universe. Nevertheless, as was previously alluded to, this is one convoluted comic. It may take an issue or two for those not familiar with Deadside cannon to get the gist of what’s going, though by no means does that reduce the entertainment factor.

One major highlight of the issue is the artwork. Doug Braithwaite does such a phenomenal job bringing the story to life through a stylization and color palate the rivals some of those Dutch masters that constantly appear as Jeopardy! answers. Stunning, life-like, and moving are all apt descriptions. For this factor alone, the series is worth a read.

As a whole, however, Incursion #1 gets off to an ambiguous beginning. There are elements reminiscent of other notable works which provide context and comparison. To me, your Righteous Reverend and future Mr. Fantastic, the most prominent is the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. And, much like the master of macabre, there’s a whole lot of junk that ain’t gonna make sense until all is said and done. Until that time, sit back and enjoy the pretty pictures. 3.75/5 Bibles.

-Ryan Ford

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