PSI-LORDS #1 [Advanced Review]: Gods At Odds!

Happy Monday, geeks and geekettes! Coming in from the land of Down Under, our Luke Anderson takes a look at a tite from one of the finest independent publishers out there in Valiant Comics. Better yet, this one’s an early one. Yup, Psi-Lords #1 doesn’t drop for another 2 months and change. So, comic geeks, mark this one on your pull-list. Even with that strange AF title, let’s dive right on in!

PSI-LORDS #1 – Valiant Comics
Luke “Hierophant” Anderson @lukeleftlukeisgone

Ah, Valiant Comics. It’s been maybe 7 years since Valiant Comics rebooted and rejoined the publishing world – and it has been a trip so far. Some of the wildest characters, creators, and artists, coming together – unencumbered by decades of continuity – and resulting in some of the coolest comic books I’ve read in my life…. a tradition they continue with Psi-Lords #1.

Reviving yet another old franchise from Valiant’s past, Psi-Lords originally spun out of Magnus, Robot Fighter and Rai. I guess from that bit of background that this new series is set in the 41st-century-era, but there is nothing here to give that away. Four people from Earth awaken in a space prison, and they have “godlike” powers. It’s actually really strange, and gives no hint of what is to come yet other than weirdness and violence, with writer Fred Van Lente playing the locked-room mystery for all it is worth. The characters are weird, the space prison is adversarial, and the comic won’t shy away from violence. That is basically all I can tell you so far.

Looks like the gang’s all here.

Developing this mysterious tale of an oddball team in space is the aforementioned Van Lente, who should be no stranger to Valiant readers, with acclaimed runs on Archer and Armstrong and almost every other title they have. He does fine work here, juggling character intros, action, and intrigue with aplomb; this book should be a blast to read like his books usually are.

The art is suitably epic and edgy, as Renato Guedes (Batman, Wolverine, lots of titles) seems to strike a weird balance between the fluid and bold shapes of both Kirby and Moebius simultaneously, and a messy, ink-blotted and textured realism like Bill Sienkiewicz or Simon Bisley. The already bizarre characters –mainly their personalities and powers– read like total outsiders in their hands, and action sets them further at odds with the situation they find themselves in. Like the book, I can’t give too much away. This book is strange and benefits from going in knowing as little as possible…

Coinciding with Valiant’s 7th year, and leading up to their inevitable summer crossover event, Psi-Lords #1 shows off Valiant’s house style nicely; the house style being “real comics and not some bullshit cash grab”. Psi-Lords promises to be pretty interesting – perhaps a little too interesting… 4/5 Gods in Heaven.

-Luke Anderson

Pick up Valiant’s Psi-Lords #1 at your local funnybooks store on June 19th.

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