Valentine, Vol. 1: The Ice of Death

Alex de Campi, Author, Alex De Campi, Author, Alex De Various Artists, Author, Christine Larsen, Illustrator, Cassandra James, Illustrator, Tim Durning, Illustrator, Steven Belledin, Illustrator, Various Artists, Illustrator, Alex De Various Artists, Illustrator
Alex de Campi and Christine Larsen. Image (Diamond, dist.), $24.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-60706-624-8
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Valentine is a Hussar making the frozen and tortuous retreat out of Russia with Napoleon’s forces in 1812. While stumbling homeward through the snow and ice, he encounters a mysterious stranger who entrusts him with a mysterious sword. Soon, Valentine is being pursued by a band of sinister soldiers with glowing red eyes, who shoot and kill him. Valentine is revived soon after by a strange woman and wakes up in a hospital in France completely healed. This promising premise is soon revealed to be a typical magical good versus evil tale, with a man named Roland rescuing Valentine, and revealing the sword is the key to a portal between the human world and a magical one. The book makes for an entertaining adventure, one that indulges in werewolves and vampires, but keeps a steady and exciting pace. Valentine himself is not particularly memorable as a foolhardy soldier, but there are indications that he will grow into a more vivid character as the series continues. The art veers between serious action and a looser, less focused style, occasionally undermining the comic’s tone. Even with these moments of unsteadiness, this work shows promise. (Oct.)
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