Forgotten Queen, Vol. 1

Tini Howard and Amilcar Pinna. Valiant, $9.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-68215-324-6
Howard (the Assassinistas series) introduces a fierce new female lead in Vexana the War-Monger, an acid-tongued, immortal mystic with a deadly gift, who wreaks havoc from Ancient Mongolia to the present day. But what starts as a sorcerer’s origin narrative strays into a tragic failed romance, and never quite strikes the right balance to keep readers invested. Vexana, a mysterious Sumerian woman, gains favor with Genghis Khan by wielding her powers to ignite homicidal bloodlust in his warriors, spurring mortal combat between fellow soldiers and even Cain and Abel. But when she falls for a female heir of Khan (“Of all the chaos the War-Monger had sown... there was no match for the chaos she felt when she fell in love”), it sets off a centuries long conflict. A present-day, ill-fated deep-sea research mission, tracking desert artifacts in the ocean, raises up the War-Monger, but that plot leads nowhere, and clichéd alternating timelines and a subplot involving Vlad the Impaler spin in too many other directions. Pinna (the Generation X series) wonderfully renders all the vivid bloodlust and fury. But, while this dark character study will appeal to fans of swords and sorcery and the Valiant universe looking for more diverse and queer-friendly casts, it’s too flawed to hold out for a second volume to solve its plot issues. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/18/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Comics
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