The last time we saw Jane Foster take arms, we learned many new things about what it meant to be Thor, but it seems that this was only the beginning of our journey into myth. The next step is Valkyrie, and the first issue proved to us that we apparently know very little about this mantle, role, and responsibility. Having this experience with Jane Foster so far has been exciting because we are all sharing in the same sense of wonder, as well as terror when one of the last people on Earth who should ever hold a weapon of Asgard is now building up a new body count.
Issue #2 picks up right where the last one left off, and boy was there chills from the reminder of what was at stake in this moment. When initially they said that Bullseye would be her first villain encounter, I didn’t think too much of it. This guy who is good at using any weapon, but only really has access to human weapons? What kind of danger could he really be to anyone with Asgardian power? I’m glad that I was so quickly proven wrong in that assumption. It was exiting to see just how dangerous he could be when he has Asgardian steel in his hands. What he did to Heimdall as a start was the best way to set the tone for everything else to follow. This attack on the two was also interesting for the fact that so quickly Jane could be hit with an inner conflict about who she is versus who she needs to be in the moment. Being Valkyrie is much different from being the doctor or Thor. As she is right now, there was a duty and responsibility to uphold. One which Bullseye was challenging in every way.
How the fight ended was heartbreaking. You knew that Jane was ultimately going to find a way to overcome this challenge, but that was not without the hard lesson in what it means to be a Valkyrie. This position she was put in forced her to genuinely acknowledge what it means not to be able to save everyone. As a doctor you save lives, but as a Valkyrie, you guide the dead. And prevent death if possible.
As the first villain, Bullseye was as well a thrill because he is one who really enjoys what he does best. Someone else may be pulling his strings, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is not a villain that you take down so easily. While he is primarily a combatant, being an assassin also meant that he is someone who is quick on his feet. Always looking for how to turn a situation into an opportunity. Seeing Jane learn this the hard way was terrifying since this meant fighting the guy on more than one front. How do you beat someone who already knows how to beat you based on just your moral compass?
Aside from this, it was just awesome how they really used this first arc to create The God of the Kill. Who would have thought that it was as simple as the sword of a Valkyrie finding its way in the hands of a villain.
This art team’s work was stunning. From the flip of the first page I found myself blown away by the quality of work between CAFU’s pencils, and Jesus Aburtov’s colors. What I truly appreciated about their combined work is that we are left with the same impression as when Esad Ribic was drawing Mighty Thor. The interiors were so beautifully rendered that this looked like an epic in motion. Maybe not to the same scale, but could you ask for anything better? I surely could not. Just that first panel was so engaging for the level of detail that CAFU could bring out in a face having the right perspective. The colors brought out such an intensity in her piercing red eyes, yet at the same time the more tame colors capture an organic glow to her and other characters they focused on. Don’t even get me started on that psychotic grin they pulled off for Bullseye. If a face could say a thousand words, his did. Overall, there was so much exciting about the way this series of action sequences were carried out. There was an art to it, no pun intended.
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #2 introduced us to a new kind of god, and he unarguably gives most enemies that Jane has faced so far a run for their money. They definitely proved that Bullseye had the power to bring a god to their knees, and didn’t waste the opportunity to show it. In only two issues, this creative team successfully found a way to bring this new hero to a boiling point. There was no better time than now to question where Jane Foster ends and Valkyrie begins.