What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about King In Black: Return Of The Valkyries #1! If there was one thing I looked forward to most from the King in Black event? It had to be this book right here. If you know me, then you know that I have been a huge fan of these Jane Foster stories as of late. Whether it was her time as the Mighty Thor, or as the assumed last Valkyrie, her stories have been worth the investment. And now the story might be evolving where we will have the return of the Valkyries in the Marvel Universe? There was no way I was missing out on this!
So first thing’s first. As a tie-in to King in Black, what did you need to know before jumping into this story? The good truth is that you didn’t need to know much outside of the fact that Knull has killed the Sentry, and and as the Valkyrie it is Jane Foster’s job to escort his soul to the next place. That is the kind of tie-in I enjoy because the connection is both simple and straightforward. It always becomes problematic if the creative team is expecting you to be caught up with what’s happening in the main story of the event. Not everyone wants to invest in that. You could easily be a reader like me who just wants to read a Valkyrie story. And the most that will be expected of us after that is knowing that in the issues to come Jane must rebuild the Valkyries to help stop the King in Black.
Now as a Valkyrie book, I also admired the effort this creative team put into giving us a quick re-introduction to who Jane Foster is as the Valkyrie. Some might say that we all know her story by now, though it makes sense for them to also be considerate of those who are completely new to the world of Valkyries. The only place where there might be confusion is during the journey to the other side between life and death. Even I was a bit thrown off at that part because things were happening that we just had to take for what it was. Though outside of that, I did enjoy the fact that we have a book which shows us that the escort can be a bumpy ride if you run into the wrong inhabitants of that plane.
That said, where things got interesting for this first issue was our first introduction to this new Valkyrie. Who also isn’t too new either. What I liked about this Valkyrie is the story told so far which gives you the impression that they are trying to give us the Valkyrie from the Thor movies, yet at the same time make this version of the character a bit more unique to the books. That is in the sense that we are getting a deeper story beyond just knowing that this was one of the last Valkyries to survive a tragedy. We understood the kind of Valkyrie she was outside of battle, and the kind of person she was outside of that life in general.
This was the first time where I have read a book with art from Nina Vakueva, and I do have to say that I was impressed with the interior work from her, and the colors from Tamra Bonvillain too. I know that there will be some readers out there who might struggle a bit going from the artwork we did get from the solo book to this, but honestly this was solid work for everything this art team was able to capture through a Valkryie’s lens. Especially when it came to both the action scenes, and such scenes where it made a difference to see that intensity which changes in Jane when she gets serious. It never gets old seeing the different weapons she makes use of in combat, or even the way she adapts between flying with the horse or using her own wings. The enemy which she encounters while escorting Sentry was also terrifying for the shape it took on. The last thing you ever expect to see is a Valkyrie taking on some mechanical undead horror. Not a beat was skipped either detailing its composition which pulled right out of the innards of a Godly entity.
In the end, I was overall satisfied with the first issue of King In Black: Return Of The Valkyries. Aside from that one plot point which wasn’t entirely clear, this is the Valkryie story we have all been waiting for a long time now.