VALEN THE OUTCAST #3 in stores Wed Feb 1st! (Boom! Studios)

By Chuck Suffel

Written by Michael Alan Nelson (@roquesdoodle)
Drawn by Matteo Scalera
Cover (A) Liam Sharp
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
Diamond Code: NOV110826

In a recent review I was lamenting an issue number 4 of a book that had so much plot exposition there was nothing else to the book and after I finished it I still didn’t feel like I had a grasp of what was going on.

Well that’s not a problem here! Valen The Outcast is definitely plot heavy fantasy with all the weird unpronounceable names we’ve all come to expect but it’s done right. The story was really easy to get into and follow. I’d never even heard of this title before this issue and when I finished number 4 I felt I knew the characters, the world and how it worked. Not only that but I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

From Boom!:
“The King is dead — long live the DEAD KING! King Valen Brand was a just ruler and a great warrior until he was killed in battle by the necromancer Korrus Null and resurrected as one of the walking dead. Now he’s considered an abomination in his own realm, an outcast with only one purpose: to restore his lost soul… Valen has slaughtered his former allies, assembled a ragtag band of renegades and smugglers, and cut a path through his war-torn kingdom as a dozen armies vie for his old throne. But when Korrus Null’s right-hand man finally catches up with him, will Valen fall back under the Necromancer’s wicked control? From the mind of fan-favorite creator Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER, ROBERT E. HOWARD’S HAWKS OF OUTREMER) and DEADPOOL artist Matteo Scalera comes OUTCAST, a visceral new ongoing series that’s perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and Conan!

Sounds good right? It really is! The writing is very smooth, character interactions work well and the plot moves nicely. It’s fun to read a book that knows what it wants to be. As for the art, I loved Scalera’s work in Knights of the W.T.F. and while this is a different style his detailed beautiful drawings coupled with Archie Van Buren’s (Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero) inks are just wonderful.

Here’s Matteo Scalera’s cover:

As it says above in the blurb from Boom!, Valen Brand was king, and a good one. First killed and now resurrected he’s on a quest to restore his soul, and his kingdom. The ragtag “team” described above, at this point, consists of a hill-girl and a brigand. Both are solid well nuanced characters and I hope they both stick around a while. I don’t want to spoil the story so I’ll just say it’s a forest chase with all manner of dangers, some from the forest and some from the evil that’s hot on Valen’s tail.

Here’s twos page from the preview just to give you an idea of the art:

Pick up this title or at least check it out at your local shop, it’s a well done addition to the sword and sorcery genre. And check out the links below for the artists’ and writers’ sites, they’ve got some more pages from this and other issues posted!

Micheal Alan Nelson’s blog

Matteo Scalera’s blog


Follow Chuck on Twitter @Chuck_Suffel


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