Fred Van Lente doesn’t hold back on the social and domestic issues facing this “liberator, mother, life-giver, fighter.” As one of the covers portrays, his ‘War Mother’ must now become a protector as well. Still, even on the verge of starvation there should be some time to get your groove on. At least War Mother’s husband thinks so. Even with the reality that surrounds him, he still picks a fight where he knows there will be no winner. Then there’s the fact that there is no official leader for this band of humans, since he’s been eliminated. Yes, it was necessary, but the cost is near anarchy, forcing the War Mother to venture out once again. On her journey to find a new home for her village, new dangers arise. With her symbiotic rifle along Mother does what is necessary, but wonders if she’s made the right decision. Within that same moment she’s rudely answered by a violent event.
4001 AD is barely holding on. With the scarcity of inorganic parts the world can barely run. What’s more the relics within Mother’s city have their own hidden terrors. It has you wondering how many ways has humanity tried to extinct itself. From over-depending on technology, to having it fall from the sky like death meteorites there doesn’t seem to be much hope. But Mother is resilient. Let’s not forget her sidekick, Flaco. A gun with a face may have you reliving the ’Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.’ That television show in the 90’s where the mentor of the Rangers’ formless body is encapsulated in an energy tube. Flaco is the voice of reason. It’s also the one that gives Mother the stats on the impossible. While one is logical the other is a risk taker. It makes for funny and tense riddled moments. Especially when people want to strip Flaco down for parts.
That being said, the artwork is as much a part of this first issue as the dialogue. You understand how Flaco comes to life and is a part of Mother. Strange races and the people of the village are also an integral part of the narrative. In one scene, the side glance Mother gives her mate says everything about their relationship. In that moment you understand that their dynamic is not something he appreciates or has accepted. It also doesn’t ease her burden. Saving her people feels tantamount to continuing the human race. There’s so little that is known of this world.
For ‘War Mother’ the continuation of her story is refreshing. As enjoyable as the other characters in the Valiant universe are, the audience doesn’t need another crossover. Let new characters have a foundation and establish a plausible future for the ones that are already in the present. Besides while reading you’re not going to think that she needs anyone’s help.