When Fred Van Lente Day began, it was celebrated by the traditional review of a bunch of Fred Van Lente comic books. So we’re keeping that tradition alive with a review of his recently completed War Mother miniseries for Valiant. War Mother debuted during Valiant’s 4001 A.D. event with a one-shot. You see, in the future, things are sort of set-up, Jetsons-style, with rich people in the clouds and the dregs of society stuck on Earth. Ana is the “War Mother,” a highly trained operative of “The Grove” who is sent out to get the mechanical supplies that the community needs to survive. Her name is an ironic moniker. Since they can’t risk any biological matter reaching them from the outside, Ana is specifically barren. The community, though, provided her with a husband and a child. When she went on her mission in her one-shot, she encountered a young boy from the clouds. When she tried to bring him back, she was rebuffed, so she refused to return. The leader of the Grove then tried to kill her, but luckily Ana’s sentient weapons system (she gets a new sentient weapons system on every mission) stuck by her and killed him instead.
The miniseries sees what has happened since Ana has dramatically changed the society of the Grove. Without the leader providing the Grove with vegetation (his providing the vegetation was how he got to be the leader in the first place), their home is dying, so when a distress signal comes mentioning a new place to live, the people of the Grove want to go there. Ana insists that she check it out first, though. Then things get messy…
This is a miniseries filled with tough conflicts. Ana’s sentient weapons system is dealing with the difficulties of HAVING sentience and it is learning how to fear and doubt and stuff like that. Meanwhile, Ana’s own people are beginning to doubt her, including her own husband (the son she adopted from up top is also plotting against his new “father,” because he does not trust his motives). Stephen Segovia and Roberto De La Torre provide the art for the series, with colors from Andrew Dalhouse and Elmer Santos.
I really like just how messed up the questions are of who we SHOULD root for. Ana is clearly the hero, but her husband was taken from his ACTUAL spouse and forced to be with Ana, so can we really blame him for not being thrilled with that? Their “son” is the son he had with another woman! Can we really look down upon him for carrying on an affair with his original spouse? It’s interesting stuff.
This is a strong miniseries with fine artwork and a lot of strong humor, too, from the sentient gun, Flaco.
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