Valkyrie: Jane Foster #2 // Review
Dragonfang: a sword that was literally carved out of the tooth of an extra-dimensional dragon. It’s been around in the pages of Marvel comics for decades. It’s probably one of the most deadly archaic weapons in the whole of the Marvel Universe. Now it’s being wielded by Bullseye: a superhuman assassin who can turn ANYTHING into a deadly weapon. One person is standing between him and total carnage. Things open on a very dramatic note in the second issue of Jane Foster: Valkyrie. Writers Jason Aaron and Al Ewing write another chapter brilliantly brought to the page by artist CAFU (Carlos Alberto Fernandez) aided by colorist Jesus Aburtov. Aaron and Ewing continue to explore the mind of Jane Foster as she learns a bit more about the nature of her powers and the responsibilities that they carry.
An infamous assassin appears on the back of a pegasus wielding a magical sword. Good thing he’s flying into battle with a woman theoretically capable of putting him down. The Assassin in question has just run the sword through the chest of Asgardian god Heimdall. Jane Foster will not allow this act to go unavenged. If she is to successfully navigate the battle, she’s going to have to learn a little something about herself. Death will most certainly be involved in the outcome.
Having set-up the premise for the series in the first issue, Aaron and Ewing settle into an issue-long conflict for Valkyrie #2. Typical issue-long superhero combat might involve a hell of a lot of dialogue. Aaron and Ewing move in the direction of allowing Jane Foster’s inner monologue to drive almost the entire battle. Bullseye gets a few wanton words in around the corners of the action, but the vast majority of the text in the issue comes directly from Foster’s thoughts. The resulting issue-long combat feels like a very close embrace with the hero. This may be 20 pages of very kinetic action, but there’s very, very deep drama driving it throughout.
CAFU delivers the drama with an epic, Wagnerian impact. The sense of fantastic blends seamlessly with the contemporary realism of modern Manhattan. Though she’s a mortal at heart, Foster carries herself like an avenging god with overwhelming power. The vividness of Foster’s emotion radiates from page and panel whether she’s in the heart of combat or solemnly dealing with its aftermath. It’s a very striking visual package of kinetics and aggression given extra weight, radiance, and depth by the equally brilliant color work of Jesus Aburtov.
The heaviness of the action in the issue launches the series into its third issue with a line that could have come across as very silly melodrama. The issue packed more than enough punch on more than enough levels to really give that final line of the issue all the justification it needs. It’s only the name of the title Thor first appeared in. But Aaron, Ewing, and company give it a whole new life as Jane Foster is launched in a bold direction for her third issue.