Valiant Recap: Dead Drop #2, Imperium #5

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This week’s Valiant titles includes more nefarious dealings by Toyo Harda in Imperium, while X-O Manowar passes the baton over to young Archer over in the second installment of Dead Drop.

Dead Drop #2

Ales Kot and Adam Gorman continue their ticking time-bomb thriller in Dead Drop #2. After X-O Manowar failed to stop the mysterious group of individuals carrying an alleged biological weapon, the mission has been handed over to one of Valiant’s youngest heroes, Archer. The transition from Aric to Archer means a shift in the book’s tone, as Dead Drop #2 is an inherently more comical issue than what was presented last month.

The title’s antagonist was initially presented as a mysterious and resourceful terrorist organization, but Dead Drop #2 cast doubt on its maliciousness. Given recent world events, it’s easy to draw parallels between this title and the public distrust of law enforcement and the government establishment. The message is clearer in this issue, but its effectiveness is muddied by inconsistent tone.

Imperium #5

Joshua Dysart is joined by veteran artist Scot Eaton to launch the second arc of Imperium – “Broken Angels”. Dysart uses the issue to tell the same story from two different perspectives. The first half of the book is told from the perspective of Project Rising Spirit CEO Morris Kozol has moved operations aboard the most secure, badass-looking submarine around. Despite the presence of psionic dampeners, Kozol remains paranoid that an attack from Valiant’s resident supervillian Toyo Harada is imminent.

His paranoid is well founded, as readers are presented in the back half with the same events from Harada’s perspective. Delightfully malicious, Harada has found a way around Kozol’s “top notch” defenses. Dysart pacing makes the reveal quite effective without giving away Harada’s endgame. Unfortunately, once the reveal is made, the remainder of the book feels like a retread of the first half with only minor difference. Still, this is a solid start to what looks to be another winner from Valiant.


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