Rarely if ever do I purchase comics solely for the art, as a writer I appreciate good storytelling above all else. But when I saw Val-Mar by Grey Williamson on my Amazon.com recommendations page I was so impressed by the art I had to buy it.
The story is told mostly in gray-scale and starts out with the face of beautiful young woman over narration. We transition from there to a desert where a horse drawn chariot racing through the sand. As a barrage of arrows rain down upon the travelers they tip over as a cadre of armed men appear from tarps under the sand and attack. One by one those on the chariot fall except a lone warrior, who battles her foes with tenacity and fearlessness until the numbers game catches up with her. Just as all hope seems lost however another nameless warrior swoops in and gives her an assist killing all the opposing soldiers. After the altercation they travel toward lands unknown and the story ends abruptly.
So as I said in the opening the art is beautiful, Williamson does a fantastic job of drawing the landscape action scenes and character designs. My main issue with this first issue is that I’m not sure what the stakes are or why I should care. A group of people get attacked and are saved by an mysterious man and then they ride off into the sunset. Mind you according to the narration all of this is a dream, and we haven’t even met the main character yet.
There is also the fact that no one is named in the story, not one character and the brevity of the story doesn’t help. I personally felt like there were a number of things missing including character development, and although I liked the fight scenes I would’ve like to know a little more about the characters motivations and why their potential deaths would’ve affected the story. I’d like to say I’m going to read the next issue for this series but I’m not sure what to expect. Personally I feel that Williamson should’ve gotten someone to script the story and handled the illustrations.