Norse goddess Valkyrie has her eye on a comeback. Recently brought back within the pages of Ed Brubaker’s Secret Avengers, this one-shot sets out to examine the history of the character while setting the tone for what readers can expect to see in her future.
Our story begins with a strikingly beautiful hotel employee hanging off the edge of balcony, precariously positioned above an awaiting alley several stories below. A roguish adversary taunts her from the safety of the hotel’s precipice, delivering sexually connotative admonishment to the doomed woman, identified only by her employee name tag, Valerie.
She Kicks Ass With An Open Blouse
A pair of medics arrive on the scene to find the prostrate Valerie crumpled in the alleyway with no visible life signs. They try CPR and quickly escalate their resuscitation efforts to incorporate defibrillation as her chief medical regimen. Of course to complete these tasks, they have the responsibility of first opening up her blouse for access. A well-timed lightning bolt coaxes her lifeless form back to the land of the living and she slowly begins to piece together the fractured shards of her memory. As a side note, the open blouse remains for the following 7 pages.
Over the course of 22 pages, we find out that Valkyrie, or as she identifies herself, Brunnhilde, has danced the Death Tango on several occasions. The lapsed memories and amnesiac storytelling device works well to bring readers up to date with the character’s origins. As one might imagine, a key focal point for the recently resurrected Asgardian goddess is to find the man who ‘murdered’ her and rediscover her place in the world of Midgard.
After a visit with Ms Janet Van Dyne, Valkyrie has sifted through her memories and has taken decisive steps to dismiss some of her self-perceived character flaws and make herself into the woman she wants to become. She declines to continue down a path of a “soap opera of the gods,” and instead makes the conscious decision to never let another person use her passion or hold it against her.
Have Sword, Will Travel
Glass tackles a difficult task with this one-shot. Valkyrie is a character that’s been absent from regular Marvel continuity for quite some time. Based on a myriad of different writers, her voice has changed as often as the human hosts she’s been grafted to. Rather than completely disregard this rather cluttered continuity, Glass embraces it. Valkyrie is more self-aware in this latest resurrection and seems much more inclined to move forward rather than spend too much time looking backward.
The art provided by Winslade is strikingly beautiful. His work carries flashes of Steve Epting, Butch Guice and Mike Deodato Jr. The title page clearly states that this story takes place between the events of Avengers Disassembled and Secret Invasion. This leaves me with the impression that this is not a very current representation of the character and it makes me question how much further Valkyrie has evolved or for that matter, possibly devolved. Having not read Secret Avengers, I’m not privy to her current portrayal in the Marvel Universe. However, the strength of this issue elicits enough interest to make me want to find out more.
Rating: This earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.