Best Shots Review: Mighty Valkyries #1 has powerful visuals but lacks charisma

Mighty Valkyries #1
(Image credit: Mattia de Iulis/Joe Sabino (Marvel Comics))

The Mighty Valkyries #1 explores the Norse pantheon and alien worlds. Jason Aaron, Torunn Grønbekk, Mattia de Iulis, and Erica D'Urso craft two tales, one focusing on Jane Foster, and the other on the lost warrior known only as Valkyrie. The stories focus on establishing the lead characters and their motivations, but The Mighty Valkyries #1 stumbles a bit in creating a compelling conflict.

The Mighty Valkyries #1 credits

Written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk
Art by Mattia de Iulis, Erica D'Urso, and Marcio Menyz
Letters by Joe Sabino
Published by Marvel Comics
'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

The Mighty Valkyries #1 begins with its primary story, centered around Jane Foster. Immediately, the artwork by Mattia de Iulis jumps out. The verisimilitude in the human figures and environments is given a surreal touch thanks to the way that de Iulis uses of shading. There's never a presence of the traditional inky shadow associated with most comic book art, and that heightened sense of golden lighting gives a grandeur to the proceedings that cuts through every scene. It's a useful technique in the story as well. Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk start the story with Jane at her day job as a mortician's assistant, and the clinical setting being cast in this supernatural lighting hints at the larger purpose Jane serves as Valkyrie, and helps build a sense of foreboding when she has to go to a bar to investigate rumors of a monster roaming about.

(Image credit: Mattia de Iulis/Joe Sabino (Marvel Comics))

When Jane's search finally brings her into contact with the beast, de Iulis kicks the spectacle up a notch, with dynamic poses and grand lighting that helps sell the conflict as epic, even if it's set atop a rooftop in Manhattan. If there is a stumbling block in de Iulis' artwork, it's in the fur texture of the creature itself. Between the lighting and the way the fur itself is brought together, the creature at times looks like it's borrowed from a more slick, computer-generated art style. While that helps sell the otherworldliness of the creature itself, it also means the creature doesn't feel like it's occupying the same physical space as the hero.

The backup story by Grønbekk with artists Erica D'Urso and Marcio Menyz focuses on Valkyrie, as she searches for answers about her life prior to imprisonment. Frankly, it's a bit of a disappointing read. Grønbekk takes Valkyrie to a dying world, and while it isn't ever named, Erica D'Urso and Marcio Menyz seem to draw visually on the MCU version of Sakaar, from Thor: Ragnarok. That may be a coincidence, but since the planet isn't named and there aren't any readily apparent visual markers, there's no reason for readers to feel connected to this world and since Valkyrie doesn't know her own past, her journey here also lacks any emotional weight. 

This is a standard 'find your memories' story that just feels flat the whole way through. Thankfully, there is a bit of a resolution in this story, so hopefully future issues will be able to tackle the character in a more exciting way.

This is actually an issue in Jane's story as well. The Mighty Valkyries #1 does a decent job at introducing readers to the star heroes, but it doesn't give readers much of a hook for continuing their stories. This is more of a false start than a full-on debut, and while the powerful visuals and the lore might satisfy some readers, hopefully future issues will give a story worthy of the charisma of the heroes at its core.

The Valkyries are part of an amazing pantheon of female superheroes. Here's our list of the best superheroes of all time.

Robert Reed
Freelance Writer

Robert is a Los Angeles-based comics journalist and writer (formerly Omaha, Nebraska). He currently writes for Newsarama and Adventures in Poor Taste.