The Valiant #3 begins with the preparation for a big battle. Having spectacularly failed to stop the Immortal Enemy in the last issue, the Eternal Warrior and Ninjak have summoned allies. Lots of allies; every hero currently living in the Valiant Universe, in fact. They plan on surrounding their foe and beating him down. Meanwhile, Bloodshot leads the new Geomancer away to keep her safe. The Enemy is extremely old and extremely clever, and even everything might not be quite enough.
Lemire and Kindt do a great job of balancing action and character moments here. While the battle is preparing outside, Kay, the new Geomancer, and Bloodshot talk as they find their hiding place. That is, Kay tries to talk and Bloodshot tries not to get into the discussion, which says volumes about both of them. Kay is also experimenting with her new powers. This may end up helping Bloodshot—or it may end up weakening the white knight right before combat.
Rivera’s work also reveals personalities. As the Immortal Enemy uses fear in his attack, Rivera is tasked with showing what each character’s biggest fear is, and with making it plausible. He also has to show each person’s approach to combat. This leads to an impressive page spread as the heroes spread out and prepare to battle and a second single page as the Immortal Enemy launches his attack as well as several smaller scenes. There are also several quieter scenes between Kay and Bloodshot. Here, it is mostly Kay who shows what she is feeling.
The Valiant is a great series for those who love superhero team-ups. The primary players are introduced early in the series. Not everyone present here is introduced, but the main speakers have been introduced earlier. For those who decide to start with the third issue (not recommended in a four issue arc, but possible), there is a brief introduction at the beginning.
Writer: Jeff Lemire & Matt Kindt
Artist: Paolo Rivera with Joe Rivera
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera, Jeff Lemire & Matt Kindt, Francesco Francavilla