Pick of the Week: Valkyrie Squadron

When I was a kid, I used to love smashing bugs. In my eyes, critters were always the epitome of evil – lurking in shadows and dark areas, with many appendages, eyes and antennae. Now that I’m older, that fear of bugs disappeared, yet I can’t help but cheer whenever I see a team of space commandos blitzing through an enemy line of space bugs, whether they’re organic or robotic.

One of the first pages I read of Jules Rivera’s Valkyrie Squadron had a panel with a rescue group being swarmed by a group of robot crawling bugs.

Before I could ask what the comic was all about, it appeared Jules had me at ROBOT BUGS. I was hooked.

Valkyrie Squadron is a epic space opera that follows an all female crew of four who are tasked with fighting a war against Autodrones from space. These robots have attacked innocent colonists, many of whom have gone missing. The story opens with the Valkyries on a routine rescue mission that ends up taking a strange turn. As the mystery begins to unfold after the mission, more clues to the whereabouts of the missing colonists begin to be revealed. It seems that the tide of the war is changing, but which way will it go?

The comic itself is drawn in a traditional hard-edged North American style, with a few nuances picked up from Japanese Manga. Jules honed her skills working on a future-noir graphic novel series called Marsh Rocket, and those skills are evident in her tightened up pencils and stronger inks used in Valkyrie Squadron.

The biggest thing you’ll notice about this comic is the dazzling use of colour. It’s vibrant, energetic and helps carry the emotion of each scene. She really manages to capture the sci-fi look and of space-age technology with the bright spectrum of colours used for ambient lights and the glow of floating GUI’s and gadgets. Jules has taken a lot of time studying the craft, and this new venture is really showing her growth as an artist and author.

This is a complete contrast to her secondary gig as the lead artist for Peter Vine’s Hard Graft – a black and white action drama, set in the wastes of Afghanistan. The contrast in styles is very evident, but it shows Jules’ versatility as an artist.

If you haven’t read Valkyrie Squadron, I highly suggest you should check it out. It’s got women kicking ass, space and sci-fi tech, and plenty of action. Just because the leads are women, and the author is one, doesn’t mean its some light-weight chick flick, kids – this is the real deal.

 Andrés ‘ Drezz ‘ Rodriguez is the author of the ultra-violent modern noir Online Graphic Novel  El Cuervo.  In his spare time he trains his newborn daughter how to punch sides of raw beef into hamburger and smash insects with hammers.  Don’t be afraid – feel free to connect with him on Google+ or you can follow him on Twitter at @DrezzRodriguez

it follows on the Twitter or it gets the hammer again…

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