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Review – Livewire #11 (Valiant Entertainment)

Livewire #11
Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
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Summary

Writer: Vita Ayala
Penciler: Tana Ford
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover Art: Stacey Lee
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: October 9th, 2019

Livewire must recover the public’s trust in her actions after setting off a deadly blackout. Some are out to debase her character while others are just out for revenge. She battles both in a ballroom while dressed to impress. 

It’s Party Time in Livewire #11

The “Big Two” publishers have a dominant control of superheroes in the publishing industry, but this doesn’t always work in their favor. For instance, there is occasionally a story about the public turning on beloved heroes. These stories don’t usually work, as it is such a departure from the overall themes built across all of the titles. Among the smaller publishers, there are not as many superheroes, but those that have them get to explore these topics in greater clarity. After all, would residents of a city be happy to have a hero there? Or might they be a little disturbed at the violence that the heroes tend to bring along? Livewire #11 looks at this topic, with many treating the titular character as a dangerous terrorist after her previous actions during the blackout. 

Writing

Livewire #11 (Valiant Entertainment) cover A by Stacey Lee
Livewire #11 (Valiant Entertainment) cover A by Stacey Lee

This is not a new storyline for a superhero comic, but it works better here because this is Valiant and not Marvel or DC. The writer, Vita Ayala, handles this story with a level of responsibility. She almost seems as though she is aware of this dynamic. The story, thus, plays out as real as it could in real life, assuming superheroes really existed. The politicians are portrayed in a realistic light as well. None of them necessarily want to do good, except for their own careers. This means that their approach to Livewire is not about where they stand on her actions, but about how that can benefit them. In all, the writing of this issue was pretty strong, despite devolving into some action later in the issue.

Art

This is a rarer case in comics where the cover mostly delivers inside the book as well. The penciler, Tana Ford, must have had a bit more fun with the setting of the formal party, as the hero is given a red dress to wear throughout. This is a departure from her costume, and thus must have made for some challenges to draw. The overall appearance works, though, and the action sequences are well-captured as well. A good team effort in Livewire #11 from the artists, including the cover artist. 

Conclusion

The story in Livewire #11 ends up working and relatively well because of the mature handling of the story. There have been many cases of heroes put under scrutiny in the past, but it seems to fit better here than elsewhere. Livewire holds herself together pretty well under this duress, even as others are trying to manipulate her. It also helps that Valiant has a smaller footprint in superhero stories than other companies. It is hard to imagine the public turning on the Flash or the Fantastic Four. As a result, it seems a bit more real here. This works out to tell a better story, and the strong showing from the art team solidifies it all.   


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Edward Wendt

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