EVE: Valkyrie is a new comic series covering, as many will know already, the creation and ascension of the Valkyrie group of fighter pilots. Brian Wood, author of Rebels and many others, and Eduardo Francisco, the artist on Dark Horse’s Conan series, team up to deliver the first issue of a new series shedding light on the backstory of the upcoming EVE: Valkyrie game. The story so far is strong and full of promise and the art is true to the EVE Online source material.
The first issue opens with the Valkyrie fighter squadron in the present day, a strong fighter squadron led by a young, energetic pilot. As the story unfolds, we are given the backstory of Rán Kavik, who many will recognize as the founder and leader of the Valkyrie pilots, in a series of flashbacks to her childhood experiences in the Gallente Federation. In the interest of not spoiling the plot for those who are looking forward to picking up a physical copy at EVE: Vegas, I’ll leave you to discover its twists and turns for yourself.
Amarr freighters. So wonderfully Zepplinesque.
EVE: Valkyrie is rendered in classic comic book style, with a particular emphasis on making the ships depicted instantly recognizable to their in-game counterparts. External scenes are filled with scenes easily recognizable to players of EVE Online, unlike the previous EVE: True Stories comic which, while enshrining one of the most-told stories in EVE history, often encountered trouble in its depictions. Internal scenes, while without an in-game basis, have a similar level of quality associated with them, though they do rely on sci-fi tropes in their depictions. Fortunately, the uniforms and clothing of the various characters is true to the style of EVE’s clothing, bridging the gap between the world of EVE we players are familiar with and the as-yet-unexplored world outside the capsule.
To return to the plot, again avoiding spoilers, the flashback-style delivery of the opening episode is effective, but might grate if continued for the entirety of the series’ run. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the present-day events depicted were largely an action sequence, which almost seemed to get in the way of the flashback’s storytelling. Another minor point of interest is that only Rán Kavik is introduced in any real way in this issue. Only four other characters are given names, and one of those is Rán’s father. None of these three characters appear poised to return to the series either. While Rán’s story is certainly the central focus of the entire series, it would be nice to heard about the people who helped, or hampered, her ascent. Impressively, the story of the comic avoids relying on in-game knowledge; someone unfamiliar with EVE won’t have much trouble picking up the story. This does, however, cause a bit of dissonance to veterans of the game; at one point, 10,000 credits (ISK) are discussed as if this were a vast sum of money.
Geckos… or Dragonflies, maybe?
As the EVE: Valkyrie game and comic will both tie in to the lore of the EVE universe, some details presented here jump out as particularly interesting going forward and tie in well with existing lore. Firstly, the Valkyries are depicted flying Geckos and returning to a Wyvern supercarrier, which strongly implies that they have a connection with the Guristas pirate faction. We do already know from in-game EVE sources that Rán’s initial resurrection was done at the expense of the Guristas, and comments she makes imply that it was both an unexpected event, she did not knowingly have capsuleer implants, and that it was not an isolated incident, she can continue to transfer her consciousness to new clones. However, the Guristas logos are not depicted either on the Geckos they fly or on the Wyvern they return to, implying that the Valkyries are not directly connected with the pirate group. Another point of interest is that the primary opponent seems to be Amarr, not Caldari as one would expect from a Gallente perspective. This might simply be that Amarr ships are more photogenic, or it may indicate previously-hidden tensions coming to the fore.
Regardless of how you feel about the upcoming EVE: Valkyrie game, this issue of the comic is a strong opening note for the series and lore enthusiasts will no doubt find lots of juicy tidbits to analyze and discuss. Personally, I look forward to rest of the series and hope that it gives us more hints as to how the upcoming game will fit in to the existing EVE universe. If you’re interested in EVE’s lore or just like a well-written story, I suggest picking up issue #1 and at least thumbing through.
EVE: Valkyrie #1 – Available soon from Dark Horse Comics.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Omanth Bathana.