This week in Valiant comics, Imperium begins a new arc entitled ‘Stormbreak.’
Joining series writer Joshua Dysart once again is artist Khari Evans, whose work on the early issues of Harbinger set the foundation for the psiot-filled corner of the Valiant universe. This issue feels like old times, and not just for the creator pairing: the book opens with a flashback scene detailing the first encounter between Toyo Harada and Livewire. The panels could have easily been taken from an issue of Harbinger, and the feeling of connectivity it evokes sets the stage for a present-day reunion between the estranged master and pupil.
The narrative segues to current events, as Livewire leads a raid on an information cluster, located in India, that belongs to Harada. Teasing what will likely be an important plot point later in the arc, she encounters a pre-programmed and deeply hidden routine planted by Toyo specifically for her to find. This message promises to reveal his ‘biggest secret’ to her, the truth of which is left out in service of suspense. Before she can leave the country, though, she’s ‘recruited’ by Charlie Palmer of HARDCorps.
Concerned with what the Harada-aligned operative Grave Dog’s access to HARDCorps tech means for their collective security, the super soldier team deduces the issue may lie with satellites in Earth’s orbit. What they find there… and what finds them… leaves just enough to salivate over until the next issue.
With Dysart still at the helm, and Evans bringing these characters back to their visual origins, Imperium continues to entertain and intrigue. While this issue offers little in the way of action, it does set up a nice bit of story for the coming installments.