REVIEW: ‘King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries,’ Issue #4

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King in Black Rise of the Valkyries #4 - But Why Tho?King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk, with art by Nina Vakueva, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Joe Sabino. The Valkyries have made their bid to sever Knull from the headless celestial. But with hope balanced on the head of a needle, can the warriors see the ritual through to completion, or will they fall to the dark powers that oppose them?

I suppose in hindsight it isn’t surprising that as the Valkyries stand on the brink of defeat, with the lives of billions hanging in the balance, the very nature of life and what comes after would come up. After all, the afterlife is what they do. And while one might expect one of the legends of their number to be the one delivering a stirring message about the nature of existence, that privilege instead falls to Jane. Even though some may see her concept of the afterlife to be little more than naivete, I think it’s perfect. 

King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4 picks up right where the previous issue left off. As Jane and Dani hold the string that will sever Knull from the Celestial, they come under attack by the Celestial itself, causing them to halt the ritual. Even as they are joined by the previously freed Valkyrie, the situation looks grim as Jane is pulled into the titan’s form. And there she will be tested, and it may just be the cruelest test of all. 

Through the battles both without and within the headless giant, writers Aaron and Grønbekk craft an excellent wrap-up to their piece of this massive crossover event. The Valkyries are shown in all their glory. As they battle what seems to be an unstoppable force they never waiver from what they perceive to be their duty, as befits Odin’s chosen warriors. 

But even as the fire of battle that tests the Valkyries are delivered to great effect, it is Jane’s much quieter struggle within the Celestial that steals the show in King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4. As the Celestial tempts Jane with promises that few could deny, Jane’s truest nature comes to the forefront of this story. And her simple, earnest heart may just see her through this trap. 

The art in this book does a good job of delivering its shifting storyline. From the swift action of battle to Jane’s tender moments of struggle, artist Vakueva brings life to this story with her effective art.

That art is further augmented with Bonvillain’s excellent colors. Some of these panels feel truly radiant thanks to the glowing colors implemented throughout them.

Rounding out the presentation are Sabino’s letters. The lettering here does a good job of bringing the story’s moments to the reader in a way that is clear, easy to follow, and never intrudes upon the art.

When all is said and done, King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4 brings its narrative to an excellent close. It delivers on the plot threads that have been laid out for it in an effective and entertaining way.

King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4 is available now wherever comics are sold.

King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, King in Black: The Return of the Valkyries #4 brings its narrative to an excellent close. It delivers on the plot threads that have been laid out for it in an effective and entertaining way.