Valkyrie: Jane Foster #10 Review

by Charles Martin on June 17, 2020

Valkyrie: Jane Foster #10 Review
Writers: Jason Aaron & Torunn Grønbekk
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colourist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The previous issue did an excellent job of bringing Jane Foster to an abyssal low point. She spent her energy to save the Earth and then lost the All-Weapon, so now she stands against Tyr and his anti-life Røkkva, armed only with a secondhand sword and sheer grit.

Of course, this is the Marvel universe, an arena in which sheer grit has ever been a decisive factor.

(All of Asgard having her back doesn't hurt, either!)

Visually, guest artist Ramon Rosanas rounds out his tenure by making a 10-course Valhalla banquet out of this issue's huge Asgardian cast. While his character renderings don't have as many intricate details as CAFU's, there's power in his strong linework, and the sheer scope of the roster is impressive. 

There's also a slippery but detectable thread of consistency running between the two artists, asserting that this is the same story despite the visual shift. I credit this to hard work on Mr. Rosanas' part. While preserving his own style, he's made countless subtle adjustments to things like blocking and character proportions to evoke echoes of CAFU's art.

Colourist Jesus Aburtov is also going the extra mile in this issue. He matches Mr. Rosanas's lines with some strong colours and simple two-tone shading. But he also plays important tricks with colour intensity to emphasize the difference between Asgardians infected with the Røkkva and those who remain free. And the cherry on top is some much more painterly colouring employed on elements (e.g. the Bifrost and the Røkkva clouds) that need it.

On the script side of things, this issue gets a large serving of words to wrap up the arc. The plot is straightforward, bordering on simplistic, but the prose curls up tight around the developments and invests them with delicate, nuanced meaning. 

I'm thinking of this dynamic balance between simple storytelling and poetic reflection as Torunn Grønbekk's calling card. It's distinctive and moving and thoughtful. And there are a couple of cracking lines in this issue that burrow deep into the heart and soul in a positively Gaiman-esque way.

But Jason Aaron is also aboard the writing team, and his gift for fusing Asgardian action with 21st-century vernacular is on full display. This issue includes possibly the finest VOLSTAGG battle cry I've ever read -- a mighty competitive field -- and I'm betting that's Mr. Aaron's work.

(It is my solemn duty to always render VOLSTAGG's name in all-caps. Because wouldn't he want it that way?)

I find myself second-guessing my decision to bring out the word "simplistic" above, even qualifying it as I did. This Røkkva battle comes down to life vs. the unimaginable emptiness that opposes it. So there is a deep rightness to the Valkyrie being the one to make the stand at this deciding point. She, more than any other character, belongs on that precipice. And yet again, Jane Foster and the experts crafting her story do not disappoint!

The Røkkva saga concludes exactly as expected, with its hero overcoming impossible odds to save the day. The plot may steam ahead like a rail-bound train, but the prose invests it with mythological weight. Bold art illustrating a vast cast also helps to seal in the sense of epic storytelling. This is the last Valkyrie saving all of existence from non-existence. Of course she's going to win -- but the creative talent invested in this comic ensures that every line and panel along the way is thrilling. 

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
My face will surely be red if the authors hit us up on Twitter and reveal that Ms. Grønbekk wrote VOLSTAGG's battle cry and Mr. Aaron wrote, say, the line about the "certain kind of man."