Alex Paknadel Reveals Your First Look at Valiant’s Incursion

The Series, Co-Written With Andy Diggle & Drawn by Doug Braithwaite, Pairs the Eternal Warrior & Geomancer Against New Foe Imperatrix Virago

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Alex Paknadel Reveals Your First Look at Valiant&#8217;s <i>Incursion</i>

One of Valiant’s smarter publishing strategies is its focus on shorter, relatively self-contained volumes and limited events, which offers frequent jumping-on points for new readers. You don’t need to have read prior Eternal Warrior tales to understand the upcoming Incursion event, it’ll merely deepen your appreciation for the complicated father/daughter-ish bond growing between the Eternal Warrior and Tama, the current (incredibly powerful) Geomancer. And since Imperatrix Virago, Incursion’s ruthless primary threat, is a brand-new creation, both new and returning readers have something to discover together.

Valiant’s approach is also a boon to readers who prefer to follow creators, not characters, and Incursion offers up quite the roster behind the scenes: artist Doug Braithwaite, a mainstay of Valiant’s efforts; Andy Diggle, current mastermind of Shadowman; and Alex Paknadel, who makes his Valiant debut co-writing with Diggle. Paknadel is the whip-smart rising talent behind books like Friendo and the latest arc of Kino from Lion Forge. Paste exchanged a few questions with Paknadel to uncover more about Incursion’s character dynamics, how he and Diggle are planning to use the Deadside and what to expect from Imperatrix Virago. We’ve also got an exclusive first look at Braithwaite’s interior art. Incursion #1 hits shelves in February 2019.

Incursion #1 (of 4)
Writers: Andy Diggle & Alex Paknadel
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colorist: José Villarrubia
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: February 20, 2018
From celebrated writer Andy Diggle (Shadowman), rising star writer Alex Paknadel (Friendo), and legendary artist Doug Braithwaite (X-O Manowar) comes a story that will rock the Valiant Universe across dimensions!

Beyond the margins of human reason lies a realm known as the Deadside, where the souls of the dearly departed linger—and where demons wait for us in the dark. For countless ages, Earth’s chosen protectors have guarded the veil between both worlds—but there are other doors to the Deadside, through which gruesome terrors from galaxies untold can trespass… With the planet’s freedom at stake, can the reigning Geomancer and her steadfast Eternal Warrior stand together against an invasion unlike any they’ve ever witnessed?

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Incursion #1 Cover Art by Doug Braithwaite

Paste: Incursion is set to bring together a few Valiant mainstays who haven’t held down their own ongoing series in a bit. Who is stepping to the forefront for this book, and what kind of state do we find them in when Incursion begins?

Alex Paknadel: This is an Eternal Warrior/Geomancer book with a cameo or two from some very familiar faces. Geomancer Tama is almost a teenager, which means she’s questioning everything, including her need to be protected by Gilad 24/7. Gilad, meanwhile, is settling into his dual role as a father-protector, which is super weird for him because his sense of duty and his own protective instincts have rarely been this aligned. The pair is living off the grid, but as Tama is questioning more and more aspects of her role as Geomancer and guardian of the Book of the Geomancer, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Gilad to provide easy answers for the evil Tama sees in the world.

Paste: Gilad and Tama almost have something of a burgeoning father/daughter relationship. What do you find compelling about this dynamic compared to more traditional action-hero pairings?

Paknadel: The father/child pairing is a linchpin of western and Japanese storytelling, from Lone Wolf and Cub to Road to Perdition. It allows you to contrast strength and vulnerability in really interesting ways; however, because this is Valiant, we’re going to be changing it up a bit. Tama is the most powerful Geomancer who’s ever lived, so this is no delicate flower we’re talking about here. Gilad does feel very paternal toward Tama, but she’s every bit as protective toward him. Their relationship is going to change as the series progresses.

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Incursion #1 Alternate Cover Art by Rafael de Latorre

Paste: The Deadside plays a major role in Andy’s current Shadowman series and in the most recent Faith outing. What’s your approach to this realm, and how does it come into play in the pages of Incursion?

Paknadel: Valiant fans will know that the Deadside is far more than just an afterlife. It’s a living, breathing ecosystem with its own customs and flora and fauna. The antagonist in this story, a new character named Imperatrix Virago, doesn’t care about all that, though; for her, it’s a transport medium that will take her to any world in the universe where there is life. In other words, it’s the place from which she strikes. It’s also where she keeps her army and a young girl of her own species called Syntilla, who will play a pivotal role in the series.

Paste: Imperatrix Virago is a new threat for the Valiant universe. What can you tell readers about her plans and the sort of threat she poses to our heroes?

Paknadel: Imperatrix Virago is an insanely powerful necromancer. She travels from planet to planet absorbing the energy of all life in order to sustain her unnaturally long life. Some of those she kills travel to the Deadside and become Xenoghasts, i.e. members of Virago’s undead army. She’s using the Deadside as an access point to our world, because she’s found something on Earth that could ensure her immortality: a Geomancer.

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Incursion #1 Interior Art by Doug Braithwaite

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Incursion #1 Interior Art by Doug Braithwaite

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Incursion #1 Interior Art by Doug Braithwaite

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Incursion #1 Interior Art by Doug Braithwaite

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Incursion #1 Interior Art by Doug Braithwaite

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Incursion #1 Cover Pencil Art by Doug Braithwaite

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