If you wanted to sum up superhero comics in four words, you could say “soap operas with punching.” I mean, the best comics are about interpersonal drama and character development, while giving us a fight to keep that side of the equation sated. Livewire #3 does a great job of supplying both in an issue that might on the surface appear to simply be a single fight.
Vita Ayala, Raul Allen, Patricia Martin, Scott Koblish, and Saida Temofonte bring Livewire face to face with Pan de Santo this issue, giving us an issue-long fight between the two psiots that’s not your normal slugfest.
Amanda sneaks into one of her safehouses just to be confronted moments later by Pan de Santos. As they began beating each other, they also spar verbally, tearing each other down as they beat each other down. Amanda is stunned to realize Pan is much more powerful than she ever realized.
Ayala does a great thing here with both the fight and the character of Pan de Santo. Pan steps into the story fully formed. If I didn’t know better I would have thought he was a longtime Valiant character, which is a testament to their writing.
The story is also strong, peeling back layer upon layer of connection and history between the characters, all while the two of them simply come to blows. It’s a great fight, simply put. However it’s also a great emotional connection between characters.
Allen, Koblish and Martin put it all on the page. While Allen handles the fight, Koblish handles the flashbacks, all colored wonderfully by Martin (with a pink heavy palate that looks phenomenal). Allen’s action scenes are choreographed extremely well, and laid out with the action happening down the center of the page. It helps the action move across the page, almost feeling more like an action movie than a comic.
Koblish’s flashback panels are the most emotional part of the issue. They’re simply snapshots, but they show tragedy, pain and loss. He really goes a long way to showing that Livewire may have had noble intent, but her actions were incredibly harmful. It’s brief but effective work.
Anyone looking for a superhero comic out of the ordinary should be reading this comic.
Livewire #3 is available now from Valiant Entertainment.