Welcome to Valderia, the world of Battlecats! I’ve waited a long time to say those words and now I’ve said it, I’m going to sit back, relax, enjoy myself. No, not really. Instead, I’m going to invite you deeper into the realm of Valderia with the Mad Cave Studio talent as they take some time looking into side stories of the world we’ve come to know and love. Tales of Valderia #1 is a love story to those who want to know what happened between, before, and after. These are the insightful character, place, and worldviews which help us appreciate the main stories even more.
Mark London opens the issue with outrage, pain as Robert Stotz and Jonathan Prada gorgeously frame the story for us- ripping emotions as we see a king who speak of a feline necromancer hurting others, perverting life and the power gifted for healing into something far worse. This story, the story of balance, rang out to me- as balance is something I strive for daily. So, to see this be the opening story for Valderia Tales, my heart leapt. General Sai- a legend, someone who honoured not just his liege, but the way of truth, the light, knowing what had to be done- even if it meant death. So much was shown even with so few words. What a fabulous opening tale. What a legacy for the world of Valderia.
After is a showcasing of each Lionborne. Each Lionborne brings something more to Valderia as Lion God appointed King- a stability, which helps prove the realm is protected, cherished and kept from utter chaos. Eramad I showed to the world he could overcome his own inherent untamable nature, commanding many felines, and leading others. Eramad II was a passionate, insatiable king, who ushered in a golden age- at a cost. Though it started peaceful in Valderia, his vainglorious ways almost crippled Valderia until he self-exiled himself from the Pridelands. Then follows Eramad III, warrior-wise and the most balanced of the lion maned kings. He was skilled in battle, diplomacy and respected all before him.
This is the first of multiple Tales of Valderia we get to look forward to reading. This means each story will give us a glimpse into the past, the present, perhaps even the future. More, the small personal pieces will give us a glimmer at the heart of Valderia- the people. You can tell how much Mad Cave Studios loves this world and how much the Cave Dwellers love it right back. From the lush colours, the bold, bright lines, the lettering that just slides perfectly along accenting the prose so you don’t even notice you’re reading- this first issue is what makes you want to go back to reread each issue of the original storyline if not pick up the trade paperbacks of Battlecats. The editors on this series deserve huge kudos for their unerring joy to quality, giving panels their just due to let us sit in the lush moment of letting a picture say what needs to be said and letting the colours be the heart of emotion. Amazing job, everyone at Mad Cave Studios! Can’t wait to read issue two!
Tales of Valderia #1
Writer: Mark London Colourist: Jonathan Prada, Tekino (cover colorist)
Artist: Robert Stotz, Michael Camelo (cover artist) Letterer: Miguel Angel Zapata
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios Editor: Giovanna T. Orozco & Chris Fernandez
Available: Everywhere comics are sold, Comixology. Publication date is February 5th, 2020.