Comic Book Review: Livewire #3
When it comes to Valiant books, a lot of the time it will end up being the books which are more out there that I get into. When it comes to the solo books, it takes one with a character I can really admire for what they represent in this universe. Right now that character just so happens to be Livewire. This is a hero who aims to defy everything that is an obstacle for the people she cares for most to live in peace. What would you do if your own people are being hunted? Objectified? Treated like lesser beings? Amanda took an extreme, but the world so far has proved that she may have been right in her actions.
What I was not expecting in just the third issue of Livewire was such a powerful exploration of who Amanda was back then versus who she is now. The best person to push this possibility was Pan, and I couldn’t argue with that one bit. It would have been someone from her past and with a strong connection to the Harbinger Foundation. I mean almost immediately you knew that was a place where Pan came from just because of the necklace. So the question was just how personal this could have been for someone like him to be so eager to accept a contract on Amanda.
What Amanda went through in the second issue made me a believer in this series. You would have never expected Amanda to find herself in such a situation this early, and you would not have expected her powers to have been neutered in such a way either. It blew my mind being able to see that one of the most powerful psiots was not just formidable for her powers. This creative team took things a step further upon deciding that the next issue should be the point where Amanda really shows how far she can get without her powers. These don’t define her, but in a world where you’re public enemy number one? Not a bad power to rely on. I was satisfied with the way she was able to handle herself against Pan, and even more so with the determination to stay true to the choices she made along the way. Someone had to put her fortitude to the test, and Pan took her to that point by attacking everything that Amanda stood for because of small similarities to what Harada did in comparison. A couple of things I may have called a stretch, but he did have his own ace to influence the truth.
Valiant has been hyping the introduction of Pan for quite some time now. I really wanted to see if this new villain would satisfy those of us who have been looking forward to a real challenge for Amanda. Hard to say that is actually possible right now when she can’t use her powers, but the reveal of Pan’s powers gave us understanding in why it was a good idea to have this Amanda who can only really depend on her wits and combat skills. Truthfully, I was surprised that I didn’t get it just from the explanation of the kind of danger he posed to her. To say that someone could essentially snatch away your memories says a lot about what kind of power he possessed at the core. With that said, his powers were a great fit for the kind of psiot he turned out to be. Pan is a psiot who proves that nothing is ever set in stone about their powers, while at the same time challenging what those from the Foundation think of Amanda.
Like the issue before, Livewire #3 was visually appealing for the focus that was placed on these characters in a way that this art team hasn’t done before. The pencils have never been cleaner, and the perspective was never as strong as it is now. A perfect combination making this as engaging as it should be for a solo series. For this issue in particular that is important for the intimate confrontation that Amanda is having with someone from her past. Someone who has a genuine hate for her, what she stands for, what he thinks she stole from him. Everything about that was written on his face from start to finish. Even the way he moves as if he won his battle before it began. With that said, the action was very fluent. Only broken apart by the consistent flashbacks which finally show us what Pan is capable of. His powers were nothing flashy, well maybe aside from his eyes, and that was probably for the best as well.
With each passing week, we are seeing just how dangerous this world can be for someone who has made an enemy out of everyone. Livewire #3 gave us that anger from a different perspective, and one that we inevitably had to get around to in this series. It’s not enough for psiots on the ground or on the run to speak their mind about their current situation. Sometimes it also has to come from someone who hits close to home.