I’m not much of a comic book nerd. Although I love mangas, as well as the heroes we now have from American comic books, I don’t delve into them as much as I should. Yet give it to Valve to convince me to read comics when they make them. Valve Presents: The Sacrifice, And Other Steam-Powered Stories is a collection of the comics Valve has produced throughout the years regarding some of their most successful franchises. Dark Horse Comics is bundling the greats into one neat package, and rest assured this is one volume that’s definitely worth the price if you’re a Valve fan.
The book starts with Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice. This comic stars the original crew from Left 4 Dead (Bill, Francis, Louis and Zoey) as they fight their way through hordes of, wait for it, zombies. The story is based off “The Sacrifice” DLC currently available for both games, but the gameplay doesn’t capture each character’s emotions the way the comic does. These are the last moments the four face before escaping the zombie apocalypse for a better tomorrow. It’s definitely worth a read if you want to see actual personalities behind the characters, something the games don’t deliver in full.
The art style for Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice is wonderful, and the way the colors stand out in each panel is amazing. The shades help the eyes focus on the main actions taking place (which is hard to do sometimes when drawing a horde of zombies), while also giving an aesthetically pleasing look to the surroundings.
Then the stories shift to those of the Team Fortress universe. Some of the Team Fortress comics include A Visual History, WAR! Comic, and the Saxton Hale series. WAR! is quite funny, with its take on how the Administrator and Miss Pauling are trying to break up the friendship between RED Demoman and the BLU Soldier.
Finally, the last comic in the bunch is Portal 2: Lab Rat, a story Portal fans definitely should read. This comic tries to bridge the gap between the first Portal and its sequel, by following the scientist known as Doug Rattman, a.k.a. “the Ratman.” Rattman follows Chell as she’s dragged back into the Enrichment Center while simultaneously having flashbacks to his times before GLaDOS took over Aperture Science. It was an interesting experience as I read along and I tried to connect the dots of Portal lore.
I enjoyed my time with all the comics in the book. Hopefully other Valve fans enjoy this bundle as well. It’s definitely worth the money, especially when it supports a great company like Valve. You are a good fan right? Don’t listen to GLaDOS, she thinks you’re not a good person in general.
Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories will be released on November 16th for all to enjoy! Thank you to Dark Horse Comics for the review copy.