- Writer: Cullen Bunn
- Art: Ramon F Bachs
- Colors: Stephane Paitreau
- Letters: Dave Sharpe
- Associate Editor: David Menchel
- Editor: Lysa Hawkins
- Covers: Dave Johnson, Viktor Kalvachev
Warning: This review for Roku 01 will contain spoilers, but fans can currently find it available in their local comic book store.
Going into this series I do not know anything about the character, along with the story being told. However, I have to say that this issue has pulled me in enough to where I want to check out issue two. The series features Cullen Bunn telling the story of an assassin named Roku. The opening scene features our protagonist, Roku, in action! Here readers get to witness that she has the ability to use her hair, as though it is a weapons of its own. Throughout the opening scene readers see Roku tearing through a club, as she’s eliminating a few folks who were in her way before she hits her target.
From these pages, readers get to see how deadly Roku can be. It is a great showcase of allowing readers to understand what Roku can, and cannot do. In addition, Ramon F Bachs and Stephane Paitreau do a wonderful job with the coloring and artwork displayed in those scenes. Furthermore, Roku has a monologue where we learn how she thinks and views the world. I personally like Roku describing the line between friends and enemy, as she makes it seem as though it is walking the tightrope. If she ever was to slip or lose her balance, someone could easily take their shot at her. So, I guess that is the reason why she may not have any friends or family.
Following the current mission, we see Roku head back to her office for a new mission. There Roku learns she will teaming up with someone in Moscow to locate and obtain a weapon before a black market auction. We then transition right into Roku going after a weapon of mass destruction. Now, Roku moves through the building rather easily, until she hits someone who is seemingly invisible. Yet, the interesting thing is that this invisible person, a blonde assassin, seems to know Roku! In the scuffle, we learn Roku’s real name is Angelina, which when hearing the name shocks, and enrages Roku. As their battle intensifies, we learn this unnamed assassin is able to block out Roku’s psychic abilities, but Roku uses her powers to alert the base’s security. With the security being injected into the fight, Roku uses them as a diversion to locate and obtain the weapon. However, what Roku finds is not what she entirely expected…
Now, as mentioned earlier this is the first time reading anything in regards to Roku. However, this first issue really got me invested into Roku’s world of ‘meta-human’-like assassins and mercenaries fighting to stop international incidents. It makes me want to see what happens with future issues, especially with what the weapon turns out to be. Also, I like the subtle focus on Roku’s origins as Angelina in the issue. I feel like Roku’s backstory will play a major part to overall story, but will be the B-Plot to further establish the character. Furthermore, I think Roku’s life as “Angelina” will be implemented like Highlander the series and Arrow flashbacks, such as some will be pivotal to the issue they appear in. Nevertheless, this is an amazing first issue! Readers will easily be able to learn who our heroine is, and what Roku will encounter as the series progress. Valiant’s Roku is a book outside of my normal pick ups, but it leaves me want more; I cannot wait to check out the next issue of Roku, and I think fans of Valiant should give this title a try!