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Preview: Rai #9

RAI #9 (NEW ARC! “THE ORPHAN” – PART 1)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover A by CLAYTON CRAIN (JUN151606)
Cover B by RYAN SOOK (JUN151607)
Cover C by RILEY ROSSMO (JUN151608)
Cover D by RYAN LEE (JUN151609)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (JUN151610)
$3.99 | 32 pages | T+ | ON SALE AUGUST 19

ALL-NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! RAI FALLS TO EARTH IN…”THE ORPHAN”!

Superstar creative team Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain return to their one-of-a-kind vision for the future…but will the titular hero? Broken, beaten, and cast down to Earth, Rai’s allies now find themselves hunted, persecuted, and imprisoned for their failed rebellion against Father. Rai is determined to save his friends and bring down Father once and for all–but how can he do that from Earth? And will he survive the journey?

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SDCC 2015: Superman News!

At San Diego Comic-Con, Superman fans were treated to a Fortress of Solitude-sized dose of news about the Man of Steel.

DC Comics announced that legend Neal Adams will be tackling the character in Coming of the Supermen, scheduled for November. In this six-issue limited series, fans can expect the same sense of wonder that Bat-fans encountered with his Batman: Odyssey miniseries. This story pits Superman against the evil Darkseid and his son, brutal Kalibak. But this time he has help from an unlikely place: Three national heroes from the city of Kandor (now known as New Krypton) who see Superman as a legend. Even Superman’s arch-enemy Lex Luthor is forced to ally himself with these heroes to prevent Darkseid from laying waste to the universe.

Hollywood screenwriter and Eisner-nominee Max Landis will take on November’s Superman: American Alien, a seven part collection of stories from the life of Clark Kent. Ranging from heartwarming and simple to gritty and two-fisted and even humorous, each story captures a pivotal moment in Clark’s development into the archetypical hero he’s become. Landis will be joined by seven of the industry’s greatest artists, Ryan Sook will provide the cover art, with artists JOCK, Nick Dragotta, Tommy Lee Edwards, Joelle Jones, Jae Lee, Francis Manapul, and Jonathan Case providing interior art.

Award-winning graphic novelist and new Superman writer Gene Yang and Action Comics co-writer Greg Pak updated fans on Superman, recapping the events from “TRUTH” and giving fans a look into what’s happening next in “JUSTICE,” where a newly de-powered Superman continues to deal with the consequences of his now public secret identity and a Metropolis police department making things increasingly difficult for folks in his neighborhood.

Fans also heard the latest on Superman’s opposite number Bizarro, courtesy of writer Heath Corson. He provided a sneak peek at what’s next for the mismatched duo of Bizarro and Jimmy Olsen as they continue on the craziest road trip in the DC Universe!

RAI #9 – Kindt & Crain Fall to Earth for The Orphan in August!

Valiant has released a preview of RAI #9 – the FIRST ISSUE of “The Orphan,” an all-new story arc from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and superstar artist Clayton Crain! The next visionary volume of the critically acclaimed series that has wowed fans and critics starts here on August 19th as Rai finds himself exiled from his homeland and must marshal the forces of our own ravaged planet to conquer Father’s kingdom once and for all!

Broken, beaten, and cast down to Earth, Rai and his allies now find themselves hunted, persecuted, and imprisoned for their failed rebellion against Father. Stranded thousands of miles from his former home, Rai is now more determined than ever to save his friends and bring down New Japan’s malevolent ruler once and for all…but how can he do that from Earth? And just what secrets will New Japan’s rising son discover as he journeys across the face of a planet scarred by his nation’s ascent to the stars?

Featuring covers by Clayton Crain, Ryan Sook, Riley Rossmo, Ryan Lee, and Clayton Henry, jump two millennia into the future of the Valiant Universe right here as the Earth of 4001 A.D. stands revealed!

RAI #9 (ALL NEW ARC! “THE ORPHAN” – PART 1)
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover A by CLAYTON CRAIN (JUN151606)
Cover B by RYAN SOOK (JUN151607)
Cover C by RILEY ROSSMO (JUN151608)
Cover D by RYAN LEE (JUN151609)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (JUN151610)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. T+ | ON SALE AUGUST 19 (FOC – 7/27/15)

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C2E2 2015: RAI Returns to Earth in The Orphan in August

At C2E2 2015, Valiant announced the return of New Japan’s fallen guardian this August in RAI #9 – the FIRST ISSUE of The Orphan, an all-new story arc from writer Matt Kindt and superstar artist Clayton Crain! This summer, discover Kindt & Crain’s smash-hit series with a brand new jumping-on point as Rai finds himself exiled from the land he was once sworn to protect…and thrust into the never-before-seen corners of the Valiant Universe of 4001 A.D.!

For more than a year, Clayton Crain’s fully-painted interior art has beautifully captured the astonishing world of New Japan… Now, find out what has befallen the planet below nearly 2,000 years in the future! For the very first time, Rai will finally discover the true fate of the world New Japan left behind…and the Earth of 4001 will be revealed! Featuring all-new enemies, surprise guest stars, and first appearances, start reading here with The Orphan to find out why there is nothing else in comics like RAI!

Broken, beaten, and cast down to Earth, Rai and his allies now find themselves hunted, persecuted, and imprisoned for their failed rebellion against Father. Stranded thousands of miles from his former home, Rai is now more determined than ever to save his friends and bring down New Japan’s malevolent ruler once and for all…but how can he do that from Earth? And just what secrets will New Japan’s rising son discover as he journeys across the face of a planet scarred by his nation’s ascent to the stars?

Battle for New Japan was only the beginning! This summer, the war for the future has yet to be won… In order to defeat Father, Rai must marshal the forces of Earth and begin the long journey back toward home.

RAI #9 (ALL NEW ARC! “THE ORPHAN” – PART 1)
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover A by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover B by RYAN SOOK
Cover C by RILEY ROSSMO
Cover D by RYAN LEE
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY
$3.99 | 32 pgs.  T+ | COMING IN AUGUST!

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Review: Project Black Sky Sampler

project black sky sampler coverSince my return to regular comic reading I have been seeing these pesky little imprints on comics that look somewhat interesting.  Always printed by Dark Horse, they say “Black Sky Project.”  The problem with me is that I am somewhat of an absolute reader, in that I read absolutely everything or absolutely nothing.  In terms of Project Black Sky, I have never really known where to start, despite the fact that most series are not very advanced, and so I never really did get into any of them.  I would rather start with a #1 and then sort out what I want to read after I have worked my way through the series.  As if Dark Horse was reading my thoughts I discovered that they will be releasing a Project Black Sky Sampler, including the first issues of each of the series under this imprint.

Suffice to say, that for anyone that is curious about any of the series or the overall tie-in that this is an excellent place to start.  Each of the main four main characters was introduced and explained and the plot got going for each of them.  In my opinion, the best was by far Ghost, whose supernatural background does not match my own tastes very well, but whom is well written and well-drawn as well as providing an engaging story from the get-go.   If there is one criticism of this sampler it is that going in that I thought that Project Black Sky would be better explained than it was, as opposed to this being essentially just a collection.  That is likely to be the response of the readers that have already been invested into these series.  This issue is not really for them, unless they are trying to complete a collection.

The overall effect of this release is what it aimed for though, at least in terms of myself as a reader.  While three of the series I am happy to follow in passing, I am likely going to give Ghost a try on a monthly basis, and for anyone interested in a superhero setting outside of the Big Two, they might just find something, or everything, that they are after in this book.

Story: Tim Seeley, Fred Van Lente, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Christpher Sebela and Frank Barbiere Art: Mike Norton, Freddie Williams II, Ryan Sook and Colin Lorimer
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Boom studios and Archaia provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.  

Preview: Garth Ennis’ Red Team: Season One TPB

GARTH ENNIS’ RED TEAM: SEASON ONE TPB

Garth Ennis (w)
Craig Cermak (a)
Ryan Sook (c)
FC • 200 pages • $19.99 • Mature

Eddie Mellinger, Trudy Giroux, Duke Wylie and George Winburn are Red Team: the NYPD’s elite anti-narcotics unit. They’ve taken down one drug lord after another with a careful blend of surveillance, violence and- where necessary manipulation of evidence. But now, driven beyond distraction by the cruel machinations of murderous gangster Clinton Days, the team are resorting to extreme measures- setting them down a path from which there can be no return. As they’re about to discover, doing the wrong thing can be very, very seductive. Writer Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, Crossed) and artist Craig Cermak (Voltron: Year One) present a hard boiled tale of cops on the wrong side of the law- where the simple pull of a trigger is enough to doom victim and killer alike.

COLLECTION FEATURES
This volume collects issues 1-6 of the critically acclaimed series by Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak. It also features all of the covers by Howard Chaykin, Ryan Sook, and Russ Braun, early character sketches by Craig Cermak, and Garth Ennis’ original script to Red Team #1.

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Preview: Apocalypse Al #1 (of 4)

Apocalypse Al #1 (of 4)

Story By: J. Michael Straczynski
Art By: Bill Farmer
Cover By: Bill Farmer
Cover By: Ryan Sook
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC130489
Published: February 5, 2014

Alison Carter is a private detective. Her beat: the end of the world, or more accurately, preventing same. With an attitude of “shoot first and the hell with the questions,” she leads a life that would drive other investigators mad, filled with monsters, demons, trolls, mad prophets, zombie detectives, techno-wizards, machinegun toting imps, and dead boyfriends. In the first action-packed installment of this new universe, Al is given her biggest assignment ever, one that will take her into the heart of Ultimate Darkness itself. The first of a four-issue miniseries, this issue contains 30 pages of story, unbroken by advertisements.

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Review: Ghost #1

20131215-203321.jpgDark Horse‘s ethereal heroine has been resurrected (pun intended) in a number one issue of Ghost, an exciting look at journalist Elisa Cameron’s war against extradimensional demons in Chicago. With her first appearance in 1993, this series represents a character two decades in the making. When the windy city’s mayor banished Elisa to a hellish dimension in the midst of her investigation, two paranormal investigators, Vaughn Barnes and Tommy Byers, accidentally used a powerful box to bring her back as Ghost, a woman trapped between two worlds. Though keenly aware of her current abilities, Elisa still struggles with her past…the fact that she doesn’t remember it.

The balancing act between story and art teeters in favor of the latter. While I’m sure there’s added pressure in a first issue, writers Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela commit a cardinal sin…the entire-plot-in-one-sentence trick. “Elisa, I know this whole resurrection thing has been tough on you, but the former mayor installed otherdimensional demon entities into powerful positions throughout the city.” I know storytellers are constrained by space, but it can undermine the intelligence of the reader and detracts from the power of a well placed panel, glance, or comment.

Not to belabor the point, but I read an even better example earlier this year in Captain Midnight (a sister publication from Dark Horse, coincidentally). “You misunderstand Major. The man came through a time vortex of unknown origin in the Bermuda Triangle after chasing a Nazi who stole top secret Albright Industries tech.” Dreadful. Don’t let that scare you off though, the dialogue and story as a whole are exciting enough to make me want to read the second issue (which I will).

The art and color create a vibrant cityscape filled with equally colorful demons. Terry Dodson‘s cover sets an almost unmatchable standard, though illustrator Ryan Sook takes up the challenge. Sook takes this female Moon Knight and adds a melancholy, almost sultry persona as she scours the city for answers (the two panels of Elisa in front of a mirror are particularly exceptional). I’m a firm believer in reinvigorating characters and storylines as zero issues or number one issues, and Ghost is no different. While they should have taken more time to flesh out the story, DeConnick, Sebela, and Sook will take Chicago’s apparitional superhero to new heights.

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Sebela Art: Ryan Sook
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Solve the Case & Prevent the End of the World: All in a Day’s Work for Apocalypse Al

In 2013 MTV Geek announced plans to publish a new four-part miniseries entitled The Adventures of Apocalypse Al, written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Sid Kotian, with colors by Bill Farmer. The series follows the action-packed, fast-paced, surreal, and comically strange tale of Allison Carter, a private investigator whose beat is the end of the world…or more precisely, preventing same. When MTV Geek closed its doors in October, imperiling the project, Joe’s Comics and Studio JMS leapt in to reacquire the material with the assistance of MTV’s Tom Akel.

Consequently, in February 2014, The Adventures of Apocalypse Al debuts from Joe’s Comics with an oversized first issue containing 30 pages of original story, unbroken by advertisements, and accompanied by an audio dramatization that has become the trademark of Joe’s Comics. All four issues—107 pages in all—are written, drawn and inked, guaranteeing that they will come out on time. In addition to the covers by Sid Kotian, covers will be provided by Francesco Francavilla and the legendary John Romita Jr. This marks the first time Romita and Straczynski have worked together since their celebrated run on The Amazing Spider-Man.

When a mysterious figure gets his hands on the Book of Keys, whose secrets can cause the destruction of the world, Allison Carter is the only one who can stop him. Her journey takes her through a world populated by zombie cops, machinegun toting imps, techno-wizards, closet trolls, demonic theme parks, other dimensions, Ultimate Darkness, and an undead ex-boyfriend.

While most of the major comics companies are shortening their titles, each issue of The Adventures of Apocalypse Al is oversized, giving readers more story and more bang for the buck at the same price as a regular issue. Issue one has 30 pages of story; issue two, 28 pages of story; issue three, 28 pages of story; and issue four, 21 pages of story plus additional pages of bonus features.

The Adventures of Apocalypse Al  #1 will be in stores February 5th 2014. Issue #1 cover A will be illustrated by Sid Kotian and Bill Farmer and pre-orders can be placed using Diamond Code DEC130489. Cover B will be by Ryan Sook and can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code DEC130490. A retailer incentive black and white line art cover C by Sook which can be pre-ordered as well with Diamond Code DEC130491.

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Preview: Goat Big or Go Home in Quantum and Woody #4!

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of Quantum and Woody #4 from the acclaimed creative team of James Asmus and Tom Fowler! At last, Quantum gets the drop on the mysterious force behind his father’s death! Plus, the staggering first appearance of a little character we like to call…the Goat!

Bitterly divided and hopelessly outgunned, Quantum and Woody are getting torn apart! Literally! Can they get their #$@% together before being shredded to atoms by the mysterious Crone and her super-science foot soldiers?! Probably not. But when a new ally emerges from the shadows, they’ll find the strength to fight baaaaack.

QUANTUM AND WOODY #4
Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by TOM FOWLER
Cover by RYAN SOOK (AUG131486)
Valiant Level Two 8-Bit Variant by DONOVAN SANTIAGO (AUG131487)
Goat Variant by ROB GUILLORY (AUG131488)
$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

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