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Review: Rapture #3

RAPTURE_003_COVER-B_JONES“Ninjak and Shadowman have launched an all-out assault against Babel – the ancient being determined to breach heaven – on the dark and decaying battlefields of the Deadside. But are the combined might of sword and shadow enough to stop this biblical force of nature…or will they need the help of an ancient and weary warrior whose power transcends their understanding? And as oblivion inches ever closer to Earth, Tama the Geomancer and Punk Mambo must step out of the darkness and halt Babel’s forces from infiltrating the land of the living as Valiant’s Shadowman-driven standalone event fight on!”

When you put a comic down and say “holy shit that was awesome” you’re usually referring to the writing, art or some combination thereof. Seldom do you put down an issue and say the same things about the lettering, because when a letterer does a god job you don’t notice it as you spend more time enjoying the issue in front of you; the sign of a good letterer is when you don’t notice their work. But with Rapture #3, and indeed the entire series so far, Dave Sharpe has been bringing to life Babel’s unique way of speaking with a surprisingly effective way of lettering his speech, which allows you to get a mere glimpse at the complex mind of the series villain.

Once again, Andrew Dalhouse‘s colouring is wonderful, and truly bring the Deadside to life (pun not intended). The art team of Cafu with Roberto De La Torre gave Dalhouse some fantastic virgin art to work with, and the end result is a comic that is utterly wonderful to look at. But it’s not just wonderful to look at; Matt Kindt once again delivers a solid script, driving the plot forward without rushing the development of the story – Kindt is truly a master of his craft.

Rapture #3 is another solid issue in the story.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Cafu with Roberto De La Torre
Colour Art: Andrew Dalhouse Dave Sharpe
Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review, but this review is based on the print copy I picked up from my LCS.

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Preview: Rapture #3 (of 4)

RAPTURE #3 (of 4)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover A by MICO SUAYAN (MAY171976)
Cover B by J.G. JONES (MAY171977)
Character Design Variant by RYAN LEE (MAY171979)
Variant Cover by FELIPE MASSAFERA (MAY171980)
B&W Sketch Variant by MICO SUAYAN (MAY171981)
Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe Variant Also Available (MAY171978)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JULY 19th (FOC – 6/21/17)

Beware the lords of the Deadside!

Ninjak and Shadowman have launched an all-out assault against Babel – the ancient being determined to breach heaven – on the dark and decaying battlefields of the Deadside. But are the combined might of sword and shadow enough to stop this biblical force of nature…or will they need the help of an ancient and weary warrior whose power transcends their understanding? And as oblivion inches ever closer to Earth, Tama the Geomancer and Punk Mambo must step out of the darkness and halt Babel’s forces from infiltrating the land of the living as Valiant’s Shadowman-driven standalone event fight on!

Review: Rapture #2

“Might meets magic!

As Babel’s dark forces in the Deadside rise, the afterlife’s last chance at survival rests in the living’s greatest champions. But to save heaven itself, MI-6 agent Colin King – aka Ninjak– must confront his greatest fears…and place his trusted steel against the fantastic and unknown powers of sorcery. With Punk Mambo, Tama the Geomancer, and the fallen hero Shadowman at his side, Ninjak will lead the supernatural’s greatest champions into a suicide mission against beasts and barbarians…and the very gods themselves!”

You know those comics that you read and genuinely liked but don’t have much to say about it? That’s where I am right now with this issue, so this review may be shorter than normal, but these things happen.

Usually when talking about the art in a comic you’d start with the line artist, or inker, but I’m bucking the trend today because Andrew Dalhouse‘s colouring work is transcendent. His work bringing the various Loa to life adds some genuine brightness to the pages; I don’t always say how impressive  Dalhouse is in a comic because he’s always so consistent, but he seems to have stepped up a notch here, although that could also be a result of the kinetic line work from Cafu with some assistance from Roberto De La Torre. The art team have delivered a beautiful looking comic, and thankfully Matt Kindt is on form here.

I’m a big fan of the relationship between Ninjak and Punk Mambo (seriously, you could have told me this was a team-up comic with these two and I’d have brought it – Shadowman was a secondary consideration for me), and his stubborn refusal of magic is done in a way that enables some entertaining one liners while also setting up a believable technological counter weapon – I won’t elaborate more.

I genuinely enjoyed this issue; the story and the art were both on point, and combine for a comic that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Cafu with Roberto De La Torre
Colour Art: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Rapture #2 (of 4)

RAPTURE #2 (of 4)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU with ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover A by MICO SUAYAN (APR172119)
Cover B by J.G. JONES (APR172120)
Character Design Variant by KANO (APR172122)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN (APR172123)
B&W Sketch Variant by MICO SUAYAN (APR172124)
Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe Variant Also Available (APR172121)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JUNE 21st

Might meets magic!

As Babel’s dark forces in the Deadside rise, the afterlife’s last chance at survival rests in the living’s greatest champions. But to save heaven itself, MI-6 agent Colin King – aka Ninjak– must confront his greatest fears…and place his trusted steel against the fantastic and unknown powers of sorcery. With Punk Mambo, Tama the Geomancer, and the fallen hero Shadowman at his side, Ninjak will lead the supernatural’s greatest champions into a suicide mission against beasts and barbarians…and the very gods themselves!

Valiant’s epic standalone event enters is next spellbinding chapter as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR) and powerhouse artist CAFU (RAI) strike at the veil between life and death!

A First Look, Ninjak and Shadowman Besiege Rapture #2

Valiant has released a first look inside Rapture #2 (of 4) – the next astounding chapter to the summer’s most astonishing standalone event from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and explosive artist CAFU! On June 22nd, the malevolent biblical force known to the ages as Babel begins his barbarous assault on existence itself…and the only barrier between Earth and annihilation are two diametrically opposed heroes: Colin King, the cold, calculating and rational intelligence operative codenamed Ninjak; and Jack Boniface, the troubled magical guardian once called Shadowman!

As Babel’s dark forces in the Deadside rise, the afterlife’s last chance at survival rests in the living’s greatest champions. But to save heaven itself, MI-6 agent Colin King – aka Ninjak– must confront his greatest fears…and test his trusted steel against the fantastic and unknown powers of sorcery. With Punk Mambo, the Geomancer, and Shadowman at his side, Ninjak will lead the supernatural’s greatest champions into a suicide mission against beasts and barbarians…and the very gods themselves!

Featuring an astonishing assortment of covers from Mico Suayan, J.G. Jones, Kano, and Clayton Crain!

Review: Rapture #1

RAPTURE_001_COVER-B_JONESOn a scarred landscape, two otherworldly armies prepare to battle one last time, vying for control of a massive tower named from an ancient language no longer permitted to be spoken.

One army is led by a primeval force named Babel, whose goal is singular: to breach “Heaven” no matter the cost. The only thing standing in his way is a gray-haired barbaric warrior, filled with rage and regret, a man who sees this battle as his last chance for redemption. But he knows his depleted forces have little chance of victory unless aid comes.

Enter Tama: A 12-year old girl on the crest of a hill overlooking the battle, who has just become humanity’s only hope. The last in an ancient line of mystics who protect the Earth, she has foreseen this battle and knows millions will perish if she’s unable to stop it. Now Tama and her ragtag team of malcontents – Ninjak, Shadowman and Punk Mambo – must somehow defeat an elder god hell bent on piercing the heavens.

Continuing on from Matt Kindt‘s run on the recently concluded Ninjak, Rapture #1 sees the return of Tama the Geomancer from the seminal Book Of Death miniseries from a few years ago. Although it’ll likely help if you have some familiarity with Ninjak and Shadowman, for this issue at least, it won’t hamper your enjoyment of the story if you’re picking this up purely because of the numbering.

RAPTURE_001_001

I mean, honestly, who doesn’t like a first issue?

Rapture #1 sets the stage for the story largely from Tama’s point of view, which allows readers to get reacquainted with the Geomancer as she explains why she needs Ninjak, Punk Mambo, and Shadowman. And does she explain… One of the surprising reasons I am so taken with the series already is the way that Kindt peppers in some lighter moments that I probably found funnier than they were intended to be. I say surprising reasons because I genuinely wasn’t expecting to find the comic funny. Obviously I hoped I’d like it, but I never expected to laugh.

Cafu provides typical Cafu art here, and that is to say that the art is brilliant.

There’s brilliant distinction between the Deadside and our world such that even if you’re unfamiliar with the differences between the two you’ll be able to easily identify the two from the visual cues. I have no holes to pick, and no complaints about this issue.

This is the second comic from Valiant that I’ve read this week, and it’s also a blinder.

 

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Cafu Colours: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, but I read the physical copy I purchased from my LCS.

Preview: Rapture #1 (of 4)

RAPTURE #1 (of 4)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover A by MICO SUAYAN (MAR172161)
Cover B by J.G. JONES (MAR172162)
Character Design Variant by KANO (MAR172165)
Variant Cover by CAFU (MAR172166)
B&W Sketch Variant by MICO SUAYAN (MAR172167)
NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE Variant Also Available (MAR172164)
Blank Cover Also Available (MAR172163)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale MAY 24 (FOC – 5/1/17)

On a scarred landscape, two otherworldly armies prepare to battle one last time, vying for control of a massive tower named from an ancient language no longer permitted to be spoken.

One army is led by a primeval force named Babel, whose goal is singular: to breach “Heaven” no matter the cost. The only thing standing in his way is a gray-haired barbaric warrior, filled with rage and regret, a man who sees this battle as his last chance for redemption. But he knows his depleted forces have little chance of victory unless aid comes.

Enter Tama: A 12-year old girl on the crest of a hill overlooking the battle, who has just become humanity’s only hope. The last in an ancient line of mystics who protect the Earth, she has foreseen this battle and knows millions will perish if she’s unable to stop it. Now Tama and her ragtag team of malcontents – Ninjak, Shadowman and Punk Mambo – must somehow defeat an elder god hell bent on piercing the heavens.

This summer, New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR) and artistic sensation CAFU (RAI) lead a Tolkien-esque journey into the space between life and death…through the Deadside…and into the many worlds that lie beyond right here with a spellbinding and horrific standalone event!

Preview: Ninjak #27

NINJAK #27

Written by KEVIN MAURER
Art by CAFU
Cover A by STEPHEN SEGOVIA (MAR172168)
Cover B by STEVE LIEBER (MAR172169)
Cover C by ALEX SANCHEZ (MAR172170)
Variant Cover by DAN PARENT (MAR172171)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale MAY 17 (FOC – 4/24/17)

Snakebite!

He’s fought the Shadow Seven, journeyed to the Deadside, and bested death itself, but MI-6’s top superspy has never tested his limits like this! When Ninjak is assigned to the Middle East for a seemingly simple extraction, this once-routine mission will quickly turns south when the laws of nature are turned upside down…and mutated soldiers bearing the animalistic abilities of nature’s deadly predators strike from the shadows! Now, Ninjak must hone his lethal skills and channel his inner warrior like never before…or end up at the bottom of the food chain!

Rapture #1 – Ninjak and Shadowman Lead Valiant’s Next Standalone Event in May!

Valiant has announced Rapture #1 (of 4) – a spellbinding standalone event from writer Matt Kindt and artist CAFU! In the epic tradition of The Valiant, the fallen hero once known as Shadowman returns to the forefront of the Valiant Universe to unite with the most unlikely ally of all – seasoned MI-6 intelligence operative Ninjak – for an epic quest into the unknown!

On a scarred landscape, two otherworldly armies prepare to battle one last time, vying for control of a massive tower named from an ancient language no longer permitted to be spoken.

One army is led by a primeval force named Babel, whose goal is singular: to breach “Heaven” no matter the cost. The only thing standing in his way is a gray-haired barbaric warrior, filled with rage and regret – a man who sees this battle as his last chance for redemption. But he knows his depleted forces have little chance of victory unless aid comes soon.

Enter Tama: A 12-year old girl on the crest of a hill overlooking the battle, who has just become humanity’s only hope. The last in an ancient line of mystics who protect the Earth, she has foreseen this battle and knows millions will perish if she’s unable to stop it. Now Tama and her ragtag team of malcontents – Ninjak, Shadowman and Punk Mambo – must somehow defeat an elder god hell bent on piercing the heavens.

Featuring covers by Harvey Award-nominated artist Mico Suayan, Eisner Award-nominated artist J.G. Jones, acclaimed artist Kano, and rising star CAFU!

Valiant: X-O Manowar FCBD Special Debuts Two Essential New Stories for Free Comic Book Day 2017!

Valiant has released a first look inside the Valiant: X-O Manowar FCBD Special – Valiant’s gold-level offering for Free Comic Book Day 2017! On Saturday, May 6th, the road toward 2017’s biggest new series – X-O Manowar and Bloodshot Salvation – starts here with two all-new, never-before-seen stories from a top-tier cast of writers and artists, including Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, CAFU, Juan Jose Ryp, and many more!

First: Valiant’s most explosive Free Comic Book Day yet begins as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and rising star CAFU present a brand-new prelude introducing the world of X-O Manowar #1 – the EPIC NEW ONGOING SERIES from Kindt and a rotating cast of blockbuster interior artists including Tomas Giorello, Doug Braithwaite, Clayton Crain, Ryan Bodenheim, and Mico Suayan!

Then: FCBD 2017 escalates even further as New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp present a shocking look ahead at what awaits in Bloodshot Salvation – a top-secret new ongoing series debuting in 2017 — with THE FIRST APPEARANCE of a MAJOR NEW CHARACTER that will have major ramifications for the violent world and troubled life of Ray Garrison…

Plus: FaithHarbinger RenegadeNinjakPsi-LordsArcher & ArmstrongSecret WeaponsRAIShadowmanWar Mother… And surprise revelations for Harbinger Wars 2! On May 6th, don’t miss the all-star lineup of Valiant’s biggest heroes as Matt Kindt, CAFU, Jeff Lemire, Juan Jose Ryp, and special surprise guests present the biggest moments that the Valiant Universe has to offer!

valiant-fcbd2017_cover_giorello

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