Roger Langridge (w) • Craig Russeau, Matteo Lolli (a) • Clayton Henry (c)
Four tales for
the price of one! Captain America, living legend of World War II, battles spies
in Hollywood and M.O.D.O.K.’s predecessor P.R.O.D.O.K…. but nothing prepares
him for spending the next few decades frozen in ice! When he comes to in the
present day, Hydra strikes and Cap learns the action hasn’t let up—the Marvel
Action, that is!
We’re going back to early 2018 to revisit an old column this week, because I recently reread the book and forgot just how much I liked it.
This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Ivar, Timewalker
My comic shop recently got the deluxe hardcover edition of Valiant’s Ivar, Timewalker in on a special order for yours truly, which collects the entire twelve issue run in one place for $40. You can also pick up the series in three softcover trade paperbacks, if you’re so inclined, but I’ve become partial to the oversized hardcovers (especially because of the bonus material in the back, but then I love that stuff). I had already read the final four issues of the series long before I started reading the hardcover, which some would think would be foolish, but when you’re reading a book about time travel then it suddenly becomes less foolish.
In order to give you a bit of context, you’ll find the preview text for the series below.
“At this very moment in Geneva, Switzerland, history is being made. A thousand meters underground inside the Large Hadron Collider, researcher Neela Sethi is about to discover time travel – and jeopardize her life in the process. But she doesn’t know that yet. Ten minutes from now, every deadbeat chrononaut, wannabe conqueror, and misguided protector of the timestream will be banging down her door. Good thing that the legendary Ivar, Timewalker, got there first…right? Now it’s down to history’s most jaded, most tempestuous time traveler to stop the worst of everything that is, was, and will be…before time runs out!“
The series was written by Fred Van Lente, who was joined by Pere Perez, Francis Portella and Clayton Henry with Robert Gill, the first issue being released in January 2015, with the final issue coming in December of that year. The twelve issue series is one of the more underrated offerings from Valiant Entertainment, as many people don’t tend to think about Ivar, Timewalker when talking about the great comics to have come from this publisher – myself included.
As a story about time travel, Ivar, Timewalker is a series that rewards multiple readings – indeed, you could reasonably start at the beginning of any of the three arcs within the series, though this is admittedly more difficult to do with the deluxe edition than the single issues or the trades. Van Lente put together a story that will leave you with as many questions as it will provide answers with an intelligent script that effortlessly blends a heartbreaking story of loss, hope and determination with a sly wit that will have you laughing out loud more often than you would expect in a series that, technically, isn’t a comedy.
Time travel, and effects travelers can have on history are touched on, and often provide some interesting flashes to a story that at its heart is a tale of two incredibly different people; Ivar himself, and Neela Sethi – the scientist who will invent time travel. For as fantastical as the scenery is in this series (and thanks to the artists, it truly is phenomenal), the true draw is the relationship between the two leads.
And that relationship is why you need to read this wonderful story at least twice. I didn’t realize how good this book was when I first read it, and I dare say it’ll only get better with time. Pardon the pun.
Time travel has never been so wonderful.
Join us next week where there will doubtless be another movie, series, comic or comic related thing discussed that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.
DC announced today that it’s expanding its line of comics currently exclusive to Walmart. The publisher is increasing the slate of 100-Page Giant comics from four to six. In addition, two titles from the original lineup will be re-titled and renumbered as #1 issues. All titles, including the Superman 100-Page Giant featuring Tom King with Andy Kubert and the Batman 100-Page Giant featuring Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derington, will arrive in participating U.S. Walmart retail stores by Sunday, February 17.
Additions to the lineup include the Swamp Thing 100-Page Giant #1 and The Flash 100-Page Giant #1. As with the other Walmart titles, each book will retail at $4.99 and combine new original stories with “flashback” content from popular DC story eras such as DC Rebirth, the New Age of Heroes and the New 52.
The debut issue of the Swamp Thing 100-Page Giant includes an original story, “Desert of Ash,” written by Tim Seeley, with art by Mike Perkins. This 12-page tale features Swamp Thing and his witch companion Briar as they face the pyromaniac Char Man, who possesses the ability to control flames, a power granted by the elemental spirits of fire itself. Issues #2 and #3 feature “Bog of Blood,” a two-parter by Seeley with art by Joëlle Jones, which introduces a terrifying and potentially supernatural slasher stalking the swamps of Louisiana.
This 100-page spectacular also includes fan-favorite stories from DC’s New 52 period, including Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman,and Dan Green’s “The Hunt,” from Animal Man, in addition to “Raise Dem Bones,” from the New 52 Swamp Thing by writer Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette, plus “Death in a Small Town,” featuring Detective Chimp and Shadowpact.
The Flash 100-Page Giant #1 features an all-new tale of the Scarlet Speedster, written by Gail Simone with art by Clayton Henry. In the 12-part arc “Glass Houses,” Barry Allen is dedicated to keeping the streets of Central City safe as the Fastest Man Alive. But when his old foe Mirror Master shows up looking to cause trouble, it’s up to the Flash to stop him. This book also debuts classic tales of the New 52 version of the Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, in addition to the spacefaring adventures of Adam Strange from 2004 by Andy Diggle and Pasqual Ferry, plus the classic New 52 “rebirth” of the World’s Mightiest Mortal, Shazam, from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.
Both the Justice League of America and Teen Titans Giants will retain their same contents but continue with new cover titles and will be renumbered with #1 issues. The Justice League of America 100-Page Giant becomes Wonder Woman 100-Page Giant #1, continuing the original Wonder Woman story by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti ,Tom Derenick, and Chad Hardin, with “flashback” stories from Geoff Johns’ New 52 Justice League and Aquaman, plus 2006’s “Who Is Wonder Woman?” by Allan Heinberg, Rachel Dodson, and Terry Dodson.
The Teen Titans 100-Page Giant continues as Titans 100-Page Giant #1, with writer Dan Jurgens continuing his original story with art by Scot Eaton and Wayne Faucher. In addition, the book will continue the ongoing reprint stories from Geoff Johns and Tom Grummett’s Teen Titans from 2004, Peter Tomasi’s Super Sons from 2017’s DC Rebirth and Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, and Max Raynor’s Sideways from the New Age of Heroes.
Each 100-page comic sells for $4.99 and are available in more than 3,000 participating Walmart retailers in the United States.
(W) Dan Abnett (A/CA) Clayton Henry
In Shops: Jan 02, 2019
While the Titans have spent months responding to Source Wall-related threats, Mother Blood and the Blood Cult have been studying that energy and learning to harness it for their own malevolent purposes. In this special villain-focused issue, discover what the Cult has been up to and why everything the Titans have done up to this point may have been for naught, and how they just might be playing into the ultimate trap!
writer: Greg Pak artist: Marc Laming covers: Dave Johnson (A), Marguerite Sauvage (B), Clayton Henry (C), Marc Laming (D) Dave Johnson (RI-Virg), Marc Laming (RI-Virg), Marguerite Sauvage (RI-Virg), Clayton Henry (RI-Virg) FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen+
The ODD JOB epic continues, by superstars GREG PAK (Planet Hulk, Mech Cadet Yu) and MARC LAMING (Star Wars, Wonder Woman)! Somewhere in the world, a smuggler is trying to deliver a mysterious briefcase to the world’s most deadly terrorists. 007 must get this case and is licensed to kill anyone that gets in his way. This is the story of the man who gets in his way.
(W) Dan Abnett (A) Clayton Henry (CA) Leonardo Manco
In Shops: Oct 24, 2018
Then, in a tie-in to the road to “Drowned Earth,” the Titans get a visit from an old teammate when Atlantean mage Tempest guest-stars in the ish. What’s got Garth’s fishnets in a twist? He’s there to help the new Titans lineup take on a major oceanic threat, whose attack comes straight out of the pages of Justice League and Aquaman. Guess you could say that prelude “spills over” into TITANS this month.
(W) Dan Abnett (A) Brent Peeples, Matt Santorelli (CA) Clayton Henry
In Shops: Oct 10, 2018
Newly awakened metahuman Ionbound suffers a fateful transformation that rocks the Titans team to their core. If they can’t save these Source Wall victims, what good is their latest mission? But does this development hold the key to helping them? Or is it a harbinger of more death and destruction to come? That’s a lot of questions to answer; good thing there are two issues this month to cover all that ground!
(W) Scott Lobdell (A) Clayton Henry (CA) Kenneth Rocafort
In Shops: Aug 29, 2018
The boys are back-Red Hood and Arsenal, together again! Sort of. While Jason Todd is recovering after a brutal beatdown from the man who taught him everything he knows about brutal beatdowns, Roy Harper divides his time between being a nursemaid to his bestie and tracking down the source of tainted drugs that have killed thousands. It isn’t long before the two find themselves in Beijing battling the Sisters of Suzie Su! All this and…the inexplicable fate of Artemis and Bizarro!
(W) Robert Venditti (A) Clayton Henry (CA) Stephen Segovia
In Shops: Jun 13, 2018
“DARKSTARS RISING” part five! The Green Lantern Corps has gathered its forces to stand against the encroaching threat of the Darkstars, but not even John Stewart was prepared for their next move: the Darkstars enlist Guy Gardner into their ranks!
(W) Robert Venditti (A) Clayton Henry (CA) Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki
In Shops: May 16, 2018
“UNNATURAL DISASTER” part two! Ethan Avery’s journey to uncover the secrets of his power will have to wait – he’s got a brawl to survive first! If his alter ego, “Damage,” ever wants to make it out of Poison Ivy’s clutches alive, he’s going to have to fight an army of super-angry monkeys to do it. And Gorilla Grodd. That can’t be that hard, right? Remember, Damage – monkey see, monkey smash!