Tag Archives: Comics

You Can Stay Valiant at Home with the Valiant Hero of the Week

VALIANT HERO OF THE WEEK

There’s a new way to stay Valiant while you stay home: Valiant Hero of the Week!

We want to offer some entertainment and escapism for Valiant fans during this challenging period. Every Monday for the next several weeks, Valiant will post a poll on Twitter that features four heroes, and the fans will determine who becomes the Valiant Hero of the Week! Once a hero is selected by the end of Monday, they will be celebrated throughout the week with:

  • Engaging social content encouraging fans to share their favorite art, covers, stories, and more
  • Free PDFs featuring the hero
  • Videos from Valiant staff saying why they love the hero and suggesting ways to celebrate
  • Giveaways
  • And more!

Valiant Hero of the Week kicks off on Monday (March 30th) and the first poll will feature Bloodshot, Punk Mambo, Quantum & Woody, and Ninjak. Who will you vote for?

Review: Quantum and Woody #3

Quantum and Woody #3

Quantum and Woody are back in high school – this time to solve a murder!
But are their combined powers a match for the haunts that await them? Find out in Quantum and Woody #3!

When I read this comic the first time verses the second time, a lot had changed. And it changed my appreciation of the comic, too. It went from being a fun diversion to a life raft.

Y’see, because my wife has lung issues, we’re effectively in quarantine already, and so I was in desperate need of a distraction. Even having read this book once, the second time through still allowed me to escape for just long enough to reset myself. So judging this book critically will be tough but then sometimes you just have to judge a book in the moment. And in this moment Quantum & Woody #3 was perfect.

Written by Christopher Hastings, with art by Ryan Browne and colors by Ruth Redmond, this book was everything I didn’t know I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it the first time I read it; this isn’t a comic that went from average to amazing simply because I read it after a tumultuous weekend.

Hastings has once again packed a full story, start middle and end, into a single comic. He has so far given us three complete stories in three issues that have all tied together with elements that are bound to come together in the finale next month whenever the fourth issue comes out. It isn’t often you get as much story in a comic as you have with Quantum & Woody #3 these days, which is a refreshing change of pace and it feels like you’re getting far more than you’re paying for in comparison to other books.

Browne’s art is absolutely perfect for this comic; there’s an energy to his line work that jumps from the page. Whether it’s Quantum punching somebody or Woody running out of a panel this comic has a lot to look at at, and Browne is able to make the art tell a complete story despite how much is happening between the covers. His art flows and makes sense. There’s no need to make a logic jump from panel to panel (you know how when you’re reading a comic and all of a sudden it feels like you missed a panel or two? That’s not here), which is a testament to Browne’s ability to tell a story visually.

Ruth Redmond has the unenviable job of coloring the insanity taking place in this comic, and does so in a way that nothing is lost on the page. Quantum & Woody #3 is a bright book because of Redmond’s vibrant colors as much as the story itself.

I also want to highlight Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou‘s lettering in this book. Hastings has a lot of words in this comic, and Otsmane-Elhaou’s work is so spot on to be almost unnoticeable. I say almost, because once I noticed his lettering because of the sound effects. I realized just how impressive the work is in this comic. Read the book, then read it again paying attention to the lettering and you’ll see what I mean; the font choices, the sizing and the sound effects are perfect for this book.

I don’t know when we’ll get to read the fourth issue at this point, and just typing that sucks. We’re all living in a time that few of us ever expected. Things have changed on us overnight. If you need a moment of brightness, a distraction from the news, then the third issue of this series is ideal for that.

It’s absolutely a perfect way to distract yourself. It’s a pretty stand alone book you can enjoy this without reading the first two issues. I’m going to be reading those three comics a lot over the coming months. Join me, won’t you?

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.2 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-O Manowar #1

X-O Manowar #1

Harvey Award-winning writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallumand breakout star Emilio Laiso unleash Valiant’s most powerful protector in X-O Manowar #1!

Torn from the past and bonded with a living alien armor, will X-O Manowar become the hero the world needs now? As a futuristic force arises to destroy the planet, only this ancient warrior king has the courage to stand against impossible odds!

I have been waiting to read a finished version of X-O Manowar #1 for a long time. I got a chance to read an unfinished copy a month or two ago. Had I reviewed what I’d read then, it would have been glowing even with an unfinished product. The story stood out strongly even when the art was unfinished. Some pages were lacking color and I am sure that the lettering and dialogue have been tweaked here and there. I haven’t done a side by side comparison as yet and probably never will. This is all a long way of telling you that I knew I’d enjoy the comic before I read the final version.

Within the first three pages of this comic, Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum introduces new readers to Aric of Dacia, the 4th century warrior wearing an incredible suit of armour without throwing up exposition in his dialogue. There’s a natural relationship between Aric and the sacred armor of Shanhara born over years of interaction. Hallum injects a fresh and playful level of banter between the two. I love the new voice he has given Shanhara. I love how easily Hallum introduces his version of X-O Manowar to readers new and old.

Hallum takes X-O in a direction we have not yet seen in the modern era of X-O Manowar comics; Aric trying to fit in with regular people. And honestly, if the entire comic was just that, I’d still be as happy as a pig in muck. We’ve seen Aric go from a farmer to an emperor on a distant planet, try and find a home for hundred of time-displaced former slaves and fight against incredible odds, but we’ve never seen him try to play basketball. It’s one of those moments that I didn’t know I needed to see until I had seen it.

The comic has echoes of the Will Smith movie Hancock in Aric’s near clueless way of interacting with the modern world. His only guide is a sentient alien armor.

The story alone sold me on this book when I first read it. Being able to see the finished artwork of artist Emilio Laiso and colorist Ruth Redmond took this to another level.

The opening scenes set in space are beautiful. The colors are crisp, the line work clean, and so incredibly easy to follow despite the sheer amount of debris on the page. The pages immediately after the space sequence have a lot of text on them. Yet letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou strikes a perfect balance between fitting the words on the page and allowing the artwork to shine and help tell the story.

Believe it or not, I’ve really only touched on the first half dozen pages or so of this book at the moment. I won’t delve much deeper into the specific events for spoiler reasons.

This is one of, if not the absolute best issues of X-O Manowar I have read in a long time. It’s also one of the best things from Valiant I’ve read in the last year. If you’re looking for a jumping-on spot for X-O Manowar, then this is going to be the best spot you’ll find without going back to 2012. Hallum, Laiso, Redmond, and Otsmane-Elhaou have created a masterpiece in X-O Manowar #1. It’s only gotten better with each subsequent reading.

Bring on the second issue.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

X-O Manowar #1

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

A for Anonymous (Bold Type Books) – A graphic novel that focuses on the hacktivists that took on some powerful targets.

Far Sector #5 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – This series is the best thing DC is releasing with fantastic artwork and entertaining story. It’s not too late to get started reading this one.

Ghostbusters: Year One #3 (IDW Publishing) – The series has been a lot of fun as it spotlights each member of the team giving us a little more insight into the beloved characters.

Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-O (BOOM! Studios) – The comic series goes graphic novel and in this chapter, the girls enter a Battle of the Bands to stop a shadowy corporation from destroying the world of digital music and blame it on Y2K.

Hellions #1 (Marvel) – The latest addition to Marvel’s X-Men relaunch that brings together some of the villains on Krakoa.

On the Stump #2 (Image Comics) – In this world, politicians pass legislation by battling it out in the ring. Seeing politicians getting punch is somewhat cathartic right now. Plus, it’s just a really good comic.

Transformers vs. Terminator #1 (IDW Publishing) – It’s Transformers and the Terminator mashed-up. How are we not excited for this one!?

Wolverine #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was amazing and we’re hoping the second is just as good. This is the highlight of Marvel’s X-relaunch so far.

X-O Manowar #1 (Valiant) – The debut issue is fantastic for long time fans and new readers. An amazing first issue that’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Preview: Quantum and Woody #3

QUANTUM AND WOODY #3

Written by CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS
Art by RYAN BROWNE
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover B by CASPAR WIJNGAARD
Cover C by WILL ROBSON
Pre-Order Edition Cover by STEVE LIEBER
Cover E 1/20 “Extra Virgin” Variant by DAVID NAKAYAMA
On sale MARCH 25 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Quantum & Woody are back in high school – this time to solve a murder!
But are their combined powers a match for the haunts that await them?

QUANTUM AND WOODY #3

Preview: X-O Manowar #1

X-O MANOWAR #1

Written by DENNIS “HOPELESS” HALLUM
Art by EMILIO LAISO
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by CHRISTIAN WARD
Cover B by JEFF DEKAL
Cover C by ROD REIS
Preorder Edition Cover by GREG SMALLWOOD
1:250 Bronze Variant Cover by RAÚL ALLÉN
Blank Cover Also Available
On sale MARCH 25 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Harvey Award-winning writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum (Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Visions) and breakout star Emilio Laiso (Marvel’s Spider-Man: Velocity) unleash Valiant’s most powerful protector!

Torn from the past and bonded with a living alien armor, will X-O Manowar become the hero the world needs now?

As a futuristic force arises to destroy the planet, only this ancient warrior king has the courage to stand against impossible odds!

Review: The Visitor #4

The Visitor #4

How many people would you kill to change the world? The Visitor continues to strike from the shadows, but what kind of change is he killing to create? The Visitor #4 dives into this very question.

I was a touch let down last issue. There didn’t really seem to be a lot of plot furtherance between the second and third issue. The art remained pretty consistent. There’s a lot more to get your teeth into this issue. Thankfully, as we learn more about the Visitor we can start to piece together what his mission entails. The end goal is still a little murky, which leaves me wondering whether the title character is the antagonist. There was a little more light given on which side the Visitor falls this week. It’s this grey area that I’m both thoroughly enjoying and at the same time unsure of, if I’m honest.

But it’s the uncertainty that’s so much fun about this book.

With the The Visitor #4 we’re given a good look into the who of the Visitor, and a solid glance more of why the Visitor has come back in time to kill some scientists, but the exact details of what the Visitor is trying to prevent from happening remains elusive still.

The Visitor #4 is written by Paul Levitz and features artist MJ Kim, colorist Ulises Arreola, and letterer Simon Bowland. I previously wrote that “[the comic] follows the titular character as he’s trying to eliminate something that the Japanese scientists he’s hunting are working on and the UN Security agent Dauber assigned to protect them. Levitz keeps things entirely believable when the scientists keep frustrating Dauber’s efforts to keep them safe by insisting on their secrecy as they all underestimate the Visitor.” It’s still true. I’m leaving it here because I don’t need to update the summary from the second to the third issue. Or the third to the fourth, really.

I enjoyed this issue more than the previous two; further information on the backstory to the Visitor was very welcome, as was some clarification as to his more than human qualities. The art of Kim with Arreola’s coloring is stronger this issue than the last; the action was kinetic fast and exciting. Watching the Visitor escape helicopters was a joy as the artistic team’s work would have made for an excellent live action sequence.

After the slight slump of the previous issue, The Visitor #4 restores my faith in the series. It’s still not the best thing I’ve read this week, but I sure enjoyed the book. It’s a fun science fiction romp that touches on various different aspects of the question: what would you do to change the future? In the case of the Visitor, murder isn’t out of the question. So whatever he’s trying to change must be something big – and I’m really curious as to what that is.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Doctor Tomorrow #2

Doctor Tomorrow #2

The universe warping origin of Doctor Tomorrow revealed in Doctor Tomorrow #2!

The menace of Hadrian threatens the entire Valiant Universe!

Doctor Tomorrow is Valiant‘s first all-ages book set within the publisher’s continuity. This issue also reminds people of Valiant’s multiverse, or introduces them to it. We learn more about Doctor Tomorrow and his relationship with Hadrian, a universe destroying being hunting for a mysterious material. The straight forward nature of the plot has been done numerous times before. It’s hero gathers allies to prevent the end of something. Tthere’s still something fresh about this book.

Writer Alehandro Arbona takes a fairly standard plot and injects a level of warmth and fun. The comic embraces the simplicity of the story. The all-ages nature of the book means the comic doesn’t rely on “edgy” cliches to sell a comic. Doctor Tomorrow #2 is a fresh nice deep breath.

There’s an innate innocence to it, which works very well in Doctor Tomorrow‘s favor.

Joining Alejandro Arbona is artist Jim Towe, colorist Diego Rodriguez and letterer by Clayton Cowles, a creative team that seem to be working together in rare synchronicity. The comic opens with a flight scene as Doctor Tomorrow tries to teach his younger self how to pilot the flight suit that they’re wearing. It’s the first honest look we get at the nature of Doctor Tomorrow’s abilities, but it also is one of the most endearing sequences I’ve read in some time. It’s also an example of just how well Towe and Rodriquez come together to illustrate this book.

Doctor Tomorrow #2 also features fan favorite Valiant characters making a long over due return to the publisher’s comics, and that has me just as excited about the story as anything else in this book. It brings the book into continuity, and introduces two of the more underused aspects of the Valiant universe.

Jim Towe’s art seems to fall more toward what you’d consider an “all-ages style”. The art feels like it came from a Saturday morning cartoon aimed toward older kids, which I love. It’s an aesthetic that fits the style and scope of the comic by being accessible without sacrificing visual storytelling. It is never difficult to follow the events of this book, with the story moving at a fair pace and the art having a bright determination that feels effortless.

I’m one of those people who tend to shy away from all-ages comics because they’re usually not part of the main continuity of whatever universe I’m following, but with Doctor Tomorrow being another Valiant book that just happens to be all ages, that excuse to avoid the comic has gone. And I’m happy about that, because if I missed this then I’d miss a slice of fun and brightness that we all need right now.

Story: Alejandro Arbona Art: Jim Towe
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 8.9 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Visitor #4 (of 6)

THE VISITOR #4 (of 6)

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover B by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Cover C by NETHO DIAZ
Preorder Cover by TONCI ZONJIC

How many people would you kill to change the world?
The Visitor continues to strike from the shadows, but what kind of change is he killing to create?

THE VISITOR #4 (of 6)

Preview: Doctor Tomorrow #2 (of 5)

DOCTOR TOMORROW #2 (of 5)

Written by ALEJANDRO ARBONA
Art by JIM TOWE
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by CLAYTON COWLES
Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Cover B by JIM TOWE
Cover C by CRYSSY CHEUNG
Preorder Edition Cover by HANNAH TEMPLER
On sale MARCH 18 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The universe warping origin of Doctor Tomorrow revealed!
The menace of Hadrian threatens the entire Valiant Universe!

DOCTOR TOMORROW #2 (of 5)
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