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Valiant Announces Changes to their Structure

Valiant logo

Valiant has announced that it is restructuring its New York and Los Angeles offices to bring their publishing, tv, and film projects closer together.

The New York offices are moving to a new location that is currently under construction and will open in Fall 2020. The company has been working remotely since Mid-March due to COVID-19. Some rumors have swirled around the closing of their current NY office.

In Los Angeles, Valiant has hired comic industry veteran David Wohl as a Senior Editor.

The company has revealed some recent plans including the return of X-O Manowar in November with long-awaited X-O Manowar #2.

In March, the publisher announced a remastered 1999 Shadowman game from Nightdive Studios. They are also working with Blowfish Studios to develop new video games featuring characters from the Valiant universe.

This is on top of the release of Bloodshot, the film released by Sony in theaters and soon after on demand due to the pandemic, the continued work on Harbinger which is still slated to be released in 2021, and Faith: Taking Flight a young adult novel published by an imprint of HarperCollins.

Review: Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition

Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition

Valiant’s supersoldier must hunt down monsters, aliens, living weapons, and other terrifying threats after they’re set loose from a top-secret facility in “The Burned” Part 1 – plus exclusive new content, and commentary from Kevin VanHook! All in the Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition!

Note: The story hasn’t changed at all in the Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition, and you’ll find the review for that below. This update is specifically talking about the added content to the comic.

Content that is designed to pull those who have already purchased the comic back to buy another one with a half dozen pages of extras, but is it enough? Eh… maybe. If you’re a super fan, or somebody who loves to learn about the history and the behind the scenes of comics, the answer is obvious, just as if it is if you haven’t read the book at all: Absolutely.

But if you’re more interested in the story? Well that can get a bit trickier. There’s a page with scenes from the comics that inspired the movie, which honestly, is two thirds a crock of shit with two panels taken from this series, which was released after the movie had finished filming, but before it hit cinemas. It feels like that was thrown in as filler, with panels that look kinda similar, so why not try it?

The next two pages of the extras are worth reading as Bloodshot co-creator Kevin Van Hook takes you on a tour of the character’s origin. It may be a story some are familiar with, but if you’re not then it’s a worthy read, followed by Tim Seely taking us on a quick look inside a certain page.

After that we get a breakdown of the characters in the series, which is great for new fans, but maybe less exciting for some.

Is the Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition worth buying if you’ve already picked up the story the first time it came through? Maybe – it depends on your interest in the character. For me, it’s a book I’ll be picking up when I hit up my LCS, but I’m one of those fans who loves the history of comics, and Van Hook’s section is worth the price of admission for me alone.

Original Review:

What better way to release a comic featuring the first character to appear on the big screen than by having it start with a new jumping on point? A first issue, you could say, and you wouldn’t be wrong – but with the comic already having had seven issues released (including Bloodshot #0) it would have been a touch disingenuous to renumber the series with the story still ongoing. Nobody would ever do that. Certainly not.

If you are looking to check the character out ahead of the movie, or you’re reading this after having seen the Sony Pictures Bloodshot movie starring Vin Diesal, then you’ll be happy to know that Bloodshot #7 is fairly new reader friendly. Cleverly paced dialogue that flows without feeling like forced exposition tells you everything you need to know.

Bloodshot has been one fast-paced and frenetic issue after another. It has been a great ride for the last seven issues. I’ve certainly enjoyed the series for what it is; a popcorn comic that has a depth to it that’s revealed further with each issue. Tim Seeley gives you a little more of his plan with each release. There are moments in this issue that change or enhance your idea of the characterizations of some characters inbetween the action. It’s this balance that allows you to fly through the book while still feeling like you’ve read more than the twenty-odd pages.

Seeley is joined by artist Marc Laming, inker Adelso Corona, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. All of whom combine for an aesthetic that appeals enormously to me. The style gives me a sense of nostalgia for the comic art I read growing up; it’s dynamic, clean and yet full of life and vibrancy.

If the above paragraph feels familiar to you it’s because I copied it from the review of the last issue. It was as true then as it is for this issue, and I didn’t feel like I should try and craftily rewrite the same thing when my feelings on the visuals haven’t changed. Personally, I love how this book looks. The lines are clean and it’s very easy to discern what’s happening on every page.

Bloodshot #7 isn’t the most original story. It won’t shake you to your core or have you asking yourself deeply introspective questions. But not every comic needs to do that. What Bloodshot does, it does very well. Seeley, Booth, and co have been remarkably consistent issue to issue, and I can’t really find any fault in an issue that does exactly what it says on the tin (that may be an obscure reference for you – it’s from a UK add originating in the late 90’s from a company called Ronseal).

Bloodshot remains one of the series I look forward to reading each month. This wasn’t the best comic I’ve read this week, but it still comes with a big fat stamp of approval from me.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Marc Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Purchase: comiXology

X-O Manowar Returns this November

Valiant‘s flagship hero returns this November in X-O Manowar #2!

Aric of Dacia, aka X-O Manowar, is back and heading in a bold new direction with Harvey Award-winner Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, astonishing artist Emilio Laiso, colorist Ruth Redmond, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The first issue earned a spot in the top 100 best-selling comics when it debuted. Now, the action-packed second issue is set to arrive in comic shops on November 25th, 2020, with covers by Eisner Award-winning artist Christian WardNetho Diaz, and a 1:25 variant by Daniel Warren Johnson.

Check out the first four pages of X-O Manowar #2, below.

X-O Manowar #2

Underrated: Crecy

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: Crecy.

I’ve always been interested by the middle ages, and the English use of the longbow. In part because it’s the origin of one of my favourite hand gestures to use (especially in North America when so few actually know what I’m doing in pictures). Needless to say, when I saw that gesture over a bloody St. George’s cross, I grabbed the book off the shelf. And then noticed that it was a Warren Ellis book.

I am by no means an authority on the Battle of Crecy. I only really know of a few accounts through Wikipedia articles and their sources and the Bernard Cornwall novels surrounding an English Archer named Thomas of Hookton, with the book Harlequin telling the tale of the battle from his perspective. So I won’t claim to know that this book is 100% historically accurate, but it is as faithful a telling as you’re likely to find from the eyes of an archer – whether in a textbook or not.

Ellis utilizes a lead character who frequently addresses the audience when telling the battle’s story and events, showing knowledge of modern times without ever indicating that he knows he’s in a fictional story. It’s an effective story device, and one that I really enjoy for this type of story (but I hope we don’t see it over used, either). The black and white are hides some of the violence, but serves to highlight the mayhem and carnage of the day.

Crecy is a great book – worth every penny of the cover price, and far more Underrated than it should be.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Preview: Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition


Written by TIM SEELEY
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Photo Cover feat. Vin Diesel as BLOODSHOT
On sale AUGUST 12 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Valiant’s supersoldier must hunt down monsters, aliens, living weapons, and other terrifying threats after they’re set loose from a top-secret facility in “The Burned” Part 1 – plus exclusive new content, and commentary from Kevin VanHook!


Alejandro Arbona Takes Us in To Tomorrow with Doctor Tomorrow

Doctor Tomorrow #1

Bart Simms is has met the Valiant, Universe’s greatest hero… himself! Doctor Tomorrow is Valiant‘s newest superhero and one aimed at a younger “all-ages” crowd.

Writer Alejandro Arbona and artist Jim Towe have crafted this time travel adventure.

We got a chance to talk to Arbona about writing Valiant’s all-ages comic and what it’s like writing “pretty much every” Valiant character in the miniseries.

Graphic Policy: How are you doing? 

Alejandro Arbona: Ehh! You know. I’m doing well, thanks; lucky enough to be healthy and employed, although the neverending anxiety and constant nightmares are getting a little old. But I’m excited for people to finish reading Doctor Tomorrow!

GP: With this being a spoiler-filled interview, let’s just dive in. How did you find writing three versions of the same character in the book? Did it require any particular planning or did you look at them as three distinct characters with the same name?

AA: It’s a little of both. Obviously the entire story is predicated on the multiple Barts being virtually the same person, at different ages, and the inevitability of each of them aging into becoming the next one in the cycle, or our Bart being the one to break that cycle. At the same time, it was fun to write them as if Bart was meeting his long-lost dad and his grandpa, and discovering their legacy that he’s going to inherit. And in that case, the idea of the cycle, and breaking the cycle, still applies. It’s a literal story about Bart becoming the hero that the story needs him to be, but it’s also just a metaphorical story about growing up.

GP: Whenever time travel is involved in a story, there’s always the chance of creating more plot holes and redos than you intend; how do you plan to avoid those while keeping the story engaging?

AA: Ah, but if you read carefully, there isn’t actually that much time travel in the story. The only significant bit of time travel is the warning from the future, courtesy of Neela’s computer in issue #1. Doctor Tomorrow and Hadrian are older than our Bart because they come from universes that got a head start on ours, and they just made a sideways hop across dimensions to get over here. But to really answer your question, we made it pretty clear in the story from page one that the stakes are real. There’s no reset button and no undo/redo and no control-Z. Even when you’re hopping around across parallel universes, you only get one shot at living your life.

Doctor Tomorrow #3

GP: Looking back at the earlier issues after the revelation in the third, you can see the groundwork being laid for Bart’s evil turn that I’m sure most of us missed the first time through. How much planning did you put into creating a comic that gives a different experience with each reading?

AA: We have the outline process to thank for that. By planning out the story with several drafts of outlines and beat sheets, I knew what all the payoffs would be, and how to set them up. But most importantly, the real trick was figuring out how to hint at Doctor Tomorrow’s true character, without telegraphing the reveal. Right from the beginning he’s brash and arrogant, and he jumps to conclusions but frequently gets those conclusions wrong. The reader doesn’t really notice anything off about him, because those qualities are so common in superhero characters, and he seems like just another textbook superhero type. And the fact that he’s so quick to anger, and so quick to jump into a fight, pays off when we find out he’s a bad guy, because we’ve already seen those qualities in the young Bart, and we’re afraid he’s doomed to turn out the same way.

GP: The growing up/training montage in Doctor Tomorrow #4 was brilliant. How much guidance did you need to give Jim Towe when writing those pages?

AA: I’m so happy that worked out! It was definitely an experiment, and it was entirely on Jim to pull it off. My hesitation about the montage, even though I was the one who wrote it, was that it wouldn’t work in comics because a montage is an audiovisual technique, with a strong emphasis on the “audio” of it. Montages work in movies and TV because you have music shepherding you through all the jumps in time, and that’s just impossible in comics, obviously. All I asked Jim to do was a tight six-panel grid, and I kept it all dialogue-free, hoping readers would get the vibe. One brilliant touch that Jim added was to break the grid with only the first and last panels of each page, so it feels a bit like a fade-in and a fade-out through time. Alternately, I think the complete opposite would also have worked, no panel borders at all, just everything in a splash page with only elements of the visual composition distinguishing one moment from another. But probably nothing in between would be as effective, I’m guessing.

GP: Did you ever think when you first joined Valiant you’d be writing their first in continuity all ages book?

AA: The all-ages of it was more about taking advantage of the opportunity, more than it was done by design. Valiant and I agreed that we wanted to tell a story about an aspirational superhero, a paragon of goodness. That’s a kind of story I wanted to write and a kind of story they wanted to publish. And then the specific idea that I happened to pitch them came with a teen protagonist. Then we kind of all arrived together at the all-ages approach because everything was already there in the mix. The approach for me was to write something that was truly all-ages, to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, not all-ages as a code word meaning “only for kids.” This is all-ages the way that Spider-Man and Superman are supposed to be all-ages. The label’s just there to reassure you that you can share your copy with your kid and you can both read it.

GP: If the book wasn’t all-ages, would you have changed anything about it?

AA: Not at all. We did have a little push-and-pull with Valiant where I have more permissive standards about how much swearing is okay for kids…but I’m the first one to admit I swear too much! In terms of content, storytelling choices, etc., there were no disagreements and no compromises.

GP: You’ve written pretty much every Valiant character in this miniseries alone, but is there any you’d like to explore further?

AA: I could rattle off my wish list of Valiant characters, but that would be poor form. Though I will tell you this, people have asked me what Rex the Razer is doing in those battle scenes, when he’s supposed to live in the Deadside, and I do have the story that answers that question! I’d also love to tell a story about what happens next for Neela and her incredible time computer. And of course, Doctor Tomorrow II, the continuing adventures of Bart as a superhero in the Valiant Universe.

GP: With this being a book with time travel, I feel I should ask; if you could go back to any time, when would you go and why?

AA: Honestly, I wouldn’t. Even with COVID-19 and all the disasters we’re going through, right here and now is the best time to be. Any given moment in the past wouldn’t have the internet, or electricity, or indoor plumbing. If anything, I might like to visit the future, when hopefully things are better for all of us. But I’d like to believe I’ll see it anyway, just by living.

GP: Thanks for your time!

AA: Thank you for having me! I really appreciate it.

Review: Doctor Tomorrow #4

Doctor Tomorrow #4

The true origin of Doctor Tomorrow is finally revealed in Doctor Tomorrow #4! Can Bart Simms ready himself in time to rescue the Universe from complete annihilation?

Despite comics coming back to shops with more regularity, Valiant hasn’t resumed their full pre-lockdown schedule just yet. I’m not honestly sure how many comics the company is publishing every month now. I’ve read far fewer Valiant books since publishing has resumed than I was expecting.

Doctor Tomorrow is Valiant’s first all-ages book set within the publisher’s continuity. After last issue’s apparent death of the young Bart Simms at the hands of the older Bart Simms (who had recently killed the slightly older Bart Simms… it sounds confusing when I write it like that, but it’s actually not), we discover pretty quickly what happened to the young hero in what amounts to a comic’s worth of a training montage.

Young Bart Simms travelled to slightly older Bart Simms time and ends up spending what appears to be several years training and learning how to defeat… himself.

Believe it or not, it’s a comic that works. And it works very well. We get some more exposition on the villain Hadrian. A touching relationship develops between two characters. It has echoes of Marty and the Doc from Back To The Future. It also adds enough to the mix so that the relationship doesn’t feel stale and too familiar. Doctor Tomorrow #3 was crammed with as many characters as writer Alejandro Arbona and artist Jim Towe could squeeze in. Doctor Tomorrow #4 is a much more personal affair. The issue gives readers a breather but also acts to set up the final act . It does so in such a way that new readers can jump into the miniseries on part four of five. I’d highly recommend the entire thing so far.

The more personal nature of this book, the relationships built upon, and the montage sequence itself does elevate it significantly over the previous issue. Arbona’s script allows Towe and colorist Diego Rodriguez to explore the world within the art; there may not be the sprawling space vistas from X-O Manowar, but the down to earth nature of the story lends itself very well to an art style that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Saturday morning cartoon (and no, that is far from a bad thing).

Jim Towe’s art seems to fall more toward what you’d consider an “all-ages style”, and he’s been pretty consistent throughout the series quality-wise. I’ve said before that the art reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon in all the right ways, and I stand by that. This is a comic that has the ability to evoke a strong nostalgic feeling in people of a certain age despite this being a new character. After the dip of the third issue, Doctor Tomorrow comes roaring back for the finale that will likely add a new twist to a battle we’ve already seen several times in the series so far, and I fully expect to be launched into that fight almost immediately as Doctor Tomorrow #5 opens up.

Join me, won’t you?

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

Story: 8.4 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Doctor Tomorrow #4 (of 5)


Preorder Cover by BARRY KITSON
On sale JULY 29th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The true origin of Doctor Tomorrow is finally revealed!
Can Bart Simms ready himself in time to rescue the Universe from complete annihilation?


Preview: Valiant 2020: The Year of Heroes FCBD Special

The Valiant 2020: The Year of Heroes FCBD Speical is available at your local comic shop and it includes two all-new adventures starring Bloodshot and X-O Manowar!

Featuring Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot on the cover, the must-read Free Comic Book Day issue features an action-packed Bloodshot mission by New York Times bestselling writer Tim Seely and rising star Jason Masters. This explosive short story will also include the first appearances of Bloodshot movie characters Wilfred Wigans and KT in the Valiant Universe!

Plus: A captivating X-O Manowar story by multiple Eisner Award-nominated writer Joshua Dysart and artist Doug Braithwaite! Enjoy a first look at the engrossing tale starring Valiant’s flagship hero, below.


Ninjak Returns in 2021 with Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido

A spy thriller story that is unlike anything you’ve seen before starts next year in Ninjak #1!

Arriving in 2021, Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and visionary artist Javier Pulido have crafted a non-stop thrill ride that is full of shocking twists and turns. The character was co-created by Mark Moretti and Joe Quesada and debuted in Bloodshot #6 in 1993.

Colin King is Ninjak, an ex-MI6 superspy who is second to none in the Valiant Universe. There is no target that Colin cannot strike, no mission that he cannot complete. But what happens to the world’s greatest secret agent when all of his secrets are exposed? The entire criminal underworld has Ninjak in their sights… How will the undercover operative survive when there’s nowhere left to hide?

Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido’s pulse-pounding adventure kicks off next year in Ninjak #1. More info will be revealed closer to the debut issue’s release date.

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