Tag Archives: Comics

Review: Secret Weapons #3

SW_003_COVER-A_ALLEN“Class is in session, and Amanda McKee – the machine-wielding hero codenamed Livewire – is here to show her unconventional class of recruits what it really takes to master power. And lesson number-one is…teamwork! But as these once-abandoned psiot castaways put their pain behind them to become a fully functioning unit, an even deadlier set of challenges will soon rise to meet them…”

If you haven’t read the first two issues in this four issue miniseries, and you’re thinking of starting here, don’t. I mean, you could, but why bother? Eric Heisserer has written such a compelling story that it would be a shame to start here.

Secret Weapons feels like an updated version of the X-Men, a comic that truly focuses on the trials and tribulations of a group of young misfits with some almost useless powers, only they’re not called mutants here, but psiots; one can talk to birds, one can conjure things (with no control over what he conjures) and one can turn into pure marble. Only he can’t move when he does so. The series thus far has gone from strength to strength as we’ve been introduced to the misfit central characters, had a cameo or two from the wider Valiant universe (which you don’t need to  be familiar with to enjoy the series), as well as slowly introducing the villain proper last issue.
SW_003_005This issue sees Avichal Malakar, the statue powered psiot, trying to live his life way from the others only to face hostility from the public – not because as a Sikh he wears a turban, but because he’s a psiot. Without giving too much regarding the content of the comic away, things turn from bad to worse for Avi in a reflection of some of the recent real world issues without ever slapping you in the face with the comparison. Heisserer is a newcomer to comics, but you wouldn’t think it reading this issue – it is quite simply one of the best issues I’ve read all year, and incredibly relevant.

The art, by Raul Allen with Patricia Martin (who also letters the comic), is visually arresting. Allen’s use of the grid shows a level of visual story telling that perfectly complements the writing. I am a huge fan of Allen and Martin’s work, even though I was only introduced to their art with Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior (I say “they” because I’m not quite sure where one’s contribution ends and the other begins with the art. Ultimately, when it looks this good, I’m not as worried as I should be), and to get to see them firing on all cylinders with this issue is a complete treat.

I honestly thought that the best comic I’d read all week would be Divinity #0. I am happy to say that I was wrong in thinking that. Heisserer, Allen and Martin are one issue away from giving us a multi layered story that will stand among the best of the year.

This is where I add a cliched “if you’re not reading this…” statement where I try and push you into reading Valiant comics. But honestly? You don’t need to be familiar with Valiant to appreciate just how good this is. Don’t ignore this series – it’s absolutely fantastic.

Story: Eric Heissera Art: Raul Allen with Patricia Martin
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommedation: Buy

Although Valiant provided a FREE copy to review, I read the issue I picked up from my LCS.

Harbinger Renegade #0 – Roberts & Ryp Shock the Valiant Universe in November!

Valiant has announced Harbinger Renegade #0AN ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT on the road to Harbinger Wars 2, Valiant’s seismic 2018 crossover event! On November 8th, multiple Harvey Award nominee Rafer Roberts and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp unearth a devastating revelation that will forever alter the course of what we thought we knew about the history of Toyo Harada’s Harbinger Foundation and the place of the telekinetically gifted individuals known as psiots in the Valiant Universe!

Beneath the wreckage of the Harbinger Foundation, there is a secret that even Toyo Harada grew to fear. A secret simply known as…the Stormbringer.

And Alexander Solomon is about to set it free.

Featuring covers by Clayton Henry, Roberto de la Torre, Juan Jose Ryp, Khari Evans, and Ben Tiesma!

Review: Divinity #0

DIVINITY_ZERO_COVER-A_RYP“DIVINITY, a lost Russian cosmonaut newly returned to Earth with god-like powers, has successfully restored the world to order after the reality-altering event known as the Stalinverse. But how can a man – even one with near-divine abilities – know for certain that the planet has been truly restored in full? To make sure, Divinity must bear witness to the world as it now stands – heroes, villains, gods, and all – to ensure the rightful order of the Valiant Universe!”

One of the most exciting new characters to come out of any publisher in the last few years is Valiant’s Divinity. A Russian cosmonaut, real name Abram Adams, who ended up with reality warping powers that make gods look like ants, all Divinity wants is to be left alone in peace. There have been twelve issues of Divinity released so far divided into three separate miniseries (I, II and III), with each telling a beautiful and compelling story that, for the most part stood alone in the Valiant universe up until III reimagined the world as we know it for four issues at the hands of another god like Russian cosmonaut (there were three on the initial mission).

Which brings us to Divinity #0. Written by Matt Kindt with art by Renato Guedes, the comic genuinely does provide a fantastic introduction into the Divinity story without giving too much away should you decide to pick up the collected editions if you haven’t read the previous issues, but the zero issue also provides a very interesting direction for the future, and where Kindt will be taking the story next.

Without beating around the bush, this comic is absolutely beautiful. Guedes fully painted each page, and oh boy does it pay off. I could spend three or four hundred words describing it… but why bother when I won’t do the art any justice, and Valiant have provided us with some preview images?

DIVINITY_ZERO_002See what I mean? The entire comic looks just like this, and Dave Lanphear‘s lettering brings out the very best in the art, whilst allowing Kindt’s words to flow seamlessly from the page in what has to be the finest example of a single issue comic from Valiant this year. When each page is a work of art that brings a genuinely excellent story to life you can’t ask for more from a creative team.

This is an utterly brilliant comic in every way.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Renato Guedes Letters: Dave Lanphear
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review. I’ll be buying this Wednesday as well.

Preview: Secret Weapons #3 (of 4)

SECRET WEAPONS #3 (of 4)

Written by ERIC HEISSERER
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN with PATRICIA MARTIN
Cover A by RAÚL ALLÉN (JUN172080)
Cover B by AFUA RICHARDSON (JUN172081)
Variant Cover by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE (JUN172082)
Variant Cover by DAVID MACK (JUN172083)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | VALIANT PRESTIGE | T+ | On Sale AUGUST 16th (FOC – 7/24/17)

Team spirits!

Class is in session, and Amanda McKee – the machine-wielding hero codenamed Livewire – is here to show her unconventional class of recruits what it really takes to master power. And lesson number-one is…teamwork! But as these once-abandoned psiot castaways put their pain behind them to become a fully functioning unit, an even deadlier set of challenges will soon rise to meet them…

Academy Award-nominated writer Eric Heisserer (ARRIVAL) and Harvey Award-nominated artists Raúl Allén (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) and Patricia Martin (NINJAK) take the summer’s most talked-about new series to the next level – and bring the Secret Weapons into the light of day as Valiant’s smash-hit new series faces its penultimate test!

Eternity #2 Exclusive Early Preview. Encounter the Unknown Itself.

ETERNITY #2 (of 4)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Cover A by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC
Cover B by TOM MULLER
Character Design Variant by MATT KINDT
Variant Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE

Divine intervention!

Beyond the barriers of our reality… Outside the boundaries of human understanding… A universe of immensely powerful beings and advanced civilizations has evolved parallel to our own… But what links this strange plane of existence to ours, and what do its majestic inhabitants want with the child of Abram Adams – the denizen of Earth now called Divinity? To find out, Abram and his comrade, Myshka, must enter Eternity’s infinite realm…and encounter the Unknown itself!

New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (DIVINITY) push the year’s most visionary series light years ahead…and open up a new frontier in Valiant’s acclaimed sci-fi meta-epic!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | PRESTIGE FORMAT | On Sale NOVEMBER 29th

Bloodshot Salvation #1 Gets the “Valiant Premium” Format

As the highly anticipated Bloodshot Salvation #1 prepares for a revenge-fueled mission of violence, villains, and vengeance on September 20th, Valiant has revealed that one of the fall’s most anticipated new series debuts will now ship in the acclaimed “VALIANT PREMIUM” format – the same form of deluxe packaging introduced earlier this year with the launch of the all-new X-O Manowar #1!

Beginning with the release of Bloodshot Salvation #1 on September 20th –  the FIRST ISSUE of the BLOCKBUSTER ONGOING SERIES from writer Jeff Lemire and a star-studded cast of artists spanning the first year, including Lewis LaRosa, Mico Suayan, Renato Guedes, and Doug Braithwaite – fans and readers everywhere can now look forward to the “VALIANT PREMIUM” format appearing on each issue of Bloodshot Salvation in 2017 and beyond. From the Deadside to the year 4001 A.D., Bloodshot is about to begin a bloodstained odyssey through the darkest corners of the Valiant Universe…

Features for Bloodshot Salvation #1 will include:

–Deluxe matte finish cover stock covers
–Upgraded, heavyweight interior pages
–An oversized first chapter
–Minimal advertisements for an uninterrupted storytelling experience

Secret Weapons #1 and Harbinger #5 Get New Printings

Valiant has announced that Harbinger Renegade #5 and Secret Weapons #1 (of 4) – two of the much-talked-about new releases setting the stage for 2018’s seismic crossover event, Harbinger Wars 2 – have once again sold out at the distributor level and will return to store shelves everywhere with new printings on August 30th!

Harbinger Renegade #5 is written by Rafer Roberts with art by Darick Robertson. Secret Weapons #1 is written by Eric Heisserer with art by Raul Allen. This is the second printing for Harbinger Renegade #5 and third for Secret Weapons #1.

Review: Harbinger Renegade #6

Harbinger Renegade #6 Cover A LarosaIn Harbinger Renegade #6, at the height of the Dark Ages, one of the world’s first psiots has made a terrible discovery: he’s not alone. Lurking in the shadows, a mind as sadistic as it is powerful waits. A predator with a darkness so great, it will consume any rivals that dare reveal themselves. How will the secret of these legendary figures come to bear on the modern day? How will it shape the catastrophic Harbinger War that is to come?!”

After the chaotic battle that resulted in the death of major somewhat known Valiant characters last issue, Harbinger Renegade #6 provides an interlude. Also, it makes us wait another month before reading about the consequences of the death filled fifth issue. And it does so by whisking the audience back nearly a thousand years.

The advantage to this is that those unfamiliar with the series can read a standalone story set around the time of the Crusades. The cost is that this issue has nothing obvious to do with any previous issues of Harbinger Renegade. That may not be ideal for new readers carrying on with the series. If you’re already reading the series, then you’ll be pleased to hear that this seemingly standalone interlude story delivers. Juan Jose Ryp has a talent for depicting the savageness of war waged with bladed weapons. When the basic premise of this issue is an army besieging a castle, then you know you’re in for a visual treat.

Rafer Roberts handles the interlude issue well. It gives us an issue that tells a compelling one shot story that has little impact on previous events. But, it’s bound to set a lot up in the future, Roberts makes you forget about the fact that it’ll be another month before we see the aftermath of the events of Massacre. Sir Gerald Of Catalonia is the issue’s narrator and the commander of the force supplied by an ancient order dedicated to wiping out a demon, the Brotherhood Of Cuth. The story is well paced and feels neither padded nor rushed. We get what is an incredibly solid story that has minimal ties to the larger Harbinger story. At least until this issue’s story progesses over the coming months.

I enjoyed this issue far more than I expected. I suspect that those more invested in the Valiant universe will find a few nods to other mysterious factions. Some even from Roberts’ own stories. Whether those factions are one and the same with a thousand year gap…. I’ll leave that to you to decide.

My only complaint with Harbinger Renegade #6 is that because it’s an interlude story, we probably won’t revisit the time period again.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Juan Jose Ryp Colours: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Rae Sremmurd Team with Valiant for Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1 in October

Valiant has announced Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1 – a standalone comics crossover event bringing the multi-platinum hip-hop superstars behind the #1 hit “Black Beatles” into the Valiant Universe for an unforgettable showdown at the crossroads of life and death!

Written by rising star Eliot Rahal with fully painted artwork by renowned artist Renato Guedes, Valiant’s supernatural superhero icon collides with two of the most influential artists in hip-hop today as Shadowman and Rae Sremmurd come face-to-face to forge a new legend of fame, fortune, and magic…

Before they were dominating the music charts and selling out stages worldwide, Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee were just a pair of talented, but otherwise ordinary, brothers…until a twist of fate delivered them fame and wealth beyond their wildest imaginations. Now, years later as hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, the brothers are bound for New Orleans…and an otherworldly encounter with the supernatural guardian called Shadowman, the lone line of defense between our world and the Deadside that lies beyond…

In the wake of his appearance in Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1, Shadowman will return to the Valiant Universe on an ongoing basis with a new monthly series that is set to debut on March 28th, 2018.

Preview: Harbinger Renegade #6

HARBINGER RENEGADE #6

Written by RAFER ROBERTS
Art by JUAN JOSE RYP
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA (JUN172070)
Cover B by DARICK ROBERTSON (JUN172071)
Cover C by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI (JUN172072)
Character Design Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (JUN172073)
Variant Cover by JEFFREY VEREGGE (JUN172074)
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (JUN172075)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale AUGUST 9th (FOC – 7/17/17)

A HISTORIC HARBINGER MOMENT! After “MASSACRE”…witness the brutal beginning of the Renegades’ murderous new foe!

At the height of the Dark Ages, one of the world’s first psiots has made a terrible discovery: he is not alone. Lurking in the shadows, a mind as sadistic as it is powerful waits – a predator with a darkness so great, it will consume any rivals that dare reveal themselves. How will the secret of these legendary figures come to bear on the modern day… and how will it shape the catastrophic Harbinger War that is to come?!

“MASSACRE” enters an insidious interlude revealing the origin of the Valiant Universe’s greatest threat, as Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp (BRITANNIA) plot the next step in the road to HARBINGER WARS 2!

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