Tag Archives: Comics

Preview: X-O Manowar (2017) #2

X-O MANOWAR (2017) #12

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by RYAN BODENHEIM
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA (DEC171915)
Cover B by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI (DEC171916)
Interlocking Variant by ARIEL OLIVETTI (DEC171917)
X-O Manowar Icon Variant by BEN OLIVER (DEC171918)
Pre-Order Edition by RYAN BODENHEIM (OCT171928)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale FEBRUARY 28th

Behold the untamed fury of Earth’s last Visigoth!

Left for dead by a mercenary band of bounty hunters far more twisted and devious than any enemy he’s faced before, Aric of Dacia has managed to cling to life…and a thirst for revenge. Now, his campaign of retribution against those who have wronged him can begin in full force…and, when the dust settles, the alien world of Gorin will rue the day it ever brought the savage sword of X-O Manowar crashing down upon it…

From the minds of master storyteller Matt Kindt (ETERNITY, Dept. H) and astonishing artist Ryan Bodenheim (The Dying & The Dead), the sci-fi comics juggernaut of 2018 reaches a pounding crescendo as “VISIGOTH” launches Valiant’s iconic hero into an intergalactic battle of will and wanton ferocity!

The Life and Death of Toyo Harada, a Six-Part Prestige Series

Valiant has announced The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 – the FIRST ISSUE of a SIX-PART, PRESTIGE SERIES from Eisner Award-winning writer Joshua Dysart and spectacular rising star CAFU! Alongside each oversized issue’s main narrative – set in the present day and featuring stunningly detailed art by CAFU – each chapter of The Life and Death of Toyo Harada will also feature a striking episode from Harada’s past, illustrated by a rotating cast of staggering guest talents, including Mico SuayanLewis LaRosaAdam Pollina, and more yet to be revealed when the series debuts in early 2019.

The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 will see Dysart – one of the driving forces behind Valiant’s visionary Harbinger saga – make his long-awaited return to the forefront of the Valiant Universe with a sweeping, continent-spanning chronicle of the man behind the rise and fall of the Harbinger Foundation…and, in the modern day, his last gambit to remake Earth in his own utopian image…or sacrifice everything in the process…

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” – Toyo Harada, 1992

In 1945, the bombing of Hiroshima awakened an immense and terrifying power inside young Toyo Harada. A literal “child of the bomb,” as a newly orphaned teenager he quickly discovered that the explosion had unlocked extraordinary and extremely rare psionic powers within him. Powers that could allow him to read thoughts and control matter… To bend steel and stop bullets… To manipulate armies and deceive governments… To reshape the wills of men…and build a better world.

Ripped from his own family in a blinding flash of heat and fire, Harada set out to build a new one for himself…and dedicated decades to finding and activating other unique “psiots” – thousands of fellow latent telekinetics unknowingly living across the globe – that could be harnessed to further his mission. Across the years, he publicly became a billionaire businessman and philanthropist as CEO of Harada Global Conglomerates, while in secret, he quietly erected the Harbinger Foundation – a clandestine international operation dedicated to recruiting and training psiots for the day when their skills would be needed.

In 2019, that day will finally come. With the existence of psiots revealed to the world and the Harbinger Foundation left in ruins, Harada has been run to ground and outed as the invisible hand behind the course of recent human history. With his resources dwindling and a death warrant on his head, the world’s most powerful man is about to become its most dangerous…

Featuring cover artwork by Eisner Award-nominated artist Butch Guice and more yet to be revealed!

Review: Quantum And Woody #3

QW2017_003_COVER-A_TEDESCO

“If you add them all up, this would be Quantum and Woody’s 50th issue! What better time to answer the eternal question: “Whatever happened to the Goat, anyway?” At last, the whole saga of Dr. Derek Henderson’s transformation from brilliant physicist and beloved father into a barnyard animal of unimaginable power can finally be told…and all of his secrets revealed, beginning with the long-awaited birth of the Goat’s baby!”

Alright so this issue essentially breaks the story that had been running in the series’ first two issues with what is essentially an enjoyable, yet largely irrelevant one shot that has a surprisingly emotional undertone (there’s a chance this may pay off own the road eventually, but on face value…?). That’s not to say that this isn’t worth your time i you’re only interested in the story from the first two issues, because the essence of the characters that you love is still present even as the story takes place an unspecified amount of time before the events of Quantum And Woody #1. The world’s worst superhero team haven’t fractured their relationship into nothingness just yet, but the signs are present that it’ll happen. This means we get to see Daniel Kibblesmith’s take on their relationship when they don’t hate each other.

Because this story does break the ongoing arc in the series it’s not a bad place to start reading the series if you want to get a sense of the characters, but in terms of getting a sense of what had gone before and where we’ll be heading next… not so much.

That being said, Francis Portella and Andrew Dalhouse provide some great visual accompaniment to the story, and the switch between the two time periods is visually obvious as the page layouts shift from full page art to a panel layout that feels as though you’re looking into the past. Of course Dave Sharpe‘s lettering spells it out in no uncertain terms, and the unobtrusive yet visually striking work he contributes to the comics he works on goes unmentioned far too often because it’s so damn good (yours truly is guilty of this).

Quantum And Woody #3 is an interesting comic that should appeal to those already reading the series, but may not be a great place for new readers to hop into the story itself – even if the comic itself is more than accessible to anybody picking it up, and the quality is certainly there. As an introduction to these characters, you can’t go wrong with this touching exploration of what happens when you get a little bit longer with a formerly deceased family member – the brother’s reactions give you a great feel for who they are, and it’s that feeling that will help you understand where they’re coming from in the issues ahead.

Story: Daniel Kibblesmith Art: Francis Portella
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Uh….

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #2

NJKVS_002_COVER-A_WADA“He betrayed his friends. He betrayed his country to save us all… In advance of NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE’s stunning digital debut – coming soon to digital devices everywhere – get the full story behind the head-to-head showdowns, hero-on-hero collisions, and epic consequences that await as Ninjak goes it alone against a gauntlet of the Valiant Universe’s biggest and most beloved icons! Watch the live-action, episodic series… Then follow the action directly onto the comics page with extra-added action, intrigue, and revelations behind Ninjak’s grueling firefight against Valiants’ most indelible heroes – with red-hot creators Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks) and Joe Bennett (Deathstroke) calling the shots!”

The preview text above is a bit of a misnomer; the live action version of this story, having been faced with multiple delays, has still not been released yet. Which means that for many of us, the first taste we get of the Bat In The Sun produced web series is this comic adaptation. Being an adaptation, there’s a few hands in the creative pot steering the series with Eliot Rahal adapting Aaron Schoenke‘s screen story (the screenplay itself credits Aaron Schoenke, Sean Schoenke, Joe Harris and Andrew Rowe), but unlike last issue’s mediocre start, Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #2 isn’t entirely unfortunate – especially when you remind yourself that this isn’t the normal Valiant Universe. Think of it more as an Elseworlds story or an Ultimate Marvel production.

Everything about this comic is a step above the previous issue. The fast paced action hides the relative lack of plot developments, although there are a few things established for the following issues as the series hurtles toward its conclusion, but for the most part this is the comic equivalent to a  popcorn fueled action movie. And that’s not a bad thing.

NJKVS_002_003Admittedly I went into this comic with lowered expectations after the first issue, but I’m happy to say that Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #2 is substantially stronger than said first issue. The story has evolved from a hastilly cobbled mess that does little more than explain why Ninjak has betrayed Unity into a fun diversion from the main Valiant universe. Honestly, you get just as much of the whys from reading the recap text in the front of this issue as you will from reading #1. Another thing going for Ninjak Vs #2 is that Valiant have released  it in a week where we don’t have Ninjak appearing in another comic (last month had Ninjak stealing the show in Bloodshot Salvation #5).

Despite the long list of people contributing in one way or another to the writing of the story, artistically there are only Joe Bennett (pencils),  Belardino Brabo (inks) and Ulises Arreola (colours) providing the visual direction, which again is a step above the previous issue. The action is clear and easily discernible on the page, with Ninjak’s eyes conveying a vast array of emotion on the close up shots, and the occasional explosive moment coming across with vivid detail.

Ultimately, this is a much better representation of the quality the creative team are capable of and a far more interesting entry in the story than the debut issue. It’s still not perfect, but if the series follows this trajectory then we may just get there in the end.

Story: Eliot Rahal Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Belardino Brabo Colours: Ulises Arreola
Story: 7 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

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 are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

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

Black Panther Annual #1 (Marvel) – Some of Black Panther’s greatest creators return for this annual.

Deathbed #1 (Vertigo) – We’ve read it, it’s amazing and entertaining. A writer is hired to tell the life of a mysterious person… then the twist happens.

Fence #4 (BOOM! Studios) – A wonderful series that takes the best of sports focused manga and gives it a Western twist. Every issues is fantastic.

Hit-Girl #1 (Image Comics) – The Kick-Ass reboot was a mixed bag but we’re hoping this one will be better.

Infinity Countdown: Prime #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s next event is gearing up and we’re excited to see where it goes.

James Bond: The Body #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Have you read the first issue!? Bond recounts tales as to how he received the scars he has. A fantastic way to frame the story.

Mata Hari #1 (Dark Horse/Berger Books) – A new release from Berger Books is on our radar and a series we’re automatically looking forward to checking out.

Punks Not Dead #1 (IDW Publishing/Black Crown) – A new release from Black Crown is on our radar and a series we’re automatically looking forward to checking out.

Quantum and Woody #3 (Valiant) – One of the most entertaining superhero comics on the market. The team up will keep you entertained from the action and the laughter.

Rust Vol. 4 (BOOM! Studios/Archaia) – If you’ve read the first three volumes of this series, you know why it’s on this list. From the beautiful art to the amazing storytelling, this volume wraps up the series about a mechanical boy trying to live his life post war. We’re expecting a tearjerker.

Ninja-K #6 – “The Coalition” Cuts Deep with Christos Gage & Juan José Ryp on April 11th!

Valiant is proud to present your first look inside Ninja-K #6 – the FIRST ISSUE of “THE COALITION,” AN ALL-NEW ARC and SENSES-SHATTERING JUMPING-ON POINT from acclaimed writer Christos Gage and incendiary artist Juan José RypOn April 11th, as MI6 plunges toward the precipice of an international crisis, it’s down to master super-spy Colin King to assemble a seasoned team of specialists from across the Valiant Universe to counter an all-new threat comprised of Valiant’s hardest-to-kill villains!

A once-loyal agent has defected from the ranks of MI6’s most elite espionage unit…and Ninjak has been dispatched across the globe to prevent his secrets from plunging the world into chaos. But, in the shadows of Mexico City, Colin King is about to discover something far more deadly… The Ninja Programme’s own former sensei, the Jonin, has assembled a conspiratorial circle of enigmatic enemies – the Dying One, Kostiy the Deathless, Linton March, and The United’s Ultimo – for a purpose so sinister that even Ninjak can’t risk engaging them alone. Enter: Livewire, Punk Mambo, Dr. Mirage, and GIN-GR – Ninjak’s brand-new black ops team with a very specific set of skills…and a license to kill the unkillable!

Featuring covers by Tonci ZonjicAlan QuahClayton Crain, and comics legend Neal Adams!

Preview: Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe #2 (of 4)

NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE #2 (of 4)

Screen Story by AARON SCHOENKE
Written by ELIOT RAHAL
Art by JOE BENNETT
Cover A by KEVIN WADA (DEC171919)
Cover B by CAFU (DEC171920)
Interlocking Variant by FRANCIS PORTELA (DEC171922)
Variant Cover by JOE EISMA (DEC171923)
Photo Cover Also Available (DEC171921)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale FEBRUARY 21st

A blistering battle royale!

He betrayed his friends. He betrayed his country to save us all… In advance of NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE’s stunning digital debut – coming soon to digital devices everywhere – get the full story behind the head-to-head showdowns, hero-on-hero collisions, and epic consequences that await as Ninjak goes it alone against a gauntlet of the Valiant Universe’s biggest and most beloved icons! Watch the live-action, episodic series… Then follow the action directly onto the comics page with extra-added action, intrigue, and revelations behind Ninjak’s grueling firefight against Valiants’ most indelible heroes – with red-hot creators Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks) and Joe Bennett (Deathstroke) calling the shots!

Preview: Quantum & Woody! (2017) #3

QUANTUM AND WOODY! (2017) #3

Written by DANIEL KIBBLESMITH
Art by FRANCIS PORTELA
Cover A (Standard) by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO (DEC171911)
Cover B (Extreme Ultra-Foil) by GEOFF SHAW (DEC171912)
Extreme Ultra-Foil Chase Variant by GEOFF SHAW (DEC171913)
Q&W Icon Variant by DAVE JOHNSON (DEC171914)
Pre-Order Edition by NICK PITARRA (OCT171909)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale FEBRUARY 21st

Because you demanded it! The Goat returns!

If you add them all up, this would be Quantum and Woody’s 50th issue! What better time to answer the eternal question: “Whatever happened to the Goat, anyway?” At last, the whole saga of Dr. Derek Henderson’s transformation from brilliant physicist and beloved father into a barnyard animal of unimaginable power can finally be told…and all of his secrets revealed, beginning with the long-awaited birth of the Goat’s baby!

And the Eisner for “Best Goat Birth Scene” goes to…writer extraordinaire Daniel Kibblesmith (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) and special guest artist Francis Portela (FAITH)! Don’t miss the staggering spectacle as the entire Valiant Universe stands on the cusp of a milestone moment in the spectacular goatacular of 2018!

Review: Ninja-K #4

NINJA-K_004_COVER-A_CAFU

At the height of 1970s Britain, MI-6’s covert “Ninja Programme” has just activated its first female agent: NINJA-G! As financial instability grips the nation and anarchy brews in the streets, can MI-6’s newest ninja recruit counter a steady tide of double agents, double crosses, and dueling nation states that will take her from the leather-padded corridors of London to the most severe corners of the Soviet Bloc? The life expectancy of a ninja agent is never long…but just how and why are NINJA-G’s missions still impacting Ninjak’s deadly manhunt in the modern day? And could her legacy hold the secret to decoding the murders of the Ninja Programme’s last surviving members – before Colin King is scratched off the list once and for all?

Now that Ninja-K has been told that MI6 has been manipulating his life, and the lives of all previous Ninja Programme operatives, he’s doing what anyone should before reacting with the lethal effectiveness he is known for; obtaining proof. Enter the reclusive Ninja-G and her seventies-set story. Although you’ll want to be familiar with the previous three issues for Ninja-K’s story, you’re still able to pick up and enjoy this issue if you want to read about a capable, kick ass former ninja.

There’s not a whole lot to talk about with the comic itself, honestly. Ninja-K #4 is a solid entry into the series, and meets the high standards set by the first three issues; the main story is a slowly burning flame that rewards patience with an intelligently written script that has refused to rush from action scene to action scene needlessly. Christos Gage knows how to tease a story along without prolonging it needlessly – I’m enjoying the first arc and almost don’t want to see the arc come to a close.

Ninja-K #4 is, to borrow a sports analogy, a solid scoring triple. A few seconds from a home run, but damn close (I don’t do sports much – was that right?)

Story: Christos Gage Juan Jose Ryp Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Back Up Story Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bloodshot Salvation #6

BSS_006_COVER-A_ROCAFORT

“Into the Deadside! Years ago, Project Rising Spirit’s cutting-edge nanite technology transformed Ray Garrison into the walking weapon codenamed Bloodshot. Now, those very same microscopic machines have infected his infant daughter’s physiology and threaten to destroy her from the inside out. As the life of an innocent hangs in the balance, Bloodshot will be forced to make an unimaginable decision: to watch the child he loves die, or to confront death itself…and strike a bargain for her safety. Now, with the supernatural heroes known as Shadowman and Dr. Mirage to guide him, Bloodshot is about to undertake an unreal journey into the demon-haunted dimension known as the Deadside to save a life…or sacrifice his own…”

Full disclosure: I have already read Bloodshot Salvation #7 as part of Valiant’s advanced review program to garner some buzz for the issue (it worked, and I loved the concept of that comic). The downside to this is that I already knew where this issue would end up, and if you’ve read any of the previews for #7 then you do too. The downside to this is that I spent the entire comic waiting for something else to happen, and nothing really drew my attention away from that wait. That being said, unless you’ve already read that issue then the above is honestly a moot point, and there’s still a lot to enjoy about Bloodshot Salvation #6.

Jeff Lemire is about as average as he knows how to be here, which is still a damn sight better than at least 80% of the other writers in comic book land. But despite not being a standout issue in a series that has habitually been among the best comic in the week of release, this remains a must read for those invested in the series and for any with a passing interest in the character. Lemire takes Bloodshot through the motions toward the inevitable as he prepares to do anything to save his daughter, there are a couple of cameo appearances from other stars of the Valiant universe that provide some of the stronger character moments.

Visually Renato Guedes is near flawless on this book with art that, at times, borders on photo realism. It’s truly fantastic stuff full of dark atmosphere, tense mood and raw emotion. Honestly, there’s very little here that doesn’t justify the price of admission alone (Guedes art is the only reason I read the physical copy I picked up on Wedesday).

A comic that, through no fault of its own, struggles in comparison to an issue that 90% of you won’t have read yet (but you will next month) is still a very good read nonetheless. Start reading this story now, and be prepared for one of the best issues of the year next month.

Writer: Jeff Lemire Art: Renato Guedes
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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