Tag Archives: Comics

Advance Review: Doctor Tomorrow #3

Doctor Tomorrow #3

The entire world vs. a madman… the world is going to need more heroes! Doctor Tomorrow #3 is the can’t-miss clash of 2020 as Hadrian stands against the Valiant Universe!

It has been a long time since I’ve read a new comic. Sure, I’ve read new to me comics, but this is the first new comic that I’ve read since the world shut down because of Covid 19.

Doctor Tomorrow is Valiant‘s first all-ages book set within the publisher’s continuity. This issue has what I assume to be the heroes of our Valiant Universe facing off with Doctor Tomorrow against the mad scientist Hadrian, though there’s a great little nod to the original Valiant comics which could open up interesting possibilities in the future should the publisher choose to explore and expand upon the idea introduced by that nod.

Unfortunately, that was probably the most exciting and unexpected thing in this book. It’s not a bad story, and writer Alehandro Arbona is still able to keep the sense of warmth and fun that has been a hallmark of the series so far, but the comic echoes the first part of the first issue in a away that feels a little more familiar than it should.

Joining Alejandro Arbona is artist Jim Towe, colorist Diego Rodriguez and letterer by Clayton Cowles. The comic is effectively a confrontation between the heroes and Hadrian, with a slight twist that you may see coming, but younger readers likely won’t.

Doctor Tomorrow #3 makes no apologies for putting in as many characters as it can conceivably can without breaking the story, and somehow Arbona avoids the story feeling anything but an oddly intimate affair.

Jim Towe’s art seems to fall more toward what you’d consider an “all-ages style”, though even with that there’s a page where everybody takes on a much more youthful appearance for a panel or two, but that’s honestly the only major flaws with with the book that springs to mind right away. . I’ve said before that the art reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon in all the right ways. It’s an aesthetic that fits the style and scope of the comic by being accessible without sacrificing visual storytelling, which means that you never have to stare at a page for to long in order to figure out what’s going on – and that allows the story to move at a blistering pace.

The one downside with reading new-to-me comics and rereading older books, especially older Valiant books, is that this doesn’t stack up quite like I hoped it would. If you’ve been reading the series, you’ll know more or less what to expect from the comic. However, if you’re thinking of picking it up for the first time, then you’ll not find anything here that’ll set you world afire, but you should still enjoy the store so far.

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

Story: 7.2 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Valiant Hero Of The Week: It’s The Eternal Warrior vs. Wolverine, Deadpool, and Captain America!

Valiant Hero of the Week

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this past week, the poll featured Ninjak, Punk Mambo, Doctor Mirage and the Eternal Warrior. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

The Eternal Warrior won the poll this week, which was an excellent excuse to take a look at how Valiant’s resident immortal would fare against characters from Marvel who fall roughly within his power level and skill set based on a random first encounter (much like Batman, if you give Gilad a chance to prepare he can punch far above his weight when it comes to his adversaries).

Who is the Eternal Warrior?

Eternal Warrior

An immortal warrior who is bound to defend the Geomancers – those who speak for the earth. Gilad Anni-Padda is thousands of years old, and has the combat experience that time and practice bring. An expert tactician and weapons master, Gilad also has enchanced strength, durability, stamina and a restorative healing ability that can repair critical injuries in a matter of days.

Although if Gilad takes enough damage he can die, he will always return to a fully healed body – but he can take a lot of damage; he is used to being impaled, cut, stabbed shot and burned. He can take and ignore a lot of damage and pain.

In terms of weaponry, Gilad has most recently carried with him an axe, a sword, two revolvers a grenade or two and several explosive charges. Due to the random encounter style of these imaginary fights, I’ll ignore the vast amounts of equipment he could bring to the field.

But the real question (or questions) that we’re all looking forward to answering are whether the Eternal Warrior could defeat…

Wolverine

When it comes to fighting Wolverine, the difference maker is Logan’s skeleton. Eternal Warrior is on par with Logan in terms of speed, is arguably stronger and has thousands of years of combat experience on Logan.

While Gilad doesn’t heal as fast as Wolverine, he his more durable in terms of the punishment his body can take before it needs to heal. If Logan gets shot, the bullet can bounce of his bones, Gilad’s muscles can absorb the bullet. But I can’t see them stopping Wolverine’s adamantium claws.

Wolverine may not carry as much weaponry as the Eternal Warrior tends to, but he doesn’t need to. Between his adamantium and his healing factor, then he leaves Gilad very little chance to effectively stop Wolverine for any real length of time.

At the end of the day, this would come down to who can soak the most damage from their opponent. The Eternal Warrior can take as much as Wolverine, but doesn’t heal as fast (the caveat here is that depending on the writer, we’ve seen both men take and walk away from a lot of punishment; it’s not unheard of for Gilad to allow himself to lose body parts to win, or to die just to learn his opponents tactics). No matter what happens in this fight, it would more than likely come down to the smallest of things between these two; does Wolverine break the Eternal Warrior’s axe and sword before they end up doing severe damage? Can the Eternal Warrior avoid the claws long enough to sever Logan’s femoral or carotid artery?

Ultimately, f it wasn’t for Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, then I’d say there’s no way that he’d be able to stand against the Eternal Warrior for long, but as it is I think it’s slightly more likely that Wolverine walks away victorious, but severely wounded.

Deadpool

Deadpool verses the Eternal Warrior would be a fantastic thing to see, but I think that it would result in Valiant’s immortal guardian leaving pieces of Wade Wilson in the dirt.

In terms of fighting ability, Gilad’s experience would trump Deadpool’s skill, and their weaponry would be fairly similar (depending on which version of Deadpool we’re looking at). As we saw with Wolverine above, the Eternal Warrior’s ability to heal from wounds would come at a distant second to Deadpool – but Gilad’s body is much hard to damage than Wade’s. Does Deadpool have the ability to stand toe to toe with Gilad in a fight? Absolutely. But I think that the difference here will be in their attitudes. The Eternal Warrior won’t spend as much time talking as he will trying to kill Deadpool, and Deadpool may not take his opponent as seriously.

Or, he’ll be too busy trying to distract the Eternal Warrior with some fourth wall breaking quips as his body starts to lose pieces.

When the dust settles, the Eternal Warrior will be walking away with half a sword impaled within him as Deadpool’s head laugh’s at the absurdity of the fight.

Captain America

If Captain America can disarm the Eternal Warrior then he stands a chance. Weaponless, the two men would be on fairly equal footing in terms of physical strength and stamina.

Now whether Captain America talks Gilad into an unarmed combat or he’s able to use his shield to knock away the axe and sword that’ll probably be down to the writer’s discretion (if it was me, I’d say that Cap would be able to disarm Gilad, but would likely lose his shield in the process).

At this point it’d be a first fight. We know Cap will never back down, and that he can go all day, but so can the Eternal Warrior.

Whether it’s hours or days, Gilad will eventually over come Captain America.


If you want to read more about the Eternal Warrior, check out this link for some recommendations.

Valiant Hero Of The Week: It’s The Eternal Warrior vs. Batman, Deathstroke, and Vandal Savage!

Valiant Hero of the Week

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this past week, the poll featured Ninjak, Punk Mambo, Doctor Mirage and the Eternal Warrior. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

The Eternal Warrior won the poll this week, which was an excellent excuse to take a look at how Valiant’s resident immortal would fare against characters from Marvel who fall roughly within his power level and skill set based on a random first encounter (much like Batman, if you give Gilad a chance to prepare he can punch far above his weight when it comes to his adversaries).

Who is the Eternal Warrior?

Eternal Warrior

An immortal warrior who is bound to defend the Geomancers – those who speak for the earth. Gilad Anni-Padda is thousands of years old, and has the combat experience that time and practice bring. An expert tactician and weapons master, Gilad also has enchanced strength, durability, stamina and a restorative healing ability that can repair critical injuries in a matter of days.

Although if Gilad takes enough damage he can die, he will always return to a fully healed body – but he can take a lot of damage; he is used to being impaled, cut, stabbed shot and burned. He can take and ignore a lot of damage and pain.

In terms of weaponry, Gilad has most recently carried with him an axe, a sword, two revolvers a grenade or two and several explosive charges. Due to the random encounter style of these imaginary fights, I’ll ignore the vast amounts of equipment he could bring to the field.

But the real question (or questions) that we’re all looking forward to answering are whether the Eternal Warrior could defeat…

Batman

I was thinking that Batman would be at a disadvantage right from the offset, but it’s not like Batman hasn’t come across somebody stronger and physically tougher than him before and come out on top without any time to plan ahead. Only this time, he’d be coming up against a man every bit as skilled as he.

Does the Dark Knight have enough equipment on him to defeat Gilad? Maybe, but it’d be a very close thing. Batman can’t out fight or outlast the Eternal Warrior, and he’d have a much harder time hurting him then Gilad would hurting Batman. The question really comes down to whether Batman can figure out how to take his opponent down with what he has on him and how he employs it. Will the Dark Knight underestimate the Eternal Warrior?

Will the Eternal Warrior leave Batman alive when the dust has settled? One thing’s for sure – if Batman loses the first encounter, and survives, then he’d be more likely to win the second once he knows who and what he’s up against.

I think that it’s more likely Batman will win the rematch than he will the first encounter given how they match up.

Deathstroke

Probably the most interesting match-up in terms of ability and equipment in a random encounter, the Eternal Warrior verses Deathstroke would be a fantastic fight to read in a comic book. Breaking it down, their strength, speed, endurance and stamina are very at very comparable levels. Deathstroke does seem to heal at a faster rate than Gilad, but the Eternal Warrior is a bit more durable than DC’s antihero.

Deathstroke is a highly skilled and deadly combatant, but the Eternal Warrior has him beat in terms of experience and ability. If it was two men facing off with swords and a couple of pistols, then I wouldn’t hesitate to give the nod to the Eternal Warrior. He’s beaten faster and stronger opponents than Deathstroke before by relying on his ability to read their style (thousands of years of combat does tend to give one an edge).

But with all things being as equal as they are, I think that Deathstroke’s Ikon suit would give him an edge. Could Eternal Warrior break through it? Maybe, but I think that the suit adds just enough of an advantage to for Deathstroke so that the scales would tip in his favour.

Vandal Savage

Valiant’s immortal hero verses DC’s immortal villain. It’d be a fight that could last for a long time, and if it was a comic book it could span thousands of years as the two face off across the years. But in a random encounter? I think that the Eternal Warrior is more likely capable of doing more serious damage to Vandal Savage in a random encounter based on what you see Savage typically carry, and the Eternal Warrior’s tendency to take any advantage he can.

When it comes to two skilled fighters going at each other, one unarmed and one not, then I think the outcome is heavily weighted in the favour of the man with the axe and sword. Despite the two being immortal, and despite neither one being able to stay dead, I think that the Eternal Warrior would stumble away victorious from the fight, leaving the pieces of Vandal Savage to regroup.


If you want to read more about the Eternal Warrior, check out this link for some recommendations.

Preview: Doctor Tomorrow #3 (of 5)

DOCTOR TOMORROW #3 (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 PEACH MOMOKO
Preorders due JUNE 1st | On sale JUNE 24th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The entire world vs. a madman… the world is going to need more heroes!
It’s the can’t-miss clash of 2020 as Hadrian stands against the Valiant Universe!

DOCTOR TOMORROW #3 (of 5)

Our Favorite Vintage Eternal Warrior Covers

The Eternal Warrior gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant‘s “Hero of the Week. Fans chose him over Ninjak, Punk Mambo and Livewire, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be pre the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images featuring the Eternal Warrior.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Underrated: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior

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: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior.



wotewJust under a year and a half aog, Valiant Entertainment released a deluxe hardcover edition collecting the entire 14 issue run of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior along with Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1. Fifteen comics presented in an over-sized hardcover along with 20 odd pages of bonus extras that add a lot for  those interested in the process of the creation of the series, all for $49.99. And yes, I did buy this myself (and happily so) despite having access to the review copies and single issues I had picked up when released.

This series remains one of my all time favourites, so getting a chance to read it all in one spot was something I couldn’t pass up.

But despite this being one of my all time greats, it wasn’t until about the midway point that I fell for the series. Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior didn’t start out as a series that wowed me. The first four issues seemed to struggle with pacing and the art style, especially given the series billing as a follow-up to the explosively exciting Book Of Death miniseries that (spoiler) ended in the Eternal Warrior’s death. It’s that death, and those that follow, that form the crux of the series, but without the first four issues you don’t realize the toll taken on the Eternal Warrior with each death and resurrection cycle. The comics that I felt struggled with pacing quickly became some of the most important ground-setting in modern comics – a lesson that I took to heart, and quickly so.

Comics, like all stories, need time to breath.

It would also be fair to say that the art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin were not immediately to my taste. In furtherance to that, it would also be fair to say that my taste quickly changed as the series progressed and the elegance and artistic genius of the husband and wife team gave me a new appreciation of the majesty of sequential art.  There are other artists who contribute to the series, all with a fantastic level of talent; it’s these contributions that give the series the honour of being one of the most visually stunning and diverse pieces of sequential art published by Valiant.

Robert Venditti has written some incredible comics in his time, but one of the finest examples of his work comes in the fourteen issue run of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior. Taking you on a journey through history,  across continents and beyond death, Venditti weaves an incredibly deep tale that reveals a different layer upon each subsequent reading.

It’s also violent as all hell in places, which should satisfy the need we have for a bit of blood and conflict in our comics, but there’s also a deep emotional story here that cannot – and should not – go ignored. The Eternal Warrior is an ancient being, and his life has not always been sunshine and roses – but he still picks himself up and dusts himself off.

Isn’t there a saying that’s roughly it isn’t how many times we fall, but how many times we pick ourselves up?

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior is a fantastic series, and I envy those of you who get to read the entire thing in one sitting; the deluxe hardcover is worth picking up for that series alone, which is why I haven’t mentioned Eternal Warrior: Awakening at any point in this week’s column because that’s the cherry on top of the fantastic main course. Mixed metaphors aside, Awakening is another really good comic, and serves as another nice bonus for those who buy the collection.

I’ll  make no secret of my abject love for this series, indeed the fact I own both the individual issues and the deluxe hardcover when I also have access to the review copies should hopefully speak volumes to that love. It’s a love that I genuinely believe you’ll share when you give the series a chance – it’s an underrated gem.


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

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Eternal Warrior

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more. This week, the poll featured Rai, Punk Mambo, Livewire and the Eternal Warrior.

Valiant Hero of the Week

This week’s winner was…

Eternal Warrior

The Eternal Warrior

Who is he? The immortal guardian of the Earth and it’s Geomancer. Gilad Anni-Padda has lived for thousands upon thousands of years, and has become a master combatant and strategist. He is also, unquestionably, my favourite character in the Valiant universe and easily within my top five comic book characters. Perhaps one of the things that interests me most with Gilad is the ability to set his stories in any time period.

What should you read?

The Valiant

A battle ten millennia in the making…

The Eternal Warrior has protected the Earth for more than 10,000 years. A master of countless weapons and long forgotten martial arts, he is guided by the Geomancers – those who speak for the Earth. During his long watch, the Eternal Warrior has failed three times. Each time, the Geomancer was killed…and a new dark age for humanity began. Each time, he was unable to stop The Immortal Enemy – a monstrous force of nature. A civilization killer. A horror that appears differently each time it arrives…and whose seemingly only purpose is to bring disorder and darkness to the world. Now, the time has come for The Immortal Enemy to return once more. But, this time, the Eternal Warrior will be ready. This time, he has a force greater than any single warrior. This time, he has…THE VALIANT.


The Valiant written by Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire is the first of two books you’ll have seen before. The premise is centered around a loose group of allies headed by the Eternal Warrior trying to stop the Immortal Enemy from murdering the Geomancer, the person who speaks for the planet. As a showcase for the various Valiant heroes, this is arguably still the best way for new-to-Valiant readers to get introduced to the publishers characters. It’s also a fantastic story.

Buy Now: Amazon Hardcover/PaperbackKindlecomiXologyTFAW

Book Of Death

The Valiant heroes. X-O Manowar. Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Harbinger Renegades. Unity. This is how they lived. This is how they died.

Now we know. The Book of the Geomancer has recorded it all. But only a young girl – the last in a line of the enigmatic mystics who protect the Earth known as
Geomancers – has seen this future come to pass, from the coming cataclysm to the dawn of the 41st century. Alone with her sworn protector, the Eternal Warrior – a soldier battle-forged across five thousand years of combat – the duo must defy their allies to stop the Dark Age that now threatens to eclipse our world.

Together, they are the number one target of every hero and villain on Earth. Either the Eternal Warrior hands her over…or they take him down. But can even he single-handedly protect one child when the entire Valiant Universe wages war against him?


This was my introduction to Gilad, and it was also what sold me on the Valiant universe as a whole. Book Of Death is technically a sequel to The Valiant, a book that I’ve recommended already in these weekly columns, and will again if Eternal Warrior wins the week. But you don’t need to read that story to enjoy this. You get an immediate sense of what an absolute monster the Eternal Warrior is very early in the series as he faces down Valiant’s premiere super team, Unity, entirely alone. That Book Of Death leads directly into Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, easily one of my favourite Valiant stories (are you sensing a theme with this?) and there’s no question in my mind that this is the place to start if you want to read about the Eternal Warrior

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW


Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior: Risen

For five millennia, the Eternal Warrior has shaped history at the end of his sword. He’s razed empires, toppled civilizations, and broken armies as an immortal soldier in service to the Earth. But now, the Eternal Warrior has been torn from the world he once protected and finds himself stranded in a hostile alien landscape unlike any he’s faced before. Separated from his earthly environs, can history’s deadliest soldier survive a realm far older, far deadlier, and fare more ruinous than anything he’s ever encountered? Beyond Earth lies eternity…


I’m not going to cover this in detail because it’s also the subject of this week’s Underrated column. The first volume, Risen, is pretty good when you first read it, but as the series continued then you realize how necessary the story is and as you go back to the volume then you realize that “pretty good” is an understated recommendation when you take in the series as a whole. The entire Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior series is on my Top Five all-time comics list. Read it, and find out why.

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshopTFAW

Incursion

Beyond the margins of human reason lies a realm known as the Deadside, where the souls of the dearly departed linger – and where demons wait for us in the dark. For countless ages, Earth’s chosen protectors have guarded the veil between both worlds – but there are other doors to the Deadside, through which gruesome terrors from galaxies untold can trespass… With the planet’s freedom at stake, can the reigning Geomancer and her steadfast Eternal Warrior stand together against an invasion unlike any they’ve ever witnessed?


A sequel of sorts to Book Of Death in that it features both the Geomancer and the Eternal Warrior, this book both emphasizes the relationship between the two characters but it also shows just how far the Eternal Warrior will go in pursuit of his goals.

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshopTFAW

Eternal Warrior: Days Of Steel

The Eternal Warrior…Gilad Anni-Padda, the Earth’s Fist and Steel…is forever charged with guarding the Geomancer and securing the Earth’s safety. After completing another brutal mission, the Earth’s undying guardian is approached with a cryptic task: find and save a baby — in whose hands might rest the fate of an entire people! But the Eternal Warrior is no nursemaid…and, to complicate matters, a thousand Magyar invaders want the baby dead. At the edge of civilization, can history’s most expert killer keep one precious life alive?


This isn’t generally thought of among the classics. but it’s worth checking out. Eternal Warrior forced to choose between protecting one of two siblings; whether he chooses right or wrong… he’ll have to wait decades to decide. Clocking it at only three issues, this is one of the short stories on the list, and it’s one of the lesser acclaimed books, but I was more than happy with it when I closed the final page.

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshopTFAW


It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Our Favorite Eternal Warrior Covers

The Eternal Warrior gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant‘s “Hero of the Week“. Fans chose him over Ninjak, Punk Mambo and Livewire, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be post the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images featuring the Eternal Warrior across the various series he’s appeared in.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Rai, Livewire, Punk Mambo, and Eternal Warrior.

Valiant Hero of the Week

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Rai, Livewire, Punk Mambo and Eternal Warrior. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. If you’ve read previous columns, then you’ll probably notice that there’s nothing new here. All of these characters have been featured before, and as such the books I’d recommend haven’t changed for first time readers.

Rai

Who is he? The guardian of New Japan, a floating city orbiting the earth in the year 4001 A.D., the noble Rai protects the city and serves the will of Father, the AI who runs New Japan. There’s so many layers to this character that you’ll peel away issue by issue as you read the book. The Rai in issue one is vastly different to the Rai in issue twelve, but because Matt Kindt’s character development is subtle but so effective.

What should you read?

Welcome To New Japan

The year is 4001 A.D. – led by the artificial intelligence called “Father,” the island nation of Japan has expanded out of the Pacific and into geosynchronous orbit with the ravaged Earth below. With billions to feed and protect, it has fallen to one solitary guardian to enforce the law of Father’s empire – the mysterious folk hero known as Rai. They say he can appear out of nowhere. They say he is a spirit…the ghost of Japan. But when the first murder in a thousand years threatens to topple Father’s benevolent reign, Rai will be forced to confront the true face of a nation transformed…and his own long-lost humanity…


I want to tell you read the 2019 Rai series, but it hasn’t been collected yet, so instead, start with the first volume of the first series, Rai: Welcome To New Japan. Because Rai’s story is set apart from the rest of the Valiant universe in many ways, it’s really easy to follow across the first volume of Rai, 4001 A.D. and Fallen World. So start at the beginning.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW

Livewire

Livewire

Who is she? A psiot who can talk to technology, Livewire has always been a complicated person. Right now her position in the Valiant Universe is tenuous at best after the events of Harbinger Wars II, where the world at large views her as a domestic terrorist. A former pupil of Toyo Harada, Livewire is one of the more powerful characters in the Valiant Universe because of the access to data that her powers provide. The character has been involved in some pretty interesting stories over the years – some far better than others, but the below is one of the very best you’ll see her in.

What should you read?

Secret Weapons.

Secret Weapons

The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive disappointments. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rex-O seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…


This isn’t strictly a Livewire story, but it does focus on a group of outcasts with utterly useless powers that Livewire gathers together for their protection because they’re being hunted by a psiot killer. This one of the best stories to come from Valiant, and is worth checking out whenever you get a chance.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology

Punk Mambo

Who is she? A sarcastic biting magician in the vein of John Constantine, Punk Mambo has very few figs to give about anybody. Her complete disregard for authority is fitting given the character’s name, and as such she works incredibly well against characters with a more straightforward motivation seen in books like Rapture or her self titled miniseries.

What should you read? Ninjak: Operation Deadside

Of all the characters in today’s poll, Punk Mambo is the one who hasn’t had that many appearances I’ve actually read. She first appeared in Shadowman #13, which is a series I haven’t even come close to finishing yet (I’ve got the first eight issues, so haven’t seen her introduction). My introduction to the character came in the story I’m going to recommend to you; Ninjak: Operation Deadside. Watching Punk Mambo and Ninjak interact with each other is one of the absolute highlights of the story as she ends up being the foil to everything Ninjak says and does. It was this story that got me hooked on the character, so I’m hoping you’ll have the same result.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop

Eternal Warrior

Eternal Warrior

Who is he? The immortal guardian of the Earth and it’s Geomancer. Gilad Anni-Padda has lived for thousands upon thousands of years, and has become a master combatant and strategist. He is also, unquestionably, my favourite character in the Valiant universe and easily within my top five comic book characters – needless to say, I’m hoping that he wins the week so I can spend the week writing about the Earth’s Fist and Steel.

What should you read?

Book of Death

Book Of Death

The Valiant heroes. X-O Manowar. Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Harbinger Renegades. Unity. This is how they lived. This is how they died.

Now we know. The Book of the Geomancer has recorded it all. But only a young girl – the last in a line of the enigmatic mystics who protect the Earth known as
Geomancers – has seen this future come to pass, from the coming cataclysm to the dawn of the 41st century. Alone with her sworn protector, the Eternal Warrior – a soldier battle-forged across five thousand years of combat – the duo must defy their allies to stop the Dark Age that now threatens to eclipse our world.

Together, they are the number one target of every hero and villain on Earth. Either the Eternal Warrior hands her over…or they take him down. But can even he single-handedly protect one child when the entire Valiant Universe wages war against him?


This was my introduction to Gilad, and it was also what sold me on the Valiant universe as a whole. Book Of Death is technically a sequel to The Valiant, a book that I’ve recommended already in these weekly columns, and will again if Eternal Warrior wins the week. But you don’t need to read that story to enjoy this. You get an immediate sense of what an absolute monster the Eternal Warrior is very early in the series as he faces down Valiant’s premiere super team, Unity, entirely alone. That Book Of Death leads directly into Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, easily one of my favourite Valiant stories (are you sensing a theme with this?) and there’s no question in my mind that this is the place to start if you want to read about the Eternal Warrior

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

The Thin Line Between Good And Evil: Toyo Harada

When you look at the typical comic book bad guy, there is often a clear cut case of black and white. Hero and villain. Good verses evil. This is never clearer when it comes to the Joker, or Sabretooth (although that has been known to be more in flux over the last half decade or so).  However with some antagonists it can be a bit murkier, sometimes a villain’s motivations are almost understandable when you take a moment to remove yourself from the hero’s narrative. When you look at the antagonist’s motivation removed from the protagonist’s story you can begin to see that when experienced from a different angle, these characters wouldn’t be seen as villains.

The Thin Line Between Good And Evil aims to take a look at the characters traditionally portrayed as villains within the world of nerd culture, primarily comics, and explore if it were their story we were reading, whether the villain would instead be seen as a hero.

Toyo Harada

This month, in honour of Valiant’s Hero Of The Week event, we’re taking a look at Toyo Harada.

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that Toyo Harada is just your standard evil overlord/CEO, but that would be doing a huge disservice to the character. Instead, it’d be slight more accurate to suggest he’s a blend of Professor Xavier and Magneto, but only in broad strokes.

Harada is a rare psiot born with incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers; within the Valiant Universe, most psiots are dormant until they’re activated – usually by an incredibly painful and risky procedure – but very few, often the most powerful, are born with their abilities activated. Harada’s abilities were activated by the nucleor weapon dropped on Hiroshima, and this understandably shaped a lot of the man he would become (explored in detail during The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada, though it is touched upon in Harbinger and Imperium briefly).

Toyo Harada is arguably one of Valiant Entertainment’s more complex characters. He is a Psiot using his incredible telekinetic and telepathic powers in order to shape the world into a better place for everyone by using his company’s immense wealth for philanthropic efforts. Harada’s methods haven’t always been perfectly angelic, and he exemplifies the phrase “the end justifies the means.” But his heart has always been in the right place.. his end goal is to end war, to which he conquered a small country… and then tried to turn it into a Utopian free state (in Imperium).

Toyo Harada

The more you learn about Toyo Harada, the more you realize that he’s far from an evil man. He spent decades trying to influence political policy, gradually and gently nudging the world in the direction of a Utopian future while gathering and training the smartest minds and craftspeople of their generation to further the technologies that humanity will come to rely on.

Only for some ungrateful little drug addict that wants to start to tear down everything you’ve worked for (which you can read all about in Harbinger). Now it wasn’t all Peter Stanchek’s fault; circumstances didn’t quite favour Harada. He’d spread himself too thin, and eventually the final straw landed upon his back and things started to fall apart, but one has to wonder whether things would have been different if not for Stancheck. Whether Harada could have continued to guide the world in the shadows rather than forcibly showing governments how to create a self sustaining society.

But this column isn’t about recapping the man’s history; there’s a great resource here if that’s all you want to know, or you can check out the links below with the first volume of Harbinger, which kicks the saga off.

Instead, we’re here to look at why Toyo Harada is considered a villain, and I genuinely think it’s because of how he’s been framed in stories. When reading Harbinger, you’re following the story of Peter Stanchek and the Renegades. In X-O Manowar and Unity you’re naturally rooting for X-O because of Harada’s desire to acquire the armour whilst also preventing a cataclysmic confrontation.

Toyo Harada

If it wasn’t for that, and his penchant for making some questionable decisions in pursuit of (what he believes to be) the greater good, then I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in viewing Toyo Harada as Valiant’s greatest hero. He’s doing what he feels he needs to do to save the world, despite our best efforts to the contrary. He’s been working for decades to make the world a better place, and in the grander scope of things he forms the question: can we save ourselves, even if we wanted to?

That’s what this really comes down to; as a global society, are we really capable of lifting the most unfortunate and desperate members up and coming together to save ourselves? Toyo Harada clearly doesn’t think so, and I’m inclined to agree with him. Toyo Harada is the villain we need to save our world.

And he’ll do it, by any means necessary.


Read the start of Toyo Harada’s story here:

Purchase: Amazon – Kindle – comiXology – TFAWBookshop

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

« Older Entries