Tag Archives: diego rodriguez

Review: The Visitor #2

The Visitor #2

Chaos strikes the Big Apple as The Visitor targets a group of revolutionary international scientists in The Visitor #2!

After having read two issues in the series I’m still not sure if the Visitor is the protagonist or antagonist. To be honest I’m really enjoying that side of the comic. Leaving the title character with an air of mystique regarding his motivations, and whether we want him stopped or not, is a refreshing change of pace. It also adds to the re-readability of the comic. Once you know what the Visitor is trying to do, what he’s trying to stop, it’ll add another layer to the comic’s story. A story that beings to reveal more layers in the back half of the second issue.

The Visitor #2 penned by Paul Levitz follows the titular character as he’s trying to eliminate something that the Japanese scientists he’s hunting are working on and the UN Security agent Dauber assigned to protect them. Levitz keeps things entirely believable when the scientists keep frustrating Dauber’s efforts to keep them safe by insisting on their secrecy as they all underestimate the Visitor.

I feel like Levitz has something to say here regarding our own assumptions of government agencies, the police or any other group of people who are supposed to protect us – but can only do so much when they only have half, or less, of the full picture. I could be wrong, of course, but it’s an interesting subtext within the comic that I’m enjoying.

It’s one more thing that’s got me wanting to come back to the comic next month.

Over the course of this book, from the first page to the last, MJ Kim‘s artwork is great. There’s controlled energy where there needs to be and a quiet stillness in certain parts. It’s often through Kim’s artwork that we get most of our insights on the Visitor’s character, several pages before Levitz starts to peel back the layers. Kim’s body language, the way the Visitor hangs his head or the shape of his hands will speak to you in ways you won’t necessarily expect until you read the following pages and you realize that nothing is quite as surprising because Kim’s geared you up for it. But the revelations are never spoiled because of the art, merely enhanced by it.

Whenever it comes to introducing a new character who shares the name of a much older one like the Visitor, there’s always the fine line to walk between homage and facsimile. Levitz has balanced the character on the knife’s edge. For those who have read and are familiar with the 90’s character then you’ll find a little bit of the old character still within the new, but there’s already more than enough here for the new Visitor to stand alone as his own person.

Of course, if you never read the original, then the above is a moot point, and all you need to worry about is that this is a cracking yarn from start to finish.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Visitor #1

The Visitor #1

Unstoppable. Untraceable. Unkillable. This is how he changes the world…
Who is the Visitor? Why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? And will they live long enough to find out? It all kicks off in The Visitor #1.

It’s ironic in some ways, but I’ve just started trying to track down the original Visitor series published in the late 90’s, long before Valiant relaunched its universe in 2012. That Visitor, who obviously shares a name with this one and little else (that we’ve been told, anyway) was an alien from the far reaches of space who was trying to help Make Things Better on Earth. Although his identity was revealed eventually, on the off chance that the same beat will be revisited here. I think it’s unlikely, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. If you really want to know, you’re reading this on a device with Google…

The Visitor #1 barely features the title character, showing him primarily in shadows or a hooded trench coat, instead it focuses on a group of scientists with dubious motivations as they try to deploy and/or test a new technology that may or may not improve the lives of the general populace.

Paul Levitz deliberately leaves the Visitor a mystery in his own book, giving him precious little screen time as the story unfolds. It’s an interesting choice to focus less on the title character and more on those whose lives he’s disrupting, but it certainly sets the stage for the moment that we’re able to glean some more information about the character – who he is and what his motivations are – that will hopefully start coming out next issue.

If nothing else, it’s already got me hooked.

Speaking of hooks, MJ Kim‘s artwork is on point in this comic. New York is always a fun city for comics, and the skyscrapers in the background are lovingly rendered. Kim’s panel layout suits this story wonderfully, and combined with the coloring work of Diego Rodriguez, well then you’ve got a brilliant looking book with some fantastic story pacing.

You don’t need to be super familiar with the original Visitor (actually, you don’t even need to know there was an original Visitor), or even the start of what promises to be a thrilling ride.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Visitor #1 (of 6)

THE VISITOR #1 (of 6)

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover B by RAÚL ALLÉN
Cover C by MICHAEL WALSH
Preorder Edition Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Blank Cover Also Available
On sale DECEMBER 18 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Unstoppable. Untraceable. Unkillable. This is how he changes the world…
Who is the Visitor? Why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? And will they live long enough to find out?

THE VISITOR #1 (of 6)

Meet the Future with Doctor Tomorrow this February

Meet the Valiant Universe’s brand-new superhero: Doctor Tomorrow!

This February, teenage hothead and star athlete Bart Simms will come face to face with the Valiant Universe’s greatest hero… himself! The action-packed adventure is by rising star Alejandro Arbona and awe-inspiring artist Jim Towe. Will Bart and Doctor Tomorrow be able to save the Valiant Universe from a new and unstoppable menace? See below for the gripping opening sequence from Doctor Tomorow #1… featuring Doctor Tomorrow’s nemesis Hadrian, and quite a few familiar faces from across the Valiant Universe!

The thrilling all-ages journey begins in Doctor Tomorrow #1 on February 19th, 2020, featuring colors by Diego Rodriguez, letters by Clayton Cowles, and covers by Kenneth RocafortStacey LeeRaúl Allén, and Doug Braithwaite.

The Visitor arrives in the Valiant Universe this December courtesy of Paul Levitz and MJ Kim

Who is the Visitor and why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? This December, industry icon and Eisner Hall of Famer Paul Levitz and Russ Manning Award-nominated artist MJ Kim unleash The Visitor from Valiant Entertainment!

The Visitor #1 (of 5), the first chapter of the jaw-dropping limited series, goes on sale December 18th, 2019, featuring colors by Diego Rodriguez, letters by Simon Bowland, and covers by Amilcar PinnaRaùl AllénMichael Walsh, and Kenneth Rocafort.

The Visitor

Preview: Ninja-K Deluxe Edition HC

NINJA-K DELUXE EDITION HC

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by TOMÁS GIORELLO, JUAN JOSÉ RYP, ROBERTO DE LA TORRE, ARIEL OLIVETTI, LARRY STROMAN, RYAN WINN
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ, ANDREW DALHOUSE, JORDIE BELLAIRE, JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by A LARGER WORLD STUDIOS 
Cover by TOMÁS GIORELLO with DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
$49.99 | 320 pgs. | T+ | On sale AUGUST 14th | HARDCOVER | ISBN: 978-1-68215-322-2

One by one, the operatives of MI-6’s covert “Ninja Programme” are being murdered by an unseen threat. Ninjak must confront the bloodstained legacy that spawned him…before his own name gets crossed off the list… The circle around Valiant’s deadliest superspy closes in the complete deluxe edition hardcover of the series Nerdist calls, “one hell of a ride”! Collecting NINJA-K #1–14, “Prelude to Ninja-K” from NINJAK #0, and more than 20+ pages of rarely seen process art, designs and extras!

NINJA-K DELUXE EDITION HC

Preview: Britannia Deluxe Edition HC

BRITANNIA DELUXE EDITION HC

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP, ROBERT GILL, RYAN LEE, ROBERTO DE LA TORRE, JUAN CASTRO, BRIAN THIES
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE, FRANKIE D’ARMATA, JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA, DIEGO RODRIGUEZ, ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
$49.99 | 320 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 31st | HARDCOVER | ISBN: 978-1-68215-320-8

On the fringes of civilization, the world’s first detective is about to make an unholy discovery.

In the remote outpost of Britannia, Antonius Axia – the First Detective – will become Rome’s only hope to reassert control over the empire’s most barbaric frontier…and keep the monsters that bridge the line between myth and mystery at bay.

Collecting BRITANNIA #1–4, BRITANNIA: WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE #1–4, and BRITANNIA: LOST EAGLES OF ROME #1–4, along with over 20+ pages of rarely seen art and extras!

BRITANNIA DELUXE EDITION HC

Preview: Incursion TPB

INCURSION TPB

Story by ANDY DIGGLE and ALEX PAKNADEL
Script by ALEX PAKNADEL
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by MARSHALL DILLON
Cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
$14.99 | 114 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 10th

The debut of Valiant’s biggest villain: the alien conqueror Imperatrix Virago!

The only thing standing in her way is the Eternal Warrior and Geomancer.

Can the duo of heroes protect the planet from a seemingly unstoppable extraterrestrial foe and her army of the undead?

Collecting the complete limited series, INCURSION #1-4.

INCURSION TPB

Preview: X-O Manowar (2017) Vol. 7: Hero

X-O MANOWAR (2017) VOL. 7: HERO TPB

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TOMÁS GIORELLO, ISAAC GOODHART
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ, ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
On sale June 19th, 2019
$14.99 | 112 pgs. | T+ | Full Color
 

The past catches up with Earth’s Visigoth guardian!

Aric of Dacia may have left Planet Gorin behind, but its people still remember the ruin they felt in his wake…and so do the bounty hunters who sought to end his barbaric reign! Now, they’ve arrived on our world to finish the job they started – and this time, they don’t plan on taking X-O Manowar alive!

Collecting X-O MANOWAR (2017) #23–26.

X-O MANOWAR (2017) VOL. 7: HERO TPB

Review: The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #4

The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #4

Wait, did THAT really just happen in the last cliffhanger? Oh, man… Can Toyo’s team recover in The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #4 or will they never be the same again? Trust us, you don’t want to miss the acclaimed limited series about the world’s most powerful man.

The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada has become more than a typical miniseries. It is the capstone of Joshua Dysart‘s phenomenal run with the character that spans Harbinger and Imperium. It’s more than just the story about the end of a character’s life. It’s also a story about how sometimes the best of intentions don’t justify the means to achieve them – and yet sometimes the end does justify the means, but that not everybody will be happy with the results and chaos can still ensue.

The fallout to the last issue begins The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #4 in earnest, with the character’s each coming to their own realization and dealing with the emotional fallout from The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #3 (you can probably guess what it is, but because I am staunchly anti-spoiler I am refraining from just outright saying what it is). The scope of the series is vast, but the focus this issue on a handful of characters brings you back to a more human – such that they are – look at the messianic Toyo Harada through their eyes. It’s a reminder that for all his vast power, he’s also had an incredible impact on those around him.

This is also reinforced with the subplot set during the sixties with an amnesiac Harada becoming an all together different sort of messiah as his philosophy of emptiness resonates with the drug fueled hippy commune that forms around him. It’s another aspect to the character, that he can’t help but inspire people, that’s brilliantly explored in this issue.

Toyo Harada is the kind of character that doesn’t come around often, and when they do, they’re always divisively popular as they begin to make one question whether they are truly villainous or merely driven by their goals. Harada was often framed as the villain in Harbinger, though one can argue that was simply because of the side of the story we were following, rather than the character being evil (again, there’s the divisive aspect of the man – there are more times than not that I find myself agreeing with his goals, but not always his methods). As Alan Moore wrote in Watchmen “I understand. Without condoning or condemning, I understand.”

I wrote this in the review of the second issue, and felt it needed repeating. This is a book that lives in the moral grey areas, and I love it.

Artistically, The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #4 is freaking awesome. Cafu and Diego Yapur is joined by colourists Andrew Dalhouse and Diego Rodriguez. The artists craft yet another visual masterpiece that perfectly compliments the depth of Dysart’s writing. This book is one of the very finest things on the racks this week. Either the art or the writing alone would be enough to earn my recommendation. Together, they’re like peanut butter and chocolate. Two great things that are made even better together (if you like that combination).

I don’t know what you’re reading this month. If it isn’t The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada then you’re missing out on a comic that all comics fans should be reading. Because this is a series that highlights what comics are capable of; telling a great story whilst also exploring some very interesting themes about saviors, hope and the government military machines.

Story: Joshua Dysart Art: Cafu and Diego Yapur
Colours: Andrew Dalhouse
and Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, but this is a book I’ll be buying when it hits the racks.

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