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Early Preview: Killers #1 (of 5)

KILLERS #1 (of 5)

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Cover B by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover C by KEN LASHLEY
Pre-Order Edition Cover by WHILCE PORTACIO
Blank Cover Also Available 
On sale July 31st, 2019 (FOC July 8th, 2019) (FOC July 8, 2019)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color

Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin!

But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him?

Each of these assassins can channel their ki—the spiritual energy within all beings—in different ways, granting them incredible powers, essentially making them “superninjas”!

KILLERS #1 (of 5)

Killers Gets Whilce Portacio Covers for its Pre-Order Bundle

Valiant has announced the Killers #1-5 Pre-Order Edition Bundle, the latest in the publisher’s initiative to allow readers to order a complete story arc or an entire run of a limited series in advance. Each Killers Pre-Order Edition issue will feature a cover rendered by comics luminary Whilce Portacio and contain an extra eight pages of bonus material. 

Written by B. Clay Moore and drawn by Fernando Dagnino, the Bundle is available to pre-order now at local comic book shops by the final order cutoff (FOC) date of Monday, July 8th. Issue #1 is set to debut on Wednesday, July 31st.

In Killers, five elite assassins are recruited by their former sensei to perform a deadly task for him, but what does he want from them, and what do they gain from helping him? 

Released monthly from July 2019 through November 2019, each 40-page Pre-Order Edition issue comes packed with cool extras—including creator commentary, behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of the comics, character designs, and cover galleries—that can’t be found anywhere else. Each issue is priced at $3.99, the same price as the regular-edition copies!

B. Clay Moore Talks Valiant’s Killers with an Exclusive Look at Killers #2’s Covers

With the August comic solicits being revealed, we’ve got an exclusive look at the covers for Killers #2! Writer B. Clay Moore drops some insight as to what we can expect from this new series!

But, what is Valiant’s new series Killers?

Killers spins out of the world of Ninjak! Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by the mysterious Jonin! But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him? Each of these assassins can channel their ki in different ways, granting them incredible abilities!

Killers #1 is out July 31 from Moore, artist Fernando Dagnino, colorist José Villarrubia, and letterer Jeff Powell.

We got a chance to ask Moore some questions about the new series. After that is the reveal of Killers #2‘s covers!


Graphic Policy: Based upon the early solicits, Killers clearly takes its cues from Ninja-K. Does a reader need to be familiar with that series in order to enjoy Killers?

B. Clay Moore: No, not at all. While readers of Ninja-K will be glad to see an element of that book expanded upon, this is, for all intents and purposes, ground zero for a new group of characters.

GP: There are so many possibilities and stories to tell when it comes to MI6’s Ninja Programme. What can readers expect from Killers

BCM: An expansion on the nature of those MI6 ninjas who were trained by the Jonin, for starters. Mainly, though, Killers is an example of picking up seeds from previous stories about the Ninja Programme, and watching them grow into a related but wholly separate concept. That’s a testament to the work previous creative teams have put into fleshing out a three-dimensional world for us to plunder.

GP: Killers expands upon and delves a little deeper into some former Ninja Progamme operatives; what made you decide to go with the letters you did? What makes them stand out from each other?

BCM: Editor Karl Bollers and I sort of kicked around the eras in which we figured the various Ninjas had operated, and then examined how much information had been previously revealed about each operative. In most cases, there was a lot of room to build almost from scratch, so we took that opportunity to do so. We then constructed separate sets of abilities for each character, and then mapped out what they’ve been doing since leaving the Programme. In essence, once they’ve left the Programme behind, any similarities—beyond their killer natures—are left behind, as well. 

GP: With a cast of characters to focus on, what were you looking for as far as a gateway character?

BCM: Ninja-G, who has been fleshed out the most in the Ninja-K book, was our natural choice as a gateway character. Enough had been established to give us a solid base upon which to build, and the fact that she was a seventies-era badass was also appealing. And a relationship that had been hinted at previously became the springboard with which to launch her into the story. 

GP: Other than the operatives, will we also get a little more insight into the Ninja Programme, and the lengths they went to train their operatives?

BCM: Very much so. New revelations about the nature of that training is sort of at the heart of the book, and defines not just the characters, but also their motivation for coming together.

GP: Are there any other Ninjas you would like to explore a little more in the future?

BCM: Oh, sure. Now that we’ve established some new dynamics regarding former Programme operatives, I’d love to play a part in actively inserting other Ninjas from the past into the present. There’s still a lot of unearthed potential there. 

GP: Valiant does an excellent job of balancing the individual series and their bigger picture storyline. You can enjoy a single series or the richer story of everything. How does it work as a writer thinking about those two things?

BCM: As with the last Valiant book I wrote, Savage, I try to focus on creating something new and self-contained that still slots in logically with what we already know about the Valiant Universe. And, of course, everything is written with an eye toward how the characters we’re creating might interact with other Valiant characters in the future. With that said, I think Killers will definitely provide fodder for future stories beyond this initial title. The characters introduced here could logically find themselves tangling with any of Valiant’s heavy hitters somewhere down the road.


Check out the covers for Killers #2!

Killers #2 Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Killers #2 Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Killers #2 Cover B by SANFORD GREENE
Killers #2 Cover B by SANFORD GREENE
Killers #2 Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Killers #2 Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Killers #2 Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER
Killers #2 Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER III

Valaint Reveals Breakthrough, their 2019 Lineup

Breakthrough is a boundary-shattering lineup of new #1s from Valiant Entertainment that will serve as perfect jumping-on points for new fans while expanding the shared universe. Breakthrough offers every reader four new gateways to the rich storytelling of Valiant.

Breaking through this March is the previously announced The Life and Death of Toyo Harada– a heart-wrenching, character-driven tale about the world’s most powerful superhuman facing his final battle – coming from Eisner Award-nominated writer Joshua Dysart and a rotating cast of awe-inspiring artists, including CAFUMico SuayanLewis LaRosa, and Adam Pollina.

The Life and Death of Toyo Harada

From the twisted minds of Cullen Bunn and Adam Gorham comes the debut of Punk Mambo in April. This five-issue limited series, about a British voodoo priestess lurking just outside of New Orleans, unleashes a supernatural adventure with equal parts terror and humor.

Punk Mambo

Fallen World by mastermind writer Dan Abnett and astonishing artist Adam Pollina is a five-issue event series beginning in May that will pull readers into a captivating cyberpunk future unlike any they’ve ever seen before. In the year 4002 AD, the cyborg samurai called Rai will face an impossible battle for the fate of humanity.

Fallen World

The slate races forward with Killers from acclaimed writer B. Clay Moore and energetic artist Fernando Dagnino, a non-stop thrill ride as the deadliest superspies on the planet compete to claim the ultimate prize, coming in July.

Killers

Four new series, four boundary-breaking tales to experience. New fans will love the wide range of stories and genres, while Valiant superfans will make new discoveries about their favorite characters. BREAKTHROUGH will propel Valiant into its breathtaking second half of 2019, featuring surprises, returns, and reveals that longtime fans have been demanding!

Advance Review: Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1

tarzan-on-the-planet-of-the-apes-1-coverWhen it comes to world building and crafting legend and lore, no other writer has influenced generations of writers even those whose have never read him, as Edgar Rice Burroughs has. He has created characters that were multidimensional and definitely created worlds that were than what the average fantasy writer brought to the canon. As he created worlds that were not only lived in, but beautiful and vivid, and engaged the reader. When he wrote Tarzan, he brought that same level of detail to this world, which only perpetuated the character’s notoriety but also its popularity, which can be seen in the most recent movie.

Planet of the Apes, on the other hand, from the original movies, to the TV series, the comic books and the most recent reincarnations including the “could be forgotten” Tim Burton adaptation, has blazed a different path. As with most great science fiction, shines a light of society’s greatest conflicts, whether it is poverty or racism and classism, as Planet of the Apes skillfully portrayed. The creators said even more deftly than Star Trek ever did, as they dealt with how America was in the 1960s and 1970s, and with every viewing, those same issues can be seen clearer and clearer. The recent movies have dealt with xenophobia, in a way that movies like District 9 only wished it could come close to.

BOOM! Studios has been masters at adaptations of popular properties but where they really excel is in putting together crossover events such as Tarzan On the Planet of the Apes with Dark Horse Comics. In this alternate America, Tarzan is a renegade, in present day, as this alternate world reveals his brother Milo to be more articulate and intelligent than how the books portrayed him. Pretty much most of Tarzan’s origin story is very much intact, with the slight difference of the Apes, being the ones from POTA. The fight between Man and Ape is still very much alive in this alternate world, but instead of warring factions, it comes off more as a civil war, one that literature has not seen in such an intriguing fashion.

Overall, a great first issue, that fires on all cylinders, as this series so far reminds of the brilliant Steven Barnes classic, Lion’s Blood, as both books ask similar questions, and doesn’t give the reader a chance to flinch when it asks the hard questions. The story by Tim Seeley and David Walker immerses the reader into a world, familiar enough but not all at the same time. The art by Fernando Dagnino, elevates the canons of their respective properties, as he captures the soul of these characters. Altogether, something the comic world needed yesterday.

Story: Tim Seeley and David Walker Art: Fernando Dagnino
Story: 9.9 Art: 9.7 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1

Tim Seeley (W), David Walker (W), Fernando Dagnino (A), Sandra Molina (C), Duncan Fegredo (Cover)

Raised as brothers but separated by slave traders, Tarzan and his ape brother Caesar reunite when the war between man and ape takes them from the jungles of Africa to the center of the earth.

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1 1

ECCC 2016: Seeley, Walker, BOOM! and Dark Horse Team Up for Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes

Tarzan on the Planet of the ApesAnnounced at Emerald City Comicon, Dark Horse Comics will publish a new Tarzan tale with the help of BOOM! Studios, taking Edgar Rice Burroughs’s iconic hero to the Planet of the Apes in Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes!

Heavyweight writers Tim Seeley and David Walker will script a five-issue miniseries with Fernando Dagnino on interior art and Duncan Fegredo illustrating stunning covers, making this a crossover event readers won’t want to miss!

In Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes, Tarzan and his ape brother Caesar, raised as brothers but separated by slave traders, reunite when the war between man and ape takes them from the jungles of Africa to the center of the Earth.

This stunning crossover hits stands following the summer’s blockbuster film The Legend of Tarzan. Discover Edgar Rice Burroughs’s original superstar hero of the last century all over again at your local comic shop this September!

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1 (of 5) is in stores September 28, 2016.

Review: Captain Midnight #1

22880Here at Graphic Policy, we’re pretty excited about Captain Midnight #1, a comic that’s been the benefactor of one of Dark Horse’s larger advertising campaigns. Mostly because he’s a big damn hero, in more ways than one. Last month we got the chance to take a look at the prequel, Captain Midnight #0 (my review actually got quoted by Dark Horse on their Facebook advertisement!) and I was immediately hooked. It promised in those 28 pages to be a great pulp superhero, and a classic one actually reborn from the pulp age, too!

With Nazis, a nemesis named Fury Shark, time travel, a castle in the North Pole, and, y’know, Captain Midnight, this book is sure to catch some buzz among the comic reviewing elites. Joshua Williamson and Fernando Dagnino, aided by colorist Ego, provide a fascinating follow-up to the zero-issue from June, developing the intrigue of the Fury-Midnight dispute and following-up on the pursuit by the U.S. military of a time-travelling genius!

Williamson’s narrative moves along at a steady pace, bouncing back and forth through time and space quite appropriately, and we get a number of diverse scenes that move along rapidly and tell a rather robust story. Despite this, Captain Midnight #1 suffers from some awkward turns of dialogue. This is maybe a result of characters that are unmotivating, or perhaps there is an unestablished status quo for the tone of this new series. I certainly didn’t recognize anything off-putting in the zero-issue, but I caught myself thinking, “Well that’s cheesy dialogue,” while reading #1. Then again, I guess one might expect cheesy dialogue from a so-called pulp hero book, but the Captain Midnight narrative seems to take itself more seriously than glorified bad writing.

I may have only had one itty-bitty brush with this guy in his zero-issue, but already I’m a fan, and Captain Midnight, for me, is a story made in the 1940s pulp scene of big American heroes and Nazis, not usually something I’m interested in; but transplanting to the story to the present, outside of the WWII setting from which Captain Midnight emerged, is a little strange. Sadly, very little gets seen of Captain Midnight, but he’s instead discussed ominously by various characters to drive home the point that the dude is a freaking genius.

Reading this issue, I started to get the feeling that Williamson may have taken advantage of the Captain Midnight story to insert mocking jabs at Captain America in just the slightest way, after all they keep calling  him “Cap'” and *spoiler* the bad guys at the end are glowing, green-skull-headed dudes in the employ of ageless Nazi Ms. Shark (uh, Hydra, anyone, albeit not red?). Maybe I just read too much into things…

Dagnino’s artistry is the saving grace of Captain Midnight #1, lending an almost mainstream tone to the Dark Horse style, which gives this book credibility as a major superhero undertaking while still retaining its independence from the Big Two (don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing at all wrong with Big Two styles, I would just hate to see Dark Horse trying to reproduce this; they work best at their own thing!).  Dagnino even utilizes what appears to be two subtly different styles between the 1942 timeline and the contemporary one. In fact, the opening bleed panel sets a high tone for the book, and would definitely be my pick for a panel of the week. It’s beautiful and complex, and Ego does some magnificent work on the colors!

Captain Midnight #1 is worth a try, because maybe your sensibilities are different; but I was rather let down. There was a lot to live up to following the zero-issue, and while Dagnino delivered exceptional page layouts overflowing with great art, Williamson’s script detracted from the overall atmosphere of what we got a month ago in Captain Midnight #0. But don’t let this stop you from taking a look yourself. This book could easily become one of the best new series of the year. I’m looking forward to seeing where Williamson and Dagnino take us next!

Oh, and that Felipe Massafera cover is amazing.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Fernando Dagnino
Story: 6 Art: 8 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review