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Preview: Ninjak #0

NINJAK #0

Written by MATT KINDT with CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by FRANCIS PORTELA with MJ KIM, KHARI EVANS, ROBERTO DE LA TORRE, SIJA HONG, JUAN JOSÉ RYP, and TOMÁS GIORELLO
Cover A by DAVID MACK (JUL172260)
Cover B by CLAYTON HENRY (JUL172261)
Cover C by YAMA ORCE (JUL172262)
Variant Cover by PETER BAGGE (JUL172264)
Variant Cover by JAVIER PULIDO (JUL172265)
Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe Variant Also Available (JUL172263)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale SEPTEMBER 13th

AN ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! AN EXPLOSIVE 40-PAGE MILESTONE! Ninjak’s past and future – in the crosshairs!

Behind the years of training… Underneath the high-tech gadgetry… MI-6’s most experienced operative is still flesh and blood. So just how is a mortal man like Colin King able to survive in a world filled with telekinetic psiots, eternal warriors, and sentient suits of alien armor? The key to Ninjak’s survival is buried deep in the past…and today, the world’s most dreaded super-spy prepares to reveal his most closely guarded secrets!

FIRST: Superstar writer Matt Kindt concludes his masterful, record- setting run alongside fan-favorite artist Francis Portela (FAITH) and an all-star cast of special guests with an essential and revelatory tale of Ninjak’s deadly beginnings!

THEN: The gauntlet is passed to acclaimed writer Christos Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil) and blockbuster artist Tomas Giorello (X-O MANOWAR) as they prepare a startling introduction to Colin King’s next mission with a shocking prelude to NINJA-K #1, a riveting new ongoing series beginning in November!

 

Review: Generation Zero #5

genzero_005_cover-a_mooneyGeneration Zero has finally pinpointed the silent evil that has infiltrated Rook High School…but it’s not going down without a fight! Now, every corner of this idyllic techtown is about to become a war zone as Cronus, Telic, Animalia, and Cloud hit back with the force of four walking hydrogen bombs and show the world why this one group of reformed commandos aren’t just dangerous… They’re disorderly!

Generation Zero #5 has the dubious honour of being the Valiant Comic I was least looking forward to reading this week. That isn’t to say I didn’t want to read it, however, but that I wanted to read the other two a lot more. It’s ironic, then, that I enjoyed this as much as I did. Generation Zero started out with a fizzle, and while I wasn’t expecting too much from the series after the first couple of issues, I stuck with the series because I’ve learnt over the past couple years that Valiant comics have a tendency to build into something special. Generation Zero isn’t there quite yet, but the past two issues have certainly seen the tide change in the story’s quality.

This issue sees a tense confrontation between Generation Zero and the Rook Police Department, as well as shedding some light on earlier events that’s going to make you want to reread the series so far if you feel you’ve missed a few things.

Although this isn’t the best Valiant comic this week, it’s easily the best of the series so far (and, yes, it’s also better than a lot of other comics on the racks this week).

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Francis Portella and Diego Bernard
Story: 7.76 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Generation Zero #3

genzero_003_cover-a_mooneyGeneration Zero came to Rook, Michigan to investigate a strange death…and the clues have led them into the halls of an even stranger high school! But only one person knows what really happened to Keisha Sherman’s tragically deceased boyfriend: Rook High’s reigning queen bee! Now, this reformed squad of walking warheads will have to forgo their usual military tactics…and wage a psychic infiltration into the mind of Rook’s most popular teenager! But, as they experience the truth through her eyes, what even darker revelations might spill forth about a town where murder, deception, and deceit lurk behind every picket fence?

It’s not often you open a comic and ask yourself what the hell did I just pick up? When I cracked the digital spine of Generation Zero #3 I wondered if I’d missed something, because the comic seemed to have morphed into an Archie comic (and not the Mark Waid scripted relaunch of a few months ago). The artwork totally threw me for a loop or two, and while I was utterly confused on the first page, the shift is explained very quickly, and does make sense within the context of the story.

It’s a deliberately jarring move that has an immediate effect on your eye as you know that something is different about the story before you even read a word of the narrative.

I’m not typically fond of this style of art, but here’s an exception to that; without the shift, I don’t think the comic would be as strong as it is. Generation Zero #3 is an overall enjoyable comic. It’s not the best one I’ve read this week, but it’s far from the worst – the story is furthered, plot details emerge… and the issue builds upon the previous issue in the series very well. I think that once this story is collected in trade, it’s going to be a fantastic read.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Derek Charm
(Real world sequence: Portella and Dalhouse) 
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Generation Zero #3

GENERATION ZERO #3

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by DEREK CHARM with FRANCIS PORTELLA
Cover A by STEPHEN MOONEY (AUG162049)
Cover B by TOM MULLER (AUG162050)
Variant Cover by DEREK CHARM (AUG162051)
Variant Cover by DAN PARENT (AUG162052)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 26th (FOC – 10/3/16)

Fast times for Valiant’s volatile teenage strike squad!

Generation Zero came to Rook, Michigan to investigate a strange death…and the clues have led them into the halls of an even stranger high school! But only one person knows what really happened to Keisha Sherman’s tragically deceased boyfriend: Rook High’s reigning queen bee! Now, this reformed squad of walking warheads will have to forgo their usual military tactics…and wage a psychic infiltration into the mind of Rook’s most popular teenager! But, as they experience the truth through her eyes, what even darker revelations might spill forth about a town where murder, deception, and deceit lurk behind every picket fence?

Out of the pages of HARBINGER WARS, Project Rising Spirit’s tempestuous team of super-powered radicals is about to get slayed by the bell – courtesy of New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) and red-hot artists Derek Charm (Jughead) and Francis Portela (FAITH)!

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Preview: Generation Zero #2

GENERATION ZERO #2 (“FUTURE OF VALIANT”)

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by FRANCIS PORTELLA
Cover A by STEPHEN MOONEY (JUL162058)
Cover B by TOM MULLER (JUL162059)
Character Design Variant by ANDRES GUINALDO (JUL162060)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (JUL162061)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale SEPTEMBER 28 (FOC – 9/5/16)

They’ve infiltrated, assassinated, and overthrown… Now this reformed covert strike team of teenage walking warheads have set their sights on a dangerous new mission: high school!

In the secretive tech oasis of Rook, Michigan, who can a teenager trust? Not the police… Not the teachers… And definitely not the parents. So when high schooler Keisha Sherman’s boyfriend turns up dead in an accident gone awry, she makes a desperate plea…and Generation Zero have heeded her call! But, with precision-honed military training and a taste for subverting authority, can this squad of high-powered, teenage superhumans infiltrate Rook undetected? Or is their very presence about to draw another of the town’s billion-dollar secrets into the light of day?

THE FUTURE OF VALIANT continues as New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (4001 A.D.: WAR MOTHER) and acclaimed artist Francis Portela (FAITH) launch the most volatile superteam in comics into their first, mind-blowing monthly series!

genzero_002_cover-a_segovia

Generation Zero #2 – Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela Live for Destruction in September!

Four teenaged walking warheads are about to storm into their deadliest new mission: high school!

Valiant has released a first look inside Generation Zero #2 – the second hard-charging issue of the next must-read series from “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” initiative! From the mind of New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente and acclaimed artist Francis Portela, jump on board Valiant’s latest smash-hit series right here as four of Project Rising Spirit’s most volatile test subjects – Animalia, Cloud, Cronus, and The Telic – get ready for their first field op as free men! They’ve challenged dictators, destabilized nations, and survived the height of the HARBINGER WARS… Now, this reformed squad of soldiers are stepping off of the minefield and into the malt shop to investigate a conspiracy too strange for any old adult!

In the secretive tech oasis of Rook, Michigan, who can a teenager trust? Not the police… Not the teachers… And definitely not the parents. So when high schooler Keisha Sherman’s boyfriend turns up dead in an accident gone awry, she makes a desperate plea…and Generation Zero have heeded her call! But, with precision-honed military training and a taste for subverting authority, can this squad of high-powered, teenage superhumans infiltrate Rook undetected? Or is their very presence about to draw another of the town’s billion-dollar secrets into the light of day?

Featuring covers by Stephen Mooney, Tom Muller, Andres Guinaldo, and Clayton Henry!

GENERATION ZERO #2 (“THE FUTURE OF VALIANT”)
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by FRANCIS PORTELLA
Cover A by STEPHEN MOONEY (JUL16205)
Cover B by TOM MULLER (JUL162059)
Character Design Variant by ANDRES GUINALDO (JUL162060)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (JUL162061)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale SEPTEMBER 28 (FOC – 9/5/16)

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Review: Generation Zero #1

GENZERO_001_COVER-A_MOONEYIf you have a problem… If your parents won’t help… And if your cause is worthy… Log onto network #ZERO…because Generation Zero is listening.

Years ago, the children of the experimental strike team known as Generation Zero were taken from their families by Project Rising Spirit, a private weapons contractor, and raised to be psychic soldiers. After years of taking orders, they have fought for and won their freedom. Now, the world’s most wanted teenagers have pledged to protect each other tooth and claw, while using their extraordinary abilities to right wrongs for a generation without a future… To fight for kids, just like them.

If that sounds like the beginning to the A-Team to you, then you wouldn’t be half wrong.

The first issue of Generation Zero is told from the perspective of Keisha Sherman, and through her narrative, we learn that the town of Rook, Michigan where she lives has gone from incredible poverty to an incredible level of prosperity in an incredibly small amount of time. The comic takes some time to get us immersed into the story of the the town, and Keisha, which may sound like a bit of a gripe on my end, but I think that it’s going to pay off in the long run as the series gets going.

Building the story slowly allows Fred Van Lente time to work in the more A-Team like aspect of the members of Generation Zero; indeed their presence in the first issue is brilliantly minimal, lending them an air of mystery – urban legends, even – which does more to set the story than having them leaping from the front page.

The first issue of Generation Zero is pretty good – it’s better than I expected, honestly – but it serves more as an extended introduction to the story’s setting than anything else. If you’ve read the previews, you already have a good idea about what’s going to happen here; enough of an idea that, if you’re being budget conscious, you could skip this issue. That’s not the comic’s fault, and if you did skip the issue you’d be missing out on Keisha Shermans introduction – something that i doubt the next issue will focus on as much.

This series, after one issue, is looking incredibly promising. I just hope we don’t get the story from the previews.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Francis Portella Color: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Valiant Announces Lots During Their 2016 Valiant Summit

From the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York City, Valiant Entertainment had a slew of announcements during their 2016 Valiant Summit!

After a description of Valiant’s history they company revealed the “future of Valiant” which takes place in 2016 with seven new series.

First up Jody Houser to discuss the Faith new ongoing series. The series spins out of the limited series which saw five reprintings for the first issue and received global recognition for the break through character. The series is the lead book in the initiative and that’s not a coincidence. The Valiant team feels the comic defines what the company and their line of comics is about, entertainment that you can’t get anywhere else. The first issue arrives in July!

Fred Van Lente was up next to discuss an ongoing Generation Zero series beginning in August. Francis Portella will provide art for the series. The team has been raised as weapons, so this series focuses on their figuring out what to do now they’re on their own.

The series is a new one for Valiant as it’s a team book with teen characters, led by a teen girl of color.

Writer Peter Milligan and artist Juan Jose Ryp tackle a brand new series and character in Britannia which is about “the worlds first detective.” He’s the first psychologist and detective in ancient times.

The series will take place in a world that existed by with a supernatural spin. It comes out in September.

britanniaIn October, the “biggest, brashest” series, Bloodshot USA is by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Doug Braithwaite. They see it as a treatise on violence and why we’re so obsessed with violence as a culture. The story has Project Rising Spirit dispersing nanites on the street of New York City. It features Bloodshot teaming up with a team to stop the virus from spreading and stop Project Rising Spirit who are war profiteers.

It’s a stand alone event similar to last year’s The Valiant where new readers can jump in and not need to know what has come before.

B. Clay Moore and Clayton Henry and Lewis Larosa bring a new character Savage to the Valiant Universe in November. The series starts 15 years ago as a Football player and his model wife’s airplane crashes. Now, it’s the present, and is this character their child? The series sounds like a new spin on Tarzan.

Savage Savage_1The series is about a teenager living on his own on an island.

Harbinger Renegades was announced, written by Rafer Roberts with art by Darick Robertson. It’s two years after the end of the previous series. Chris, who was sent to jail, is out and trying to put her past behind her. Peter is off to who knows where and is trying to get his mind right after the last conflict. Torque is part of the establishment and on a reality tv show. Faith is doing her thing. They come back together realizing the world is in a worse place due to their actions and now they’re trying to right things and help people.

The series will feature the four main characters from the previous team, but also a new member, Jay, who they didn’t say much about. “Mind” was mentioned as a villain they will face.

They described the main character Pete Stanchek as “Jack Kirby’s Trainspotting.” Harbinger Renegades is out in November.

In December Valiant will be releasing a new series from Matt Kindt, Divinity III: Stalinverse. The series features art by Trevor Hairsine and features the Valiant Universe if the Russians had won the Cold War. It will include “Russian” versions of the characters of the Valiant world. What longer impact will the Stalinverse have on the Valiant Universe? We’ll find out, but Kindt says there’ll be a “real impact.”

divinity_III_#3_artThe Future of Valiant begins in July.

Review: X-O Manowar: Commander Trill #0

XO-TRILL_ZERO_COVER-A_JIMENEZFrom Aric of Dacia’s escape with the X-O Manowar armor to the destruction of his own home world, pain and consequence have haunted the life of the alien general called Commander Trill. Now, on the eve of the most devastating assault yet, find out why with an essential, standalone zero issue detailing the battle-scarred life and origin of the Vine’s mightiest military leader…and an all-new prelude to X-O Manowar’s most terrifying clash of the year!

Valiant ave billed this as an all new jumping on point, and it is, but is it worth reading?

Well that ultimately depends on how familiar you are with the publisher’s comics.

It’s always interesting to get some background on a villain prior to a massive battle, and getting to explore their motivations, so being able to see the reasons behind Commander Trill‘s hatred for Aric of Dacia is an interesting opportunity for one such as myself how is only relatively new to Valiant‘s rich history. I’ve had some small exposure to the character of Commander Trill in the past with only the barest hint as to what drives the alien, so this was a welcome insight into the history of a character who’s poised to become a much bigger threat in the future.

Written by Robert Venditti, with art by Francis Portella the one shot X-O Manowar: Commander Trill #0 is basically an extended biography of the alien general. That’s not a bad thing, however, as this is a really enjoyable comic with some fantastic art work.

But, and let’s be totally honest here, if you’re not already reading X-O Manowar then you’ll probably skip over this, and I can’t really blame you for doing that, but you’re missing out on one of the best series on the racks right now, and this one shot will provide some interesting (if not entirely required) back story to a character that’s set to become a major threat to Aric of Dacia in the future.

Scoring this is a bit of a conundrum; if you’re already reading X-O Manowar, then you can add another half point to the overall score and switch my recommendation to a read for this comic. If you’re not already reading the series, then I’d highly encourage you to start, but probably not here; so pass, for now, on this comic. Instead look for either issue #39 (the start of Exodus) or issue #43 (the start of the next arc). You don’t necessarily need to read the first trade (I haven’t) to get an idea of the characters origin as Valiant do a bang up job of catching you up on that with their recap pages.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Francis Portella
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: It’s complicated.

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.

 

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