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Valiant Hero Of The Week: Doctor Mirage, Divinity, Quantum and Woody, and Animalia

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 Ninjak, Doctor Mirage, Quantum & Woody and Animalia. 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. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).


Doctor Mirage

Who is she? Shan Fong. A woman who can communicate with the dead, including her late husband Hwen (who is the Doctor Mirage from the original Valiant run that began in the 90’s). She is also a former reality television star and a woman versed in magic. If there’s a supernatural threat, then Doctor Mirage is going to be the first person that the general public turn to.

The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage

What should you read?

The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage

Doctor Mirage talks to the dead…but the only spirit Shan Fong can’t find is that of her late husband, Hwen. Instead, America’s favorite semi-retired paranormal investigator is haunted and raw, using her gift to solve homicides and bring peace to the recently bereaved. But when a big-time occultist with a classified military past hires her for a special job, Shan discovers a lead that might close the greatest mystery she’s ever tackled – how to get Hwen back. Now, Doctor Mirage must enter the undiscovered country and cross all the realms of the underworld, if she has any hope of rescuing the man she loves…or be forever lost beyond the earthly plane.


I copied the above directly from Valiant’s website because I couldn’t remember much about the book other than I really enjoyed the story, which is great because this also happens to be a great place to pick up the character’s story.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW


Divinity

Who is he? One of the three most powerful beings in the Valiant universe, Divinity was a Russian Cosmonaut who gained phenomenal power, and can manipulate reality as he sees fit. Essentially a man who has become a god. Fortunately, he is also a pacifist and just wants to be left to himself. You can imagine how that ends up.

Divinty

What should you read?

Divinity

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union – determined to win the Space Race at any cost – green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent a man farther into the cosmos than anyone has gone before or since. Lost in the stars, he encountered something unknown. Something that…changed him.

Long thought lost and erased from the history books, he has suddenly returned, crash-landing in the Australian Outback. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity – one who turned the scorched desert into a lush oasis. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. Now the rest of the world’s powers must decide for themselves – will the enigmatic Divinity offer his hand in friendship, or will Earth’s heroes find themselves helpless against the wrath of the divine?


The above text, again taken from Valiant’s website, describes a four-issue miniseries that introduces the character, and is an example of some of the best stuff Valiant put out. Divinity kicks off a four-part epic encompassing the Divinity trilogy and culminating in Eternity. Regardless of whether Divinity wins the poll this week or not, I highly recommend you reading the books.

Purchase: Amazon – Kindle – comiXology – TFAW


Quantum and Woody

Quantum And Woody: The World's Worst Superhero Team

Who are they? Yes, they. While one can wonder about the technicality of including two characters as one, Quantum and Woody are inseparable. Including one and not the other would make as much sense as playing football without a ball. It’s just not the same. Quantum and Woody are adoptive brothers who must touch the golden bracelets on their arms once every 24 hours or they’ll explode into nothingness – potentially taking the planet with them. That the brothers are polar opposites only makes the comics even better; Eric Henderson, aka Quantum, hides his identity to protect those around him because he wants to be a hero. Woody Henderson doesn’t. He’s all about the fame.

What should you read?

Quantum And Woody: The World’s Worst Superhero Team

Honestly, the Quantum and Woody story I’m the most taken with is the one being released currently. However, that’s not ideal for you if you’re looking to check them out now because the last two issues will be released…. eventually. Instead, then, I’ll point you to Quantum And Woody: The World’s Worst Superhero Team because it’ll introduce these guys to you in the most honest way possible. The title alone should give you an idea as to what you should expect; this book isn’t dark and moody but is injected with humor as it deals with the estranged brother’s relationship and their new place in the world.

Purchase: Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW


Animalia

Generation Zero: We Are the Future

Who Is She? A former child soldier for Project Rising Spirit, Animalia was one of the psiots rescued by Bloodshot during the first Harbinger Wars. Her psiot abilities allow her to create constructs of animals (real or imagined), which in turn grant her incredible strength and durability and flight (though within the construct she is still vulnerable).

What Should You Read?

Generation Zero: We Are The Future

Generation Zero: We Are The Future may not be her first appearance, but since that has been recommended numerous times across the Bloodshot, Peter Stanchek and Toyo Harada, rather than recommend Harbinger Wars and the final volume of Harbinger, I think that this volume is also worthy of a look.

The Generation Zero story has the young psiots that were rescued from Project Rising Spirit offering up their services to other kids who are being downtrodden, who need help, and have nowhere to go. It’s kinda like the Littlest Hobo meets the X-Men, and it works better than you’d expect.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop


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Review: Generation Zero #9

GENZERO_009_COVER-A_LAFUENTEGeneration Zero’s mind-bending journey through the HeroScape—a strange dimension where the world is filtered through any person’s perspective—reaches its final stop! But even if they can escape the deadly apparitions of Rook’s collective conscience, can they stop the strange threats and mysteries that can’t seem to leave their new hometown alone?

Take cover, because Valiant’s paramilitary prodigies are about to enter the greatest mission of their violent careers…and when the dust settles, their final fates will be no fantasy!

The final issue of Valiant‘s Generation Zero has finally hit the shelves, and for those of you not reading the comic yet then you’ll be pleased to know that when you do decide to pick this series up in trade form that it will read as a complete story. Yes, the series ended earlier than the publisher probably hoped it would, but in typical Valiant form they’ve still allowed Fred Van Lente to wrap up the story he was telling.

While this won’t be an ideal place to start reading the series (although you can do it but will miss a lot of the nuances and references in #9), it’s a great way for it to end. Although there are one or two scenes that don’t make immediate sense, have faith in Van Lente because by issues end you won’t question them. In terms of the story, this is a solid issue – and at the risk of being a little spoilery, the comic comes full circle with the conclusion giving readers a satisfying ending that leaves the next chapter in the lives of these characters wide open.

Story: Fred Van Lente Artists: Diego Bernard with
Fred Barnes, Juan Castro and Alisson Rodriguez Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy (the trades)

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Generation Zero #9

GENERATION ZERO #9

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover A by DAVID LAFUENTE (FEB172073)
Cover B by BRENT PEEPLES (FEB172074)
Variant Cover by STEPHEN MOONEY (FEB172075)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | FINAL ISSUE | T+ | On Sale APRIL 19 (FOC – 3/27/17)

Zeroes to heroes!

Generation Zero’s mind-bending journey through the HeroScape—a strange dimension where the world is filtered through any person’s perspective—reaches its final stop! But even if they can escape the deadly apparitions of Rook’s collective conscience, can they stop the strange threats and mysteries that can’t seem to leave their new hometown alone?

Take cover, because Valiant’s paramilitary prodigies are about to enter the greatest mission of their violent careers…and when the dust settles, their final fates will be no fantasy!

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will folks be doing? Sound off in the comments below!

While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Ottawa Magazine – Immigrant women’s abuse – their stories – illustrated in graphic novel – Great use of the comic medium.

Newsarama – Alison Bechdel To Be Named Vermont’s Latest Cartoonist Laureate – This is pretty cool.

The Beat – Why Hiring Ex-Vertigo Editors Makes So Much Sense – Some interesting data and reasoning.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – Generation Zero #8

ICv2 – Instrumental

IGN – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Aftershock

Huffington Post – Prison Grievances

Review: Generation Zero #8

GENZERO_008_COVER-A_EVANSGeneration Zero are trapped inside the Heroscape – a twisted, extra-dimensional realm where they can explore the world as it looks through someone else’s eyes… And, unfortunately, it seems that most of their friends and neighbors have some pretty messed up stuff going on up there! They led insurgencies and counter-strikes, but can anything in this team’s precision military training prepare them for the darkness that lurks at the heart of Rook’s collective unconscious?

Holy shit.

When writer Fred Van Lente is on fire, then he’s a bloody inferno.

In order to keep this review spoiler free, I’m going to be briefer than normal because I don’t want to take away from the holy shit moments in these pages – and there’s more than enough to warrant a purchase.

When Generation Zero and Keisha Sherman find themselves attacked by a new superhuman, and Keisha’s classmate, then the shit hits the fan in the most glorious of ways. there is a pages long super fight that has some of the most enjoyable panels I’ve read all week followed by a sequence that, if there’s any justice in the comic book world, we’ll be talking about for weeks to come, Van Lente delivers some brilliant situationally comedic one liners that had me genuinely laughing out loud, but it’s the art on display here, and the way the panels and figures are laid down that make this comic worth buying.

I may have scored other comics higher this week for other reasons, but I promise you in terms of absolute overall enjoyment, Generation Zero #8 took me by surprise. It is exactly what you want to read after a long day at the Daily Grind.

Story: Fred Van Lente
Art: Diego Bernard with Juan Castro and Alisson Rodriguez
Colour Art: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Generations Zero #8

GENERATION ZERO #8

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover A by KHARI EVANS (JAN172145)
Cover B by LEIF JONES (JAN172146)
Variant Cover by PERE PEREZ (JAN172147)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale MARCH 29 (FOC – 3/6/17)

A (literal) battle of the minds!

Generation Zero are trapped inside the Heroscape – a twisted, extra-dimensional realm where they can explore the world as it looks through someone else’s eyes… And, unfortunately, it seems that most of their friends and neighbors have some pretty messed up stuff going on up there! They led insurgencies and counter-strikes, but can anything in this team’s precision military training prepare them for the darkness that lurks at the heart of Rook’s collective unconscious?

Review: Generation Zero #7

genzero_007_cover-b_tanTap into the uncharted plane of reality called the Heroscape and you can see the world through anyone else’s eyes – and find out how their reality is governed by their own inspirations! Now, as a mysterious force preys upon Rook’s citizens, Animalia must enter the Heroscape…and experience a world filtered through her own twisted imagination! But as Generation Zero’s most militant adolescent wunderkind enters a world populated by colorful monstrosities of her own design, Animalia must lock horns — literally — with demons both outward and within!

So…  The preview text above has almost nothing to do with the issue I just read. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I went in expecting something that I didn’t get. That being said I still enjoyed the issue quite a bit.

Generation Zero #7 follows the team as they cross the Heroscape – essentially an astral plane equivalent – in order to find out where the town’s captives are being held. To be honest I’m a little unclear on the specifics of the mission, but the issue itself is perhaps a little ambiguous as to whether the story takes place within said Heroscape or in the “real” world, which I really quite enjoyed as it gave me a very Inception like feeling as I was reading the comic.

If you’re already committed to Generation Zero then you’re going to appreciate the additional pieces of the puzzle that is the sleepy town of Rook almost as much as you’ll appreciate the organic way in which those puzzle pieces are revealed to you; much like the humour in the book, Fred Van Lente doesn’t jam these revelations down your throat,  instead they’re inserted very naturally into the story. Despite the misleading preview text, or my misunderstanding of the text, this was a solid issue in which Van Lente’s writing shines.

Generation Zero has been an interesting run so far, but the more I read this series, the more I like it.

Story: Fred Van Lente Colour Art: Andrew Dalhouse
Art: Diego Bernard, Allison Rodriguez, Fred Benes, Glaber Mados, & Juan Castro
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.0  Overall: 7.5
Recommendation: Buy if you’re already reading the series

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Generation Zero #7

GENERATION ZERO #7

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover A by JUAN JOSÉ RYP (DEC162055)
Cover B by PHILIP TAN (DEC162056)
Variant Cover by RYAN LEE (DEC162057)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale FEBRUARY 15 (FOC – 1/23/17)

Animalia enters the “HEROSCAPE”!

Tap into the uncharted plane of reality called the Heroscape and you can see the world through anyone else’s eyes – and find out how their reality is governed by their own inspirations! Now, as a mysterious force preys upon Rook’s citizens, Animalia must enter the Heroscape…and experience a world filtered through her own twisted imagination! But as Generation Zero’s most militant adolescent wunderkind enters a world populated by colorful monstrosities of her own design, Animalia must lock horns — literally — with demons both outward and within!

“HEROSCAPE” travels to the darkest corners of the mind right here as New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong) and acclaimed artist Diego Bernard (X-O Manowar) transform Generation Zero’s deepest desires into their darkest nightmares!

genzero_007_cover-a_ryp

Review: Generation Zero #6

genzero_006_cover-b_eismaGeneration Zero managed to survive their first mission, and now duty has called on them to venture deep inside a perilous dimension only known as the Heroscape to see the world through a new set of eyes! They’ll discover their friends’ biggest secrets, their enemies’ darkest fears, and their town’s sinister connection to this imagination-fueled reality. But just because the Heroscape is imaginary, doesn’t mean it can’t kill you… And, from anime-inflected zombie hordes to psychedelic sci-fi warriors, all of Rook, Michigan’s most deeply buried fantasies are about to come roaring out of your daydreams!

Generation Zero is a series that started slower in pace than some would have liked, and with a take on the Zeroes that caught some by surprise. I’ll freely admit that this wasn’t my favourite Valiant book when it came out, but it has grown on me significantly since I read that first issue.

The sixth issue hits us in a week that the publisher has released two other incredibly strong books, and I’d be lying if I said that this was the strongest of them all – oh it’s a good comic, but for me personally the other two offerings this week resonated just that little bit more. That said, this was still better than a lot of other comics I read this week.

Fred Van Lente is building to something fantastic here, and we’re starting to see glimpses of it now. In a series where a slow burn hasn’t always been welcome, we start to see some pay off with the sixth issue.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Javier Pulido and Diego Bernard
Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Generation Zero #6

GENERATION ZERO #6 (ALL-NEW ARC! “WELCOME TO THE HEROSCAPE” – PART 1)

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by JAVIER PULIDO and DIEGO BERNARD
Cover A by JUAN JOSÉ RYP (NOV161948)
Cover B by JOE EISMA (NOV161949)
Variant Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA (NOV161950)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JANUARY 18 (FOC – 12/26/16)

ALL NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! Fight your way through the “HEROSCAPE”!

Generation Zero managed to survive their first mission, and now duty has called on them to venture deep inside a perilous dimension only known as the Heroscape to see the world through a new set of eyes! They’ll discover their friends’ biggest secrets, their enemies’ darkest fears, and their town’s sinister connection to this imagination-fueled reality. But just because the Heroscape is imaginary, doesn’t mean it can’t kill you… And, from anime-inflected zombie hordes to psychedelic sci-fi warriors, all of Rook, Michigan’s most deeply buried fantasies are about to come roaring out of your daydreams!

Dream big because New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (Ivar, Timewalker) and acclaimed artists Javier Pulido (Daredevil) and Diego Bernard (X-O Manowar) are gearing up for a brand-new jumping-on point that’s going to send Valiant’s temperamental teenage time-bombs blasting out of the suburbs and into their most grisly adventure yet!

genzero_006_cover-a_ryp

Zeismic
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