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Valiant Hero Of The Week: Ninjak, Doctor Tomorrow, Rai and Livewire

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 Ninjak, Doctor Tomorrow, Rai and, Livewire. 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.

Ninjak

Who is he? A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources, and also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. Although Ninjak has yet to feature in a movie, he was the star of Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a webseries produced by Bat In The Sun that you can probably find on Youtube now. My money would be on Ninjak taking the week.

What should you read? Ninjak: Weaponeer.

Every master spy…has to start somewhere.

Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler.

Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven — a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.


This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven. It’s a spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, but starring a character who is closer to Batman than most other agents.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW

Doctor Tomorrow

Who is he? A time travelling dimension hopping hero who has appeared in the present day to stop the villain Hadrian from destroying the world. In doing so, he takes on a sidekick – a younger version of himself! There’s really not a lot to say about the character seeing as only two or three issues in the debut miniseries have come out as of this writing (full disclosure: I’ve read three, but can’t remember if they’ve all been published). The comic is Valiant’s first all-ages series within the main continuity, although it’s not shy at depicting fight scenes with consequences throughout the three issues I’ve read (Valiant High is an Archie inspired take on the Valiant characters as a stand alone project).

What should you read? Doctor Tomorrow #1-5. Teen hothead Bart Simms is about to meet the Valiant Universe’s greatest hero… himself!

You’ll only able to find these at you local comic shop once they’re all published until the inevitable trade is released, which will likely be in the next six to eight months or so depending on the post COVID release schedule.

Find your local comic shop (US and Canada): Comic Shop Locator
Purchase: comiXologyTFAW

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


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

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

Preview: Livewire Vol. 3 Champion

LIVEWIRE VOL. 3 CHAMPION (TPB)

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by TANA FORD, BRUNO OLIVERA
Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK, RUTH REDMOND
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover by RAÚL ALLÉN
On sale MAY 20 | 112 pages, full color | $14.99 US | T+
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 978-1-68215-354-3

What is the cost of freedom?

Wanted fugitive Livewire has been on the run for months from the authorities for shutting down the country’s power in an effort to protect people gifted with powers. Will a shocking offer to go public from a renowned local politician pull Livewire into a political spotlight?

Valiant’s breakout heroine fights to clear her name in the next electrifying volume from rising stars Vita Ayala (Prisoner X) and Tana Ford (Avengers)!

Collecting LIVEWIRE #9–12.

LIVEWIRE VOL. 3 CHAMPION (TPB)

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Eternal Warrior, Archer & Armstrong, Livewire, and Doctor Mirage.

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 Eternal Warrior, Archer & Armstrong, Livewire, and Doctor Mirage. 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).

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

Archer & Armstrong

Archer & Armstrong

Who are they? Yes, they. Archer is a young man trained from birth by a secret religious sect in every possible form of combat to take down the devil incarnate. Armstrong is, according to the religious sect who trained Archer, the devil incarnate because of his hedonistic lifestyle that has carried on for millennia. Yes, Armstrong is immortal. Yes, he’s partied his way through history. But is he really the devil incarnate? Depends who you ask, I guess.

What should you read?

The Michelangelo Code

Archer & Armstrong

It’s history in the breaking!

After years of meditation and training, 18-year-old Obadiah Archer has been dispatched to New York City to carry out the sacred mission of his family’s sect – locate and kill the fun-loving, hard-drinking immortal known as Armstrong! But as this naive teenage assassin stalks his prey, he’ll soon find that both hunter and hunted are just pawns in a centuries-old conspiracy that stretches from the catacombs beneath Wall Street to the heights of the Himalayas. And Archer & Armstrong will have to work together if the future is to stand any chance of surviving the past’s greatest threat!


It has been a long time since I read the 2012 volume of this series, but even still it still sticks with me. For that reason, Archer And Armstrong: The Michelangelo Code is the story that you should be reading. Not only is it a great story, it’s also only $10 or so (recommended retail price), and is one of the best places to get to know the characters.

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

Doctor Mirage

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.

What should you read?

The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage

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


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

Valiant Hero Of The Week: X-O Manowar vs. Livewire vs. Rai vs. Archer and Armstrong

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 X-O Manowar, Livewire, Rai and Archer & Armstrong. 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).

X-O Manowar

Who is he? A warrior from around 500AD who was abducted by aliens and somehow acquired the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. The sentient sacred armour of Shanhara.

What should you read? There are a lot of great X-O Manowar stories to choose from, some set in the past before he was taken by aliens, some set at various points in time thereafter. If I had to choose just one story… I’d probably start you at the very beginning of the second volume from 2017, X-O Manowar: Soldier. X-O has left Earth and everyone he knows behind, and finds himself on a new planet where nobody knows who he his. Why has he forsaken the armour he has bonded with? Well dear reader, all may be revealed eventually over the course of Matt Kindt’s twenty five odd issue run with the character.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology

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, but the character has been involved in some pretty interesting stories over the years – some far better than others.

What should you read? Secret Weapons. 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

Rai

Who is he? The guardian of New Japan, a floating city orbiting the earth in the year 4001 A.D., Rai protects the city and serves the will of Father, the AI who runs New Japan.

What should you read? 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

Archer & Armstrong

Who are they? Yes, they. Archer is a young man trained from birth by a secret religious sect in every possible form of combat to take down the devil incarnate. Armstrong is, according to the religious sect who trained Archer, the devil incarnate because of his hedonistic lifestyle that has carried on for millennia. Yes, Armstrong is immortal. Yes, he’s partied his way through history. But is he really the devil incarnate? Depends who you ask, I guess.

What should you read? It has been a long time since I read the 2012 volume of this series, but even still it still sticks with me. For that reason, Archer And Armstrong: The Michelangelo Code is the story that you should be reading. Not only is it a great story, it’s also only $10 or so (recommended retail price).

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

Review: Livewire #12

Livewire #12

“Hero” reaches its thrilling endgame in Livewire #12!

With the whole country watching, Livewire is targeted by a trusted confidant, will she remain America’s Most Wanted?

The climactic final chapter building since Secret Weapons and through Harbinger Wars 2 is finally here!

With Livewire #12 Vita Ayala makes the bold decision to have the finale be a much more cerebral affair than your typical run of the mill finales. While there is tension within the comic, it’s not of the physical kind; instead, Ayala weaves a level of intensity through Livewire’s internal narration and the dialogue that borders on thriller level as the machinations of certain characters are teased.

Initially, the ending might seem somewhat underwhelming, and I understand that point of view, but I found it more interesting than reading about Livewire fighting her way through security defenses and the like. The wrapping up of the story in this way is immensely satisfying; there are very few loose ends left after twelve issues, and Livewire is positioned very well for the next person to take on the character.

Although Ayala has scripted an interesting and compelling tale about Livewire, there’s no denying that they were left with an… interesting place to begin after the events of Harbinger Wars II. While Livewire’s actions were extreme in that story, it’s refreshing that they weren’t just swept away as the world moved on (while there may be some who choose to ignore Harbinger Wars II, this series will at the very least serve as the epilogue).

I’ve enjoyed the political spin of this comic. When I say that, I’m not saying that no other comics are political, but rather that I enjoyed the way this comic treats politics, politicians and the process of an election. It’s probably not utterly accurate, but at least from my understanding, it’s pretty close (the huge caveat there is that I am an Englishman living in Canada, so I’m not all that familiar with the way senate elections actually work).

This series has served in many ways to recenter Amanda McKee and deal with how her actions have impacted the general public, as well as the psiot herself. With the political background of the final arc, Ayala’s taken an interesting path to Livewire’s redemption – and it’s well worth reading if you like a little bit of the political process with your comics.

Livewire #12 specifically, though, is a strong book. Both as the finale and as a standalone comic. Ayala comes out of this series on a high note, and I am sure that their star will continue to shine in comics.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Tana Ford
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.6 Art: 7.1 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire #12

LIVEWIRE #12

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by TANA FORD, BRUNO OLIVIERA
Cover A by STACEY LEE
Cover B by HELEN CHEN
Cover C by KEVIN WADA
On sale NOVEMBER 6 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

“Hero” reaches its thrilling endgame!

With the whole country watching, Livewire is targeted by a trusted confidant, will she remain America’s Most Wanted?

The climactic final chapter building since Secret Weapons and through Harbinger Wars 2 is finally here!

LIVEWIRE #12

Review: Livewire #11

Livewire #11

Amanda McKee—aka “Livewire”—continues the fight to clear her name in Livewire #11.

Teamed up with politician John Wright, Amanda learns there’s more to superhero-ing than just punching bad guys.  When masked men hold a charity rally hostage, Livewire is ready to show the world she can be a hero in the spotlight!

With Vita Ayala placing Livewire in a situation that finds her caught in the middle of a political battle being used as a pawn in an election battle between an incumbent senator and his challenger, we’ve been treated to a unique and interesting story that has a focus away from what we’ve been used to seeing; Livewire’s reputation being repaired through political means.

It’s a fascinating concept, and I’ve really enjoyed how Ayala has allowed this to play out while giving us an at first subtle subplot to the arc, as well.

There’s a touch less subtly this issue as Livewire attends a charity ball/event/whatever-it-is, which (as you may have guessed from the above preview text) leads to her having a very quick and very real impact on the lives of the party goers. Whether this furthers the agenda of the politician looking to make a career based on taking a stand for psiots. That there’s an underlying motive goes without saying, and it’s how both plots weave in and out of focus as the story progresses that has struck me.

Yes, Livewire’s redemption is a secondary concern to the councilman, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t playing the game to the best of his ability (and we still don’t know what his end game is, I’m enjoying the tidbits we’re getting).

Tana Ford‘s art still isn’t my cup of tea, but I still think that I just need time to adjust to the thicker lines and a style that gives me a rough pop art feel. I can understand the appeal, but I’m not there yet (and I say yet, because I wasn’t fond of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin’s style until after I spent a good few issues absorbing it).

Livewire #11 is, on the whole, a really solid comic with an interesting angle on the way politicians and public figures manipulate the general public’s perception and thoughts.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Tana Ford
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.4 Art: 7.1 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Livewire #10

Livewire #10

Amanda McKee—a.k.a. technopath psiot “Livewire”—fights to clear her name in Livewire #10.

But when she teams up with a politician to repair her image and make herself a hero again…

…Will the public be able to forgive her?

Valiant‘s Livewire #10 is written by Vita Ayala and features Tana Ford‘s artistic talents, and Kelly Fitzpatrick‘s colors. It continues the campaign to change the psiot’s public image at the behest of a Senate hopeful and his campaign manager. Is everything really as straight forward as it seems? Or is there an ulterior motive for somebody to want to improve Livewire’s image?

Well, as with all things politics, I’m sure you can guess the answer. Ayala has created a story arc that has the potential to write a scathing commentary. It skewers the way we interact with media and how we’re manipulated by others into thinking a certain way. It’s got the potential to be a fantastic way to approach the subject through the eyes of a disgraced hero. That makes this a story that I’m really interested in, especially given the current climate.

Livewire’s reputation at this point is… well it isn’t exactly great. If you were to liken it to another comic universe, you’d be thinking Magneto at his absolute worst – she is responsible for the deaths of a lot of innocent people, after all. But did the results of her actions justify the reasons? Can she be redeemed? I don’t know, but I’m really enjoying Ayala’s exploration of what it means to be a hero to some and a villain to others. The writer’s willingness to embrace the moral ambiguity of the title character is really exciting, and is going to provide some brilliant social commentary.

Once again, despite the strength of the story, Ford’s art doesn’t do it for me. I’m not a huge fan of the thicker lines used in the comic; I’m aware it’s a stylistic preference, but the boldness of the lines takes away from energy in the story. Ford has a great sense of page construction and sequential story telling, balancing Ayala’s script pretty well.

I’m still in a strange place with the art and the writing; on one hand I want to like the art, but I’m not there yet (there are certainly positives to it, but Ford and Fitzpatrick don’t compliment each other as well as other pairings have in the series), and on the other I’m really intrigued by the story. Your mileage will obviously vary, but for my money (because I will also buy this book), this comic is still well worth buying.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Tana Ford
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.1 Art: 7.3 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire Vol. 2 Guardian

LIVEWIRE VOL. 2: GUARDIAN TPB

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by KANO
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover by STACEY LEE
$14.99 | 112 pgs. | T+ | On sale SEPTEMBER 11th

Investigating the disappearance of a young girl, Livewire stumbles upon an OMEN facility where young psiots are taken and taught to control their powers.

Is this the safe haven Livewire’s dreamed of or is there something more sinister to this sanctuary?

One of the Valiant Universe’s most powerful heroes continues down her road to redemption with rising star writer Vita Ayala (Supergirl) and artist Kano (Gotham Central)!

Collecting LIVEWIRE #5–8, the “Guardian” story arc.

LIVEWIRE VOL. 2: GUARDIAN TPB
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