Tag Archives: shadowman

Valiant’s Shadowman Unleashes New Horror in April 2021

Terror will be unleashed this April in Shadowman #1.

New York Times bestselling writer Cullen Bunn and acclaimed artist Jon Davis-Hunt pull you into a world of horror and supernatural suspense as Jack Boniface, aka Shadowman, protects humanity from the nightmares that lurk within the dimension known as the Deadside… but the barrier between Earth and the horrifying realm is tearing and gateways are popping up all around the globe. The forces of darkness are hungry for life, and only Shadowman stands in their way.

Shadowman #1 by writer Cullen Bunn, artist Jon Davis-Hunt, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Clayton Cowles goes on sale April 2021 and features covers by Jon Davis-Hunt (Cover A), Rod Reis (Cover B), Dave Johnson (Horror Movie Homage Variant), and Jeff Dekal (1:250 Variant). The debut horror issue is available for pre-order now at comic shops.

Shadowman #1

Valiant’s Senior Editor Heather Antos talks with us about X-O Manowar, Penguins and Covid Delays

X-O Manowar #2

We recently got a chance to chat with one of Valiant‘s Senior Editors Heather Antos about the upcoming X-O Manowar #2 and how COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in the publisher’s planned timeline.

Graphic Policy: To get the COVID shaped elephant out of the way, obviously, you were never planning on having months between the first and second issues of X-O Manowar. Did you need to adjust the second issue prior to its new release date, or had it already been printed?

Heather Antos: You know, it’s funny. We had just wrapped interiors for X-O #2 when the pandemic hit. So though the issue hadn’t gone to print at the time, it could have! Since we had the time, the creative team did have another pass at dialogue, etc, for any other tweaks, but mainly our focus has been on the rest of the story.

GP: Valiant has been on a relatively slower schedule since publishing has resumed; what kind of challenges and opportunities has that provided you from an editorial perspective with X-O?

HA:
 I think the biggest challenge has been not being able to release all of the amazing titles that we had originally planned for 2020. But that means that 2021 is going to be off to an A+ start, you know? If anything this has given us amazing lead time for development and creative on projects that just don’t normally get half a year in advance on normal comics schedules.

GP: I’ve really enjoyed the issue(s) I’ve read so far, especially the new dynamic between Aric and Shanhara; can you tell us more about how Shanhara’s acting as Aric’s guide to a modern world we haven’t seen him experience before?    

HA: What I think really sets X-O Manowar apart from his comic book hero comparison of Conan in Iron Man’s suit is the fact that X-O Manowar isn’t just Aric of Dacia — it’s Aric of Dacia partnered with Shanhara — an ancient sentient alien. So there’s been so much to explore there in terms of their relationship with one another and the world in which they now reside. One of the most fun things is exploring how Shanhara has taken to the modern world — in part because she can quite literally access the internet — and how Aric wants nothing to do with it. 

GP: Based entirely on the two issues I’ve read so far, Aric’s much more Earthbound with this volume. Was there a conscious decision to move Aric away from the more space-oriented stories we’ve seen him in previously and explore how his actions impact modern people?

HA: Absolutely — not there’s anything wrong with a spacebound Aric! We’ve yet to see a series, though, in modern Valiant with Aric’s ongoing Earthbound story — both revolving around how he and Shanhara are dealing with their present day situtation, but also how the present day is dealing with them! 

GP: With Aric being a “barbarian” he’s able to offer a unique perspective on our civilization, as we’ve seen with his attitude to food and his confrontation with the police; will that be a theme running in the series going forward? 

HA: Most definitely — Aric confronts a lot of the daily minutae by simply…barrelling right past it. He doesn’t have time for modern day “politics” when he sees someone in need…even when said bureaucratic entanglements might make things worse for him in the long run. 

GP: Your love of penguins isn’t a secret… have you ever tried to get one or two into the comics? Penguin variant covers, maybe?

HA: Penguins have waddled their way into comics on my behalf once or twice, this is known to be true. If one were to flip back to last year’s Livewire #12, they might even find the first penguin cameo an artist dedicated to yours truly, haha! Will there be more in Valiant’s future? Only one way for you readers to find out…

GP: I tend to always have music when reading comics, which got me thinking; if you had to recommend a soundtrack to the series, what would it be?

HA: Fun fact! We actually have an OFFICIAL soundtrack to the series. You can find it here featuring tracks from Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, ZZ Top, and more!

GP: When you’re overseeing multiple titles, how tempted are you to have the characters featured in one series appear in another?

HA: I would say it’s not an outright temptation right from the get-go — and I certainly am not going to force any characters into another writer’s book unnecessarily. I love crossover issues and scenes and worldbuilding opportunities they provide — but it’s SUPER important that these things happen organically and feel necessary to the story.

GP: Are you able to give us any teasers around Shadowman…? 

HA: Teasers like how it’s one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on in my entire career? Like how Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles are a horror comic’s dream team? Or how about how I CANNOT wait to be able to talk more? I don’t mean to be too in the shadows and I wish I could say more, but maybe in few weeks I’ll be able to bring more information to light…

GP: So… I hear you maaaay be working on a project that may, or may not have something to do with Psiots… is there anything you can share about that?

HA: Not unless you have psionic abilities and can read my mind! A little blue harbinger bird told me that The Hollywood Reporter might have something to say about it next week though….

GP: Well that’s certainly something to look forward to! Thanks for your time!

X-O Manowar #2 will be released November 25th.

Valiant Announces Changes to their Structure

Valiant logo

Valiant has announced that it is restructuring its New York and Los Angeles offices to bring their publishing, tv, and film projects closer together.

The New York offices are moving to a new location that is currently under construction and will open in Fall 2020. The company has been working remotely since Mid-March due to COVID-19. Some rumors have swirled around the closing of their current NY office.

In Los Angeles, Valiant has hired comic industry veteran David Wohl as a Senior Editor.

The company has revealed some recent plans including the return of X-O Manowar in November with long-awaited X-O Manowar #2.

In March, the publisher announced a remastered 1999 Shadowman game from Nightdive Studios. They are also working with Blowfish Studios to develop new video games featuring characters from the Valiant universe.

This is on top of the release of Bloodshot, the film released by Sony in theaters and soon after on demand due to the pandemic, the continued work on Harbinger which is still slated to be released in 2021, and Faith: Taking Flight a young adult novel published by an imprint of HarperCollins.

Valiant Villain Of The Week: Toyo Harada, Master Darque, Eidolon, and Father.

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 Toyo Harada, Master Darque, Eidolon and Father. The week’s hero villain 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).

Toyo Harada

Who is he? One of the most complicated and interesting characters in comics, this is a man who has lived through utter horror and who just happens to be one of the most powerful people in the world. Toyo Harada is the kind of character that lives in the moral grey area; more often than not, I’ve found myself actually agreeing with and rooting for him, because his entire raison d’etre is to secure peace and improve the lives of people at any cost. Initially, he’s subtle and manipulates world events behind the scenes… but eventually Toyo Harada wages war on the world. He’s introduced in Harbinger, and so a lot of the stories that you’ve seen recommended in Peter Stanchek‘s spotlight you could expect to see for Toyo Harada.

I’m hoping against hope that the fans vote for Toyo today, because I would love to explore his characterization a lot more.

What should you read?

Harbinger: Omega Rising

A better future. Or no future at all.

Super-powered teenager Peter Stanchek is on a dangerous path. Skipping across the country in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, Peter is quickly realizing that he’s a psionically-charged “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. But Peter’s plight has not gone unnoticed. Respected philanthropist and fellow harbinger Toyo Harada is about to offer Peter the chance at the things for which the boy has always longed — family, inner peace, self-control — and induct him into the sprawling, secret network of conspiracy and subversion known as the Harbinger Foundation. Now Peter begins his long road towards a destiny that will shake the very foundations of the Valiant Universe. His first lesson? All power comes with a price.


This volume kicks off an epic tale by Joshua Dysart that spans Harbinger and Imperium, and because I devoured the first twenty issues in two days I don’t really remember exactly what happened in the first volume, so I took the above text directly from Valiant’s website.

Purchase: Amazon – Kindle – comiXology – TFAWBookshop

Master Darque

Who is he? Nicodemo Darque is the Valiant Universe’s most powerful necromancer. Initially introduced in the Shadowman series, he’s also popped up in Ninjak and as the antagonist in Book Of Death. Unlike toyo Harada, there isn’t much to Master Darque beyond his lust for power,; there’s not really an angle that allows you to root for him, but he does make for a high level threat for the heroes of Valiant to come up against. Arguably one of the more traditional villains in Valiant’s line up, Darque always elevates the stories he’s in.

What should you read?

Shadowman: Darque Reckoning

The true price of becoming Shadowman is always paid in blood…and Master Darque intends to collect…

Jack Boniface has just been to Hell and back. After surviving the horrors of the Deadside, Jack is taking his new abilities to the limit and discovering more about the legacy of the Shadowman with each passing night. But what if he wasn’t the only thing that managed to escape back to Earth? Something dark has arrived in New Orleans, leaving death and madness in its black wake. What’s more, the city’s deadliest cartel assassin is after Jack, and he refuses to die – literally…


I was going to suggest another book that has already been recommended here, but seeing as how I’m hoping you’ve read Book Of Death by now, why not look back to one of Darque’s first appearances?

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAWBookshop

Eidolon

Who is she? Anything that I say about the character here will only be a spoiler for the book recommended below, so I’ll be intentionally vague here; the newest character on the list, Eidolon’s story isn’t a happy one. Does she have ties to Bloodshot? Well, obviously. Because she’s in a Bloodshot comic…

What should you read?

Bloodshot Book One

Once, he was the perfect living weapon, created to follow orders. Now, Bloodshot works alone, using his lethal skills to protect those who cannot protect themselves. But a mysterious and powerful organization is watching, and they’re not about to let something as dangerous as Bloodshot remain free…


There’s really only two options for folks to read about Eidolon, and the other is the sequel to this one. Bloodshot Book One is a lot of fun, and features some pretty intense action sequences throughout the book. The sequel is where we’re really introduced to Eidolon in detail, but this is where you’ll want to start.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop

Father

Who is he? The artificial intelligence responsible for keeping New Japan afloat, Father is also the creator of Rai. Guess what book you’ll want to read?

What should you read?

Rai: 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…


Father is largely a disembodied voice throughout this series, and rather obviously isn’t the main focal point of the book, but seeing as how this story eventually leads into one of my favourite Valiant runs (Dan Abnett on Rai from 2019), and also kicks off a pretty damn phenomenal story in its own right, then I’ll take any chance I can to recommend this series.

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

Our Favorite Modern Unity Covers

The super team Unity gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant‘s “Hero of the Week. Fans chose the team over KI:6, Psi-Lords and Secret Weapons, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be post the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images from the Unity series.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Secret Weapons, Psi-Lords, KI:6 and Unity

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 teams for the first time; Secret Weapons, Psi-Lords, KI:6 and Unity. 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 to check out, including the blurb from Valiant’s website. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Secret Weapons

Who are they? A group of desperate psiots with pretty useless powers who are brought together by Livewire because they have nobody and nothing else.

What should you read? 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…


What should you read? This one of the best stories to come from Valiant, and is worth checking out whenever you get a chance. There’s a lot of powerful statements about self belief, racism and the abuse of power.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology


Psi-Lords

Who are they? Four humans awake in outer space with no memory and discover that they have incredible power. And that they’re also prisoners.

What should you read? Psi-Lords #1-8

Who are the cosmic beings known only as the Psi-Lords? And how will they change the course of the Universe in this brand-new ongoing series?

Four astronauts awake in an otherworldly prison with no memory of how they got there! What is their connection to the Psi-Lords? And how will they escape?

Fred Van Lente is crafting a lively sci-fi mystery, and Renato Guedes’ art is (literally) out of this world.

This is the story of how they lost their humanity.


It’s the only thing you can read, currently, so by default it’s your only choice. The art is utterly phenomenal, but you’ll need to track the floppies.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology


KI: 6

Who are they? A group of ex MI6 operatives and graduates of the Ninja Programme, the ninjas have been thrust together because of circumstances out of their control. See

What should you read? Killers

Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin.
Trained to channel their “ki” to perform superhuman feats in the shadow wars between the secret agencies of the world, these agents of death will team up to compete for the ultimate prize…life itself.
Brought together to find the secret of immortality, these lethal weapons will have to face a murderous gauntlet and each other in order to win what they desire most.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology


Unity

Who is they? Valiant’s premier super team comprised of some of the most powerful and effective operatives and heroes you’ll ever meet. And a fifty foot robot.

What should you read?

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 Anni Padda and the Unity team. 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, I’m sure. 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 well as the team’s fractious relationship with each other. This is a great story in general, and one that should be on your reading list.

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

Our Favorite Vintage Shadowman Covers

Shadowman gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant‘s “Hero of the Week. Fans chose him over Punk Mambo, Tama and Savage, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be from before the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images from the Shadowman series, all published before Valiant relaunched.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Shadowman

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter 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. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more. This week, the poll featured Shadowman, Punk Mambo, Tama and Savage.

This week’s winner was…

Shadowman

Art from the band A Sound Of Thunder’s Tales From The Deadside album

Who is he? Jack Boniface is a man possessed by the Shadowman loa, a legacy that was passed to him from his father. As the Shadowman, Jack and the loa must defend New Orleans from supernatural threats. Shadowman was one of the second round of characters in the original Valiant universe, after Solar, Magnus and Turok, and he made an early appearance in the modern era, too, debuting again late in 2012. I’ve actually read more of the original run of Shadowman than I have the modern comics, and as such a lot of what I know about the character doesn’t really apply here, but across both iterations, Shadowman remains one of the more interesting comic book characters with his ties to voodoo and the afterlife.

What should you read?

Shadowman: Birth Rites

There are a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true.

As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the legacy he was born to uphold. As Shadowman, Jack is about to become the only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But is the mantle of Shadowman a blessing or a curse? And what is the true cost of his otherworldly power?


I don’t remember whether this was the first story I read with Shadowman in it or not, but it is the one that helped me understand the most about the character’s origins in the modern Valiant era, and so it’s fitting that this is the place you should start reading, as well.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop


Shadowman: Fear Blood and Shadows

When a troubled young man with a history of violence and a penchant for blackouts meets an overwhelming source of power with a mystical scythe, the results are doomed to be destructive. A voodoo loa has possessed Jack Boniface – or so he believes. But after Jack awakens in an alleyway covered in blood, he embarks on a journey across lands of shadows and death to discover if he can expel the dark force that’s seized control of his life…and which may be responsible for a violent rampage throughout New Orleans…


One of the more interesting Shadowman stories I’ve read, this volume focuses on Jack confronting his own demons as well as those from the other side. It’s a return to form after the second and third (which are obviously not listed here), and has much more of a horror feel to them than the previous volumes.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW


Ninjak/Shadowman: Rapture

On a scarred landscape, two otherworldly armies prepare to battle one last time, vying for control of a massive tower named from an ancient language no longer permitted to be spoken.

One army is led by a primeval force named Babel, whose goal is singular: to breach “Heaven” no matter the cost. The only thing standing in his way is a gray-haired barbaric warrior, filled with rage and regret, a man who sees this battle as his last chance for redemption. But he knows his depleted forces have little chance of victory unless aid comes.

Enter Tama: A 12-year old girl on the crest of a hill overlooking the battle, who has just become humanity’s only hope. The last in an ancient line of mystics who protect the Earth, she has foreseen this battle and knows millions will perish if she’s unable to stop it. Now Tama and her ragtag team of malcontents – Ninjak, Shadowman and Punk Mambo – must somehow defeat an elder god hell bent on piercing the heavens.


This brings a lot more of the Valiant universe together than you would have seen if you’ve only been reading the Shadowman books. Here you’ll be introduced to Ninjak and Tama, the Geomancer. Rapture was a really fun read from beginning to end, and touches a lot more on the supernatural side of things than it doesn’t, which often leaves Ninjak as the fish out of water character. I enjoyed this book more than I expected as a Ninjak fan because of how well it introduced readers to characters they may not have been familiar with.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology


Shadowman: Fear of the Dark

Orphaned as a child and raised on the margins of society, Jack Boniface never knew his place in the world. Until he discovered it waiting for him… in a darkness far older than the reign of men…

Unbeknownst to him, Jack was fated to become the next in a long lineage of Shadowmen – mortals bound to loas, violent voodoo spirits of immense power – that could safeguard our world against incursions from realms beyond.

For years, Jack struggled to control his loa’s murderous urges – a battle he eventually lost.

But now, after years of self-imposed exile, the man once known as Shadowman is returning home to sharpen the weapon within…and unleash a reckoning on the evils of our world that will soon send shockwaves through heaven and hell alike…


The first collection from the second volume of Shadowman finds Jack Boniface learning about the past as he tries to reclaim his life after spending years in the Deadside (the events of which you can read about in Ninjak: Operation Deadside). This volume was probably my favorite of all the Shadowman books that I’ve read so far because it brings new readers so well into the mythos. Whether you need to read the others before enjoying this, well, that’s debatable. I don’t think so, but then I’m pretty familiar with the character…

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAWZeus Comics


It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.


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.

Our Favorite Modern Shadowman Covers

Shadowman gets the spotlight this week as the second winner of Valiant‘s “Hero of the Week. Fans chose him over Tama, Savage, and Punk Mambo, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be post the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images across the various Shadowman series published since Valiant relaunched.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Shadowman, Savage, Punk Mambo, and Geomancer (Tama)

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 Shadowman, Savage, Punk Mambo and Tama. 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 to check out, including the blurb from Valiant’s website. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Shadowman

Art from the band A Sound Of Thunder’s Tales From The Deadside album

Who is he? Jack Boniface is a man possessed by the Shadowman loa, a legacy that was passed to him from his father. As the Shadowman, Jack and the loa must defend New Orleans from supernatural threats. Shadowman was one of the second round of characters in the original Valiant universe, after Solar, Magnus and Turok, and he made an early appearance in the modern era, too, debuting again late in 2012. I’ve actually read more of the original run of Shadowman than I have the modern comics, and as such a lot of what I know about the character doesn’t really apply here, but across both iterations, Shadowman remains one of the more interesting comic book characters with his ties to voodoo and the afterlife.

What should you read? Shadowman: Birth Rites

There are a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true.

As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the legacy he was born to uphold. As Shadowman, Jack is about to become the only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But is the mantle of Shadowman a blessing or a curse? And what is the true cost of his otherworldly power?


I don’t remember whether this was the first story I read with Shadowman in it or not, but it is the one that helped me understand the most about the character’s origins in the modern Valiant era, and so it’s fitting that this is the place you should start reading, as well.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop


Savage

Who is he? The fifteen year old son of a young couple marooned on an island with Dinosaurs, he was born on the island. His parents eventually succumb to the island’s inhabitants (this isn’t a spoiler – that story is told in flashbacks that weave in with the main story where it’s established early that Savage is alone). Think a modern reinterpretation of Tarzan and the Swiss Family Robinson, but with Velociraptors.

What should you read? Savage.

Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife –pregnant with their unborn child – disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time…

This is the story of how they lost their humanity.


It’s the only thing you can read, currently, so by default it’s your only choice. The art is utterly phenomenal, and the story is compelling.

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.

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Tama (Geomancer)

Who is she? The Earth’s voice, Tama is the latest in a long line of Geomancers; powerful mystics who can communicate with the Earth itself. The Geomancers have been guarded and trained by the Eternal Warrior for thousands of years as they navigate a world that they often weren’t expecting to be thrust into.

What should you read?

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 Anni Padda and the Geomancer Tama. 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 Tama 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. But you also see how the relationship between Gilad and Tama evolves over the course of the story; we haven’t seen a lot of books featuring these two characters together, but what we have seen always ranks highly for me because of their relationship – and that begins here.

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