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Valiant Hero Of The Week: Doctor Mirage

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 Animalia, Quantum & Woody, Divinity, and Doctor Mirage.

Valiant Hero of the Week

This week’s winner was…

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 actually went back and reread this series, and the next, because of this column and I realized that I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed them. They’re not your typical superhero comic because Doctor Mirage isn’t a superhero in the traditional sense, though the same can be said for many of the Valiant heroes, no, this book has more in common with a detective story than the Dark Knight Detective – though with a lot more supernatural elements. The direct sequel, the Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives is also well worth picking up if you’re looking to lose yourself in the world of Doctor Mirage.

It’s a world that’s well worth getting lost in.

Purchase: Amazon – Kindle – comiXology – TFAW
Purchase Second Lives: Amazon (Paperback)comiXology


Doctor Mirage

Doctor Mirage

How do you solve the case of your own death?

Paranormal detective Doctor Shan Fong Mirage had the ability to see and talk to the dead. Except the dead have gone silent, their spirits mysteriously vanished, including Hwen, her deceased husband. Now, Doctor Mirage must face the most challenging question of her life: Is she dead but doesn’t know it?


Magdelene Visaggio’s take on the character finds her moving away from her husbands ghost and more into a journey of self discovery. I enjoyed the yarn much more than I expected, because it threw Shan into a situation we hadn’t really seen her in from the solo series before. this was one of the first comics I ever read by Visaggio, and I’m hoping that the writer returns for another crack at the character very soon.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshopZeus Comics


Incursion

Incursion

Beyond the margins of human reason lies a realm known as the Deadside, where the souls of the dearly departed linger – and where demons wait for us in the dark. For countless ages, Earth’s chosen protectors have guarded the veil between both worlds – but there are other doors to the Deadside, through which gruesome terrors from galaxies untold can trespass… With the planet’s freedom at stake, can the reigning Geomancer and her steadfast Eternal Warrior stand together against an invasion unlike any they’ve ever witnessed?


A sequel of sorts to Book Of Death Doctor Mirage isn’t the focal point of this story, but she has some awesome moments in the third and fourth issues. That it’s also one of my favourite Valiant stories from the last couple years, and you’ll forgive me for recommending it again.

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshopTFAW


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.

Brett’s Best Comics of 2015

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means I’m posting my “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2015. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2015, though some are from earlier times and I got around to reading them, or limited series that continued. Keep in mind, this is what I have read (and does not reflect what other contributors to this site might think). If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

This was a particularly tough year of choices with some categories easily having their own top ten or twenty-five. Check out below what made the cut!

Best Super Hero Comic – Captain Canuck

Captain.Canuck 1 cover2015 continued the diversification of the comic industry and we saw an explosion of new comic characters and series that looked a lot more like us, the readers. But, for all of that, many of those series brought with them over the top violence or were aimed at specific audiences. That’s why Chapter House Comics‘ relaunch of Captain Canuck was such a fresh series and hero in 2015.

The comic series and character seem to embody Canadian ideals well and the series is a perfect example of a superhero series that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids alike.

Within its pages, there’s action and fighting, but what’s shown isn’t over the top, taking on a more PG/PG-13 tone compared to a lot of what else is out there. The series also celebrates the diversity that is Canada with characters from numerous backgrounds, including First Nations, and regularly uses French (without translation) to great affect. Plus that design is badass.

Each issue also gives you two-for-one, with a back-up story of equally high quality and fun. A retro tale of a Captain Canuck of the past, I’ve enjoyed these stories so much, I’m hoping Chapter House spins them out in to their own sister series or a regular anthology.

This is a series where the hero is one who not only wants to stop the bad guy, but also won’t put innocents at risk and go out of his way to protect them. Add on to the fact that he’s surrounded by a diverse cast, with actual depth, and we have a comic that can be enjoyed by all. This is a series to watch in 2016.

Runners Up:

  • COPRA – There’s some arguments to be made that Michel Fiffe‘s indie series about a group of raftag characters should be the top pick, and there was long thought about if it should, it’s that good. Out of all of the series I read this year, this is one that delivered with every single issue. This is a comic that shows that superheroes aren’t the domain of just two companies anymore.
  • Midnighter – Writer Steve Orlando‘s series has gotten me interested in a character I seriously had little interest in before. He’s take a one note character and added tons of depth showing that superheroes can be more than just punching.
  • The Omega Men – Writer Tom King took this ragtag group of characters and has given us a maxiseries that explores revolution/terrorism in so many ways. This is one to read once collected if you haven’t started yet.
  • Plutona – Is it a superhero comic? So far I’d say yes. Jeff Lemire is a master writer and Emi Lenox‘s art is fantastic. This is basically Stand By Me with superheroes and it’s a series that I want to see what happens next. With just a few issues so far, it has completely sucked me in.

 

Best Non-Super Hero Comic – Southern Bastards

southern bastardsWelcome to Craw County, Alabama, home of Boss BBQ, the state champion Runnin’ Rebs football team…and more bastards than you’ve ever seen.

Jason Aaron and Jason Latour have created a Southern gothic noir series that once you think you’ve got it down, pulls the rug right out from under you.

This series was my top pick last year, and it has continued to show with each issue why it deserves to continue to be so praised. Each volume has given us a new twist and new perspective on the greater world they’ve put together and Aaron and Latour aren’t afraid to bring the violence and make us wince.

It’s a brilliant exploration of the Southern community, especially its focus on sports and football. This is one of my first reads with each issue that comes out, and I have never known where it was going next. An original in every way.

Runners Ups:

  • Archie – I care about an Archie comic!? Archie took a gutsy chance and reworked their entire line. While it has failed with two other relaunches this year, this series (as well as Jughead) has been a standout for it’s new take on the classic character.
  • Bitch Planet- The series continues to explore tough topics and continues to entertain while doing so. This is a comic with a message, and it pulls it off with every single issue.
  • Descender- Jeff Lemire makes it on the list again, but this time with art by Dustin Nguyen. This sci-fi series is so hard to describe revolving around an android that looks like a little boy. Every issue is a treat to read, and Nguyen’s art helps with beautiful visuals.
  • Fresh Romance – Romance comics are dead! Who’d read them?! Well Janelle Asselin (a some times contributor to this site) proved folks wrong Kickstarting this line of comics that’s a romance anthology. Every issue has delivered with fantastic stories and extras like advice columns. Expect this series to be copied (poorly) in 2016.

 

Best Limited Series or One Shot – Secret Wars: Secret Love

secret wars secret love 1 coverMarvel’s Secret Wars as a whole was an event that started off strong and then sputtered along the way. However it did give us at least one highlight, and that’s Secret Wars: Secret Love.

Four stories that vary in tone and look, this comic is a spotlight on so many creators that should have been at the forefront of the All-New, All-Different Marvel.

Secret Wars: Secret Love was so good, with so many varied talented creators, it was a reminder how much Marvel dropped the ball with its relaunch just a few months. Whitley not on a Misty Knight series? Cmon! Michel Fiffe not being given something! Marguerite Bennet, Katie Cook, Felipe Smith, Gurihiru, Kris Anka, this comic was filled with folks who are comic stars. This is the type of creative line-up I’d be building a line around.

It was just a one shot, but when I was done it was clear I want more of this!

Runners Up:

  • The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage – Valiant cranked out so many good series this year, their miniseries especially were good. This one took on the new Doctor Mirage in a series that had her going to the other side and exploring her own past. This was a miniseries that in a short time gave us lots of depth, entertained, looked so good, and did it all in a short period of time.
  • Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern – DC Comics released a series of one-shots for “Darkseid War,” and one stood above all others. The comics were supposed to explore what happens when regular humans get godlike powers, and this one did an amazing job as Hal Jordan was presented withed difficult choices. A great read all on its own.
  • Lady Killer – A suburban housewife is actually a contract killer. The comics was entertaining with a kick-ass female lead. The miniseries was fantastic playing with so many stereotypes and genres. This is Mrs. Smith, without the Mr.
  • The Paybacks – Mixing superheroes and comedy this miniseries has delivered. This comic has gotten me to laugh with every single issue and one of the downer moments of the year was the fact this wasn’t an ongoing series.

 

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – Mike’s Place

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There was one graphic novel that haunted me for a good chunk of 2015, and that’d be Mike’s Place: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv.

Written by Jack Baxter and Joshua Faudem, Mike’s Place is a graphic novel spun out of their experience that you can see in the documentary Blues by the Beach. What was supposed to be a movie celebrating Israeli life, and the peace found between Israelis, Palestinians, folks of all different backgrounds, who come together in a bar, instead it captures tragedy, and perseverance.

The graphic novel grips and effects you at a personal level. Part of that is due to the fact it’s both tragic and uplifting. The lead up, and post event accounting of what happened shows strength in tragedy, it’s a mesmerizing, and in ways uplifting, story.

Beautifully haunting, Mike’s Place is a graphic novel that sticks with you for days and weeks.

Runners Up:

  • The Arab of the Future – A biography of Riad Sattouf’s life as he navigates between Libya, France, and Syria. The graphic novel originally came out in French in 2014 and was released in English in 2015. The graphic novel is absolutely fascinating, and makes Sattouf’s life entertaining.
  • The Fall of the House of West – The latest entry in Paul Pope‘s Battling Boy line of comics, this has the early years of the West family and everything from its pint sized hero to pint sized format is a win. This is fun pulp comics.
  • March: Book Two – The second volume of Congressman Lewis‘ biography recounting his life in the Civil Rights movement. Much like the first, the second volume will be taught in classes for decades to come.
  • The SculptorScott McCloud‘s latest graphic novel has its fans and haters. The graphic novel follows an artist who makes a deal with death and has a finite time to live. The story is haunting and one that’ll have you debating with your book club.

 

Best New Series – Monstress

Monstress01_Cover

Monstress kicked off with a triple-sized first issue (60 pages!), and even when you got to that last page, it didn’t feel like enough. The series is a magical world (pun intended) that mixes so many genres that there’s a little something for so many. Fantasy, steampunk, Kaiju, anime, it’s all here mixed together in an amazing combination that seamlessly flows together.

I think what’s more impressive is the inclusion of political and societal commentary within, and doing so in a way that doesn’t come of as preachy, and is almost not noticeable. The story at it’s core is about a woman, a minority, fighting against the oppressive majority. Choices to have what seems like a matriarchal society changes that context into something more than a woman fighting the patriarchy which the series could have easily been (and it still would have been great I’m sure). Instead it gives us women who are good, evil, and somewhere in between painting a broad swath that can be debated for hours on end. It’s this type of layering of ideas, themes, and concepts that has created one of the richest debuts of the year.

In two issues Monstress feels like a thought out world with a history that goes back decades. Battles are referenced, events mentioned, it all feels like its been thought out and meticulously put together. Add on top of that women (well character really) of all types, shapes, sizes, skin color, and you have what is a diverse, in many ways, debut. All of that together creates the best debut of the year.

 

Best Single Issue – Batman #44

Batman #44 CoverBatman has gone through a fascinating shift this year as Bruce Wayne lost his memory and James Gordon stepped in as the iconic hero in a new mechanized suit that’s more anime fighting robot than the great detective we’ve known.

The series has also brought us a new villain in Mr. Bloom who is a great addition to Batman’s rogues and feels like a worthy adversary.

Through all of that, this comic, which focuses on Bruce Wayne’s Batman, is the best single issue of the year of any comic as it shows us something we’ve never seen before in comics, a Batman who actually focuses on the interplay between institutional racism and economic injustice.

Titled “A Simple Case,” the issue was written by regular series writer Scott Snyder who was joined by Brian Azzarello, we find out the issues Batman faces here are anything but simple and more complicated than any villain he’s faced.

For an issue we see how superhero comics can address actual social and economic issues we face today such as gentrification, institutional racism and bank’s disinvestment in communities. But, more importantly, addressing those issues and entertain at the same time.

Add on top of that the usual beautiful art, this time by Jock, and you have a comic you can read on its own, and the best single issue this year.

 

Best Event of the Year – Book of Death

BOD_TPB_COVER_GILLWho has the best superhero universe out there today? That’s not the big two, the answer actually is Valiant who continued in 2015 to show off quality comics filled with quality writing and art.

Not only does the publisher put out great comics every month, but they also have figured out how to weave in major events in to their universe and make it new reader friendly.

Book of Death saw the Eternal Warrior with the newest Geomancer from the future on the run trying to both dodge and take on a great evil pursuing them. Along with the main series, we got a glimpse in to Valiant’s future along with the end of many of its heroes.

The battles felt epic, the use of characters were great, the story progressed at a nice pace with each issue being vital. Add on top a series of one-shots all of which were at least good, and you have the making of an epic tale.

But, what’s even more impressive is the fact that Valiant has figured out the outro in many ways with their events leading in to natural changes for their line of comics and characters.

They’ve consistently put out quality, and continue to do so with their events. I usually shudder when I hear some major comic event is coming, but with Valiant, I look forward to it in anticipation.

Runners Up:

  • Darkseid War – A good event should be epic, and DC’s storyline event currently running through Justice League qualifies. The story has been building for some time, but the Anti-Monitor has arrived to battle Darkseid, and many of the issues have left us with imagery that feels massive in scale. Hopefully the second half delivers as much as the first.
  • Secret Wars – So much good, and so much bad here. Delays and the second half that hasn’t quite delivered as much as the first has tarnished what started off as Marvel’s best event in some time. Still, there’s absolutely this world changing event hasn’t been absolutely huge touching every corner of the Marvel Universe. With one issue to go, the series isn’t perfect, but it does deliver a game changing event.
  • Transformers: Combiner Wars – This was a story that hit so much nostalgia, but what I think as really impressive was the synergy across platforms. Comics, toys, video games, they were all in sync and it all worked together very well.
  • The Valiant – Did you read about Book of Death above? Everything there can be applied here in what is the prequel that eventually led in to Book of Death.

 

Best Genre of the Year – Indie Comics/Small Publishers

Is it a “genre”? We can argue about that, but lets face it, 2015 was a year we saw major creators continue to shrug off the big two, instead launching creator owned series at other publishers, digitally or through Kickstarter. We saw more comics, in more varieties, on more subjects and more ways to consume them, than any time before. It really wasn’t the year of the Big Two, this was a year that we as consumers could continue to find something that would fit our varied tastes.

With more channels for distribution and more ways to produce comics, we’re in a golden age where the old ways of publishing no longer hold back the creativity that abounds.

We named Indie Comics “it” in 2013 and 2014, and nothing changed in 2015. There’s a massive opening for someone to step in and be a mainstream breakout, maybe 2016 will be the year we see it.

 

Best Surprise of the Year – DC Comics

dc-logo-252x3002015 was a year that it was cool to shit on DC Comics. But, for the bad, their best is some of the best. Batman, Batgirl, The Omega Men, Justice League, Midnighter, Prez, Bizarro, Doctor Fate, We Are Robin, Grayson, Black Canary, Constantine the Hellblazer, Cyborg, DC Comics Bombshells, Martian Manhunter, and lots more hit the shelves each week and show off the new quality of a publisher that has been in second place for so long. Add on top of that a resurgence and reinvigoration of Vertigo.

After sputtering for some time, the company shook up their line of comics with Convergence which saw the recreation of the multiverse and opened up the possibilities to tell stories out of continuity and with numerous versions of classic characters.

The company also decided to expand of the success they saw with Gotham Academy and Batgirl, trying new things with new series many receiving critical praise though middling sales.

The company continued to expand upon its digital first program, and has begun to look towards expanding its market with its DC Super Hero Girls line. 2016 sees the real launch of their new movie universe after dominating on television.

The company has really turned the ship around and 2015 was a stellar year that you can see them right the ship while continuing to be faced with criticism from armchair experts.

The dots are all there, now we’ll see if the company has the vision to connect them all.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Kickstarter

KickstarterLast year’s disappointment continued to be so, as projects were delayed, vapor ware, or not as advertised. Also add in issues on the creator end of folks pledging high amounts and then disputing the charges, at times getting the goods. Add in the platform’s unwillingness to step in to deal with either situation and you get a tech company showing off it’s greed. What was once the toast of the town has shown its cracks which will only get worse.

The crowdfunding platform became a way for creators to raise funds for projects, only to get picked up by publishers, at times delaying projects and leaving bad tastes in the mouths of fans. If all creators were held to the standards of some of the best users of the system, there’d be no issue, but over 90% of the projects I’ve pledged to have been delayed or non-existent only creating angry backers and fans.

These issues have lead this site to rethink what we promote and how we do so, no longer choosing comics to promote, as we feel some responsibility for things gone wrong and your dollars being held hostage.

Kickstarter continues to be tone-deaf, and it’s only a matter of time before someone stands up and challenges the platform with a system that’s fair to creators, and protects those who pledge.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

 

Publisher of the Year – None of the Above

This one I’ve thought about the most out of all of the categories on the list. I keep going back and forth between Image, BOOM! Studios, Valiant, Action Lab, IDW, First Second, and so many more. For each strength one brings to the table, they also have major weaknesses. Whether it’s a focus on a genre, pigeonholing themselves with adults, failure in digital, a mix of quality of comics, none of them are at least good everywhere. But, the comic industry has really grown in 2015 with no one breaking out as THE publisher to rival the big two. Partially that’s because so many have stood out with some of what they’ve done.

Both DC and Marvel have stumbled in 2015 (though DC has shown improvement in many ways, see above), and it’s everyone else that has stepped up in an attempt to fill the gap left by the big two.

Image has become of the home of amazing indie comics by big name creators, but they generally lack a kids line that gets the next generation of readers. BOOM! has had a great mix of comics, but they’re missing that ongoing series that goes on for 30 to 50 issues. Valiant is quality all around and have tried some interesting market tactics, but you have to like superhero comics, Action Lab is a solid up and comer with good consistent releases. IDW has shown its possible to do great licensed comics, while First Second has fantastic graphic novels of all sorts. The year also saw newcomers like 451 Media, Aftershock, and Double Take, but each are having issues getting the word out.

Out of all of that, where’s the standout above everyone else? They’re all good in their own ways, but each have some flaws, with some of those flaws being pretty big. After a lot of deliberation, I couldn’t decide on one, so I chose none.

Much like I said about DC, each publisher is close to going huge, it’s just taking someone to connect those dots. Or maybe no one will, and it’ll be up to the individual creators to fill up the gap.

Valiant in February 2016

BLOODSHOT REBORN #11 (“THE ANALOG MAN” – PART 2)

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by LEWIS LAROSA
Cover A by RYAN SOOK
Cover B by CLAYTON HENRY
Cover C by JEFFREY VEREGGE
Variant Cover by TULA LOTAY
Variant Cover by BRIAN LEVEL

Thirty years from today…”THE ANALOG MAN” goes to war with Ninjak!

Far into a post-apocalyptic future, Los Angeles has descended into chaos. Even the remaining heroes of the Valiant Universe can’t stand against the G.A.T.E. super-tech that dominates the wastelands. As Bloodshot and Magic emerge with a small group of survivors in tow, an unexpected ally from the past shows up, seeking help, forcing Bloodshot to either turn his back on his friend…or his family!

New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (Extraordinary X-Men) and artist extraordinaire Lewis LaRosa (The Punisher) bring down the hammer on a metal-tearing vision of the future that must be seen to be believed right here in the second scorching chapter of “THE ANALOG MAN”!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 24

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BLOODSHOT REBORN: THE ANALOG MAN – DIRECTOR’S CUT #1

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art & Cover by LEWIS LAROSA

Witness two master creators at the height of their powers as THE ANALOG MAN returns…in bare-knuckled black and white!

For the first time ever, go behind the scenes and discover the unexpurgated glory of Jeff Lemire and Lewis LaRosa’s post-apocalyptic joyride through the future-shocked badlands of the Valiant Universe with a special 48-page “director’s cut” of BLOODSHOT REBORN #10, showcasing LaRosa’s raw, hyper-detailed pencil artwork and Lemire’s complete script! Stripped down to pencils and letters alone, you’ve never seen Bloodshot like this before as the must-read storyline of the New Year circles back for an encore presentation of THE ANALOG MAN’s gasoline-soaked first chapter!

$4.99 | 48 pgs. | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 24

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FAITH #2 (of 4)

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by FRANCIS PORTELA and MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover A by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC
COVER B by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover C by FRANCIS PORTELA
Variant Cover by COLLEEN COOVER

The most talked-about new book of 2016 is just getting started!

Just as she uncovers a conspiracy in the Hollywood Hills that threatens the lives of her fellow psiots and new friends alike, Faith must also deal with the return of her ex-boyfriend and one-time teammate Torque…and a volatile new alien threat that nobody saw coming!

Be here as all-star creators Jody Houser (Orphan Black), Francis Portela (Green Lantern), and Marguerite Sauvage (DC Comics Bombshells) continue the groundbreaking, first-ever solo series for the Valiant Universe’s most extraordinary hero…the high-flying Faith!

$3.99 | 32 pgs | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 24

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IMPERIUM #13 (NEW ARC! “STORMBREAK” – PART 1)

Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by KHARI EVANS
Cover A by ROBERT GILL
Cover B by CAFU
Valiant x CGC Replica Variant by CLAYTON HENRY
Variant Cover by RYAN LEE
Variant Cover by JUAN JOSE RYP

ALL-NEW ARC! JUMP ON BOARD HERE! “STORMBREAK” is about to bombard the front lines of the Valiant Universe!

The world’s most powerful team of mercenaries is on the defense…as an elite international kill squad led by Livewire and H.A.R.D. Corps’ Major Charlie Palmer descends to destroy Imperium’s stronghold!

Toyo Harada will save the world…if he doesn’t doom it first. The revolutionary disruption that Harada and his team have launched – by deposing tyrants, housing refugees, and feeding the poor – has come at the expense of the world’s wealthiest nations. When the planet’s leaders have had enough, it will be decided: Toyo Harada must die. Now a crack unit of operatives will stand against Harada on the global stage…with his own former pupil Livewire taking him head-on. Meanwhile, Harada’s military lieutenant Gravedog meets his match when Palmer drops into the firefight of a lifetime…H.A.R.D. Corps vs. H.A.R.D. Corps!

The war starts here as New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart (HARBINGER) and chart-topping artist Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH) unite for an explosive new jumping-on point…pitting the Valiant Universe’s notorious team of monsters and revolutionaries against the very system they’ve sworn to overthrow!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 17

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WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #4

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by RAUL ALLEN
Cover A by DAVID LAFUENTE
Cover B by RAUL ALLEN
Cover C by MARCOS MARTIN
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY
Variant Cover by ADAM POLLINA
B&W Sketch Variant by DAVID LAFUENTE

Even Hell has met its match…in the unrelenting fury of the Eternal Warrior!

In the wake of BOOK OF DEATH…the Earth’s immortal champion is dead…but his battle is far from over. Cast out of our world and into a fearsome afterlife of pain and punishment, Gilad is determined to return to our world and resume his duty… But can even history’s most formidable master of war forge ahead in an unearthly domain built to break the human spirit? Now, on the cusp of freedom, the Eternal Warrior rises to fight an enemy with a grudge as old as himself…only to the find that the price of victory might just be everything and everyone he has ever loved…

The year’s heart-shattering new ongoing series steps out of Hell…and into the battle for life itself as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH) and visionary artist Raul Allen (NINJAK) force the Eternal Warrior into the next brutal level of rebirth in a world beyond our own!

$3.99 | 32 pgs | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 17

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NINJAK #12 (“OPERATION: DEADSIDE” – PART 3)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE with JUAN JOSE RYP
Cover A by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover B by TOM RANEY
Cover C by CLAYTON HENRY
Character Design Variant by CLAYTON HENRY
Variant Cover by KERON GRANT

Into the darkness…as “OPERATION: DEADSIDE” reveals the secrets of Shadowman!

MI-6’s doomed rescue mission into a parallel dimension is in dire peril as Ninjak and Punk Mambo find themselves face-to-face with the one and only Shadowman! But what is the true nature of the man once called Jack Boniface…and has his time trapped amidst the Deadside’s horrors stolen his humanity once and for all? A battle to save the soul of the Valiant Universe is about to begin – but even the good guys can’t be sure if they’re on the right side!

The Valiant milestone of 2016 continues here as superstar creators Matt Kindt (DIVINITY) and Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) bring “OPERATION: DEADSIDE” thundering towards an unmissable climax!

$3.99 | 40 pgs | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 10

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X-O MANOWAR #44

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by ROBERT GILL
Cover A by PHIL JIMENEZ
Cover B by STEPHEN MOONEY
Variant Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

X-O Manowar and Ninjak cut deep into “THE KILL LIST”!

Dispatched by MI-6 to dismantle a Vine terror cell before its next deadly attack, the Valiant Universe’s fiercest warrior and most elite master assassin have reunited to locate their target…and they might already be too late! But as Commander Trill’s master plan comes to fruition, he may discover that his greatest enemy is within!

Epic storytellers Robert Venditti (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) and Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH) plunge into the world of espionage and intrigue as X-O Manowar’s latest page-turner hunts the heroes of the Valiant Universe!

$3.99 | 32 pgs | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 3

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THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE: SECOND LIVES #3 (of 4)

Written by JEN VAN METER
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover A by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC
Cover B by KEVIN WADA
Cover C by BILQUIS EVELY
Variant Cover by JEFFREY VEREGGE

Shan Fong-Mirage thought she had solved the riddle of her ghostly husband…

They thought the magic of an ancient scroll, the Secunda Vita, could restore Hwen Mirage’s physical form. But the spells in the scroll are deadly…and after spending decades trapped within its words, the malevolent and corrupted spirit of a long-dead sorcerer has been freed to wreak lethal havoc on Earth! To stop this dark force once and for all, Shan and Hwen Mirage must marshal an alliance of old friends and new enemies, of the living and the dead. If they should fail? The living will die…and the dead will be extinguished in this life and the next!

Valiant‘s Harvey Award-nominated sensation unleashes an all-new chapter as acclaimed creators Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages) and Roberto de la Torre (Daredevil) throw the Doctors Mirage into their biggest adventure yet!

$3.99 | 32 pgs | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 10

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BLOODSHOT REBORN VOL. 2: THE HUNT TPB

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by BUTCH GUICE
Cover by MICO SUAYAN

“THE HUNT” IS ON!

Bloodshot is on the hunt. Determined to stop the violent reign of terror that plagues Colorado,Bloodshot journeys across the Rocky Mountains to destroy the remaining nanites that have caused mass murderers to spring up across the state. But will the drugs, booze, and insane visions rattling around his head put an end to his journey before it begins?

Start reading here as New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT, Descender) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Butch Guice (NINJAK, The Winter Soldier) begin the second staggering story arc of the chart-topping new series that Entertainment Weekly calls “a subversive new take on Valiant’s resident unkillable killing machine.”

Collecting BLOODSHOT REBORN #6-9

$14.99 | 112 pgs. | On sale FEBRUARY 10
TRADE PAPERBACK | 978-1-939346-82-7

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IVAR, TIMEWALKER VOL. 3: ENDING HISTORY TPB

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by PERE PEREZ
Cover by KANO

CREATION, ANNIHILATION…AND THE DEBUT OF AN ALL-NEW TIMEWALKER!

As history falls apart around her, only one man can help Neela Sethi save Ivar’s life—and time itself—and that man is…Ivar! Wait…what?! Can Neela teach a new Timewalker the ropes of time travel as time collapses? Or will the universe finally meet its doom?

Find out right here as Harvey Award-nominated artist Pere Pérez (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) joins New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (THE DELINQUENTS) for IVAR, TIMEWALKER.

Collecting IVAR, TIMEWALKER #9-#12

$14.99 | 112 pgs | T+ | On Sale FEBRUARY 17
TRADE PAPERBACK | 978-1-939346-99-5

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SHADOWMAN DELUXE EDITION BOOK 2 HC

Written by PETER MILLIGAN with DUFFY BOUDREAU, NEIL DVORAK, ALES KOT, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA, and JIM ZUB

Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE and VALETINE DE LANDRO WITH DIEGO BERNARD, CAFU, NEIL DVORAK, ROBERT GILL, MIGUEL SEPULVEDA, and MATTHEW SOUTHWORTH
Cover by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

Comics icon Peter Milligan (Hellblazer) joins visionary artists Roberto de la Torre (THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE), Valentine de Landro (Bitch Planet), Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH) and many more for the oversized hardcover collection concluding the bone-chilling series Bloody Disgusting calls “the perfect cauldron of mystery.”

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

Featuring an anthology of tales from a roster of all-star creators – including Jim Zub (Skullkickers), Ales Kot (DEAD DROP), Christopher Sebela (Captain Marvel), and Duffy Boudreau (BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS) – that push the outer bounds of the world of Shadowman further than ever before, this prestige-sized deluxe hardcover also comes jam-packed with 20+ pages of rarely seen bonus materials and special features!

Collecting SHADOWMAN #11-16, the never-before reprinted SHADOWMAN
#13X, SHADOWMAN: END TIMES #1–3 and PUNK MAMBO #0.

$39.99 | 304 pgs. | T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 24
HARDCOVER | 978-1-68215-107-5

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ONE DOLLAR DEBUT: THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE #1 (NEW PRINTING)

Written by JEN VAN METER
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN

Re-presenting THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE #1 (2014)

$1 | 32 pgs. | T+| On sale FEBRUARY 3

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ONE DOLLAR DEBUT: DIVINITY #1 (NEW PRINTING)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Cover by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC

Re-presenting DIVINITY #1 (2015)

$1| 32 pgs| T+ | On sale FEBRUARY 17

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Valiant Comics in April 2015

BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 [VALIANT NEXT]

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by MICO SUAYAN with JEFF LEMIRE
Cover A by JUAN DOE
Cover B by MICO SUAYAN
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON
Cover D by LEWIS LAROSA
Valiant Next Variant by MICO SUAYAN & TOM MULLER
Variant Cover by JEFF LEMIRE
Variant Cover by BUTCH GUICE
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA
Blank Cover also available

From New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT, Green Arrow) and red-hot rising star Mico Suayan (HARBINGER, Moon Knight), VALIANT NEXT delivers an all-new ongoing series for Valiant’s most unrelenting hero!

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit – a private contractor trafficking in violence – very well.

Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving headlong into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 15

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NINJAK #2 [VALIANT NEXT]

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAY MANN with BUTCH GUICE
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA
Cover B by DAVE JOHNSON
Cover C by PIA GUERRA
Variant Cover by RAUL ALLEN
Variant Cover by DAS PASTORAS

HUNTED BY THE SHADOW SEVEN!

International financier Colin King hasn’t just come to Tokyo to take the Rippongi club scene by storm. As the covert MI-6 operative codenamed Ninjak, he’s also tracking down the men who trained him to be a lethal weapon…the very same men whose movements have now aligned with the latest terror plot by the cybernetic crime cartel called WEBNET! But how do you detect killers who specialize in the undetectable? And how does he know that the SHADOW SEVEN haven’t caught up with him first? It’s all-out ninja-versus-ninja warfare as the deadliest men and women of five continents converge on the Tokyo underworld for a blood-spattered blowout!

Don’t miss the second 40-page issue of Ninjak’s shocking ongoing series from Valiant superstars Matt Kindt (THE VALIANT, RAI) and Clay Mann (Gambit)! Also featuring an all-new installment of Ninjak’s never-before-revealed origin by Matt Kindt and Eisner Award nominee Butch Guice (Captain America)!

$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22

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IMPERIUM #3 [VALIANT NEXT]

Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A by RAUL ALLEN
Cover B by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Variant Cover by CARY NORD
Character Design Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE

A better world. By any means necessary. The devastating new series escalates with an all-new chapter by New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart (HARBINGER) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS)!

The world-changing event snowballs over the cliff, as the world’s most powerful man — billionaire superhuman Toyo Harada — saves the world at the tip of a sword. Harada is collecting monsters — starting with his pet instrument of death, Mech Major…an unstoppable robot engine of combat and warfare. But there’s more to Mech Major than meets the eye…

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 8

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X-O MANOWAR #35 (“DEAD HAND” – PART 2)

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover A (Overlay Wrap) by LEWIS LAROSA
Cover B (Wraparound) by JORGE MOLINA
Variant Cover by RAFA SANDOVAL
Variant Cover by JUAN JOSE RYP

DEAD HAND means death!

In the far reaches of deep space, the ultimate fail-safe of an extinct alien race has finally counted down to zero…and the robot army called DEAD HAND has been activated. The civilization that built them has fallen…and, now, to combat the doomsday threat that destroyed their world, DEAD HAND will complete the mission that their creators could not. Soulless and brutal, this billion strong legion is the phantom army of a dead world…and it will cleanse the universe by any means necessary. But what unthinkable menace were they created to destroy? And will DEAD HAND’s slow march across the galaxy spell death for countless worlds?

Soon, Aric of Dacia will be forced to confront the secrets that have pushed him to the terrible turning point that is DEAD HAND…and battle a single-minded killing machine unlike any he has seen before! Outmatched and vastly outnumbered, how can Aric stop something unstoppable…something that knows no fear, only eradication?

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 1

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DIVINITY #3 (of 4) [VALIANT NEXT]

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Cover A by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC
Cover B by TOM MULLER
Variant Cover by ROBERT GILL
Variant Cover by LEWIS LAROSA

The sci-fi saga of 2015 continues – from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (RAI) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (X-Men: Deadly Genesis)!

A being with the power of a god roams free in the Australian Outback, bringing life to the barren wasteland and making him a hero to natives who live there and the visitors that have sought him out. But can the global superpowers of Earth rely on this long lost cosmonaut not to abuse his seemingly limitless power? The entity called DIVINITY will put that trust to the test when he discovers what became of the life he left behind…and the family he once knew…

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | VALIANT PRESTIGE | On sale APRIL 22

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IVAR, TIMEWALKER #4 [VALIANT NEXT]

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by CLAYTON HENRY
Cover A by RAUL ALLEN
Cover B by DAVID MESSINA
Variant Cover by RAMON VILLALOBOS

Time is almost up!

Ivar has been keeping a secret from his partner-in-time, Neela, this whole time, and once she learns the truth their relationship will be history! Literally! Join New York Times best-selling creators Fred Van Lente & Clayton Henry for the epoch shattering conclusion of our first (time)arc!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22

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RAI #8

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover A by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover B by DAVID MACK
Variant Cover by BART SEARS

“The Battle for New Japan” erupts into all-out war!

Rai has raised an army of former enemies and reluctant allies all in the name of one thing – freedom! It’s the final fight between Father and his prodigal son, except there is no coming back from this as the outcome could spell the end of not just New Japan, but all of Earth!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 8

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QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE! #4 (of 4)

Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by STEVE LIEBER
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE
Variant Cover by SINA GRACE

R.I.P. Quantum and Woody!

A conspiracy is exposed! Plotters are thwarted! Would-be assassins get thoroughly trounced! Is there anything Quantum and Woody CAN’T do? But as the brothers settle into a steady rhythm, they discover the hard way that their lives will never be the same again. Not least because… UH-OHHHHH, THE GOAAAAAAT!!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 29

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UNITY #17

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by PERE PEREZ
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA
Cover B by CLAYTON HENRY
Variant Cover by JUAN JOSE RYP

“HOMEFRONT” reaches critical mass as Livewire takes on a deadly solo mission for the future of Unity!

Facing the most challenging battle of their lives, Unity struggles to hang on. Livewire, de facto leader of the team, can barely keep her life together…how can she corral a group of lethal warriors? And if she fails…what price will the world pay?

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 15

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THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE TPB

Written by JEN VAN METER
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN

Death was just the beginning…

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.

Join Eisner Award-nominated writer Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages, Captain Marvel) and acclaimed artist Roberto de la Torre (Daredevil, Age of Apocalypse) as Valiant’s occult adventurer embarks on a journey across the realms of the dead to bring her love back to the land of the living. Collecting THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE #1–5.

$9.99 | 128 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 1
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 9781939346490

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ETERNAL WARRIOR: DAYS OF STEEL TPB

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by CARY NORD
Cover by BRYAN HITCH

From steel comes salvation!

The Eternal Warrior…Gilad Anni-Padda, the Earth’s Fist and Steel…is forever charged with guarding the Geomancer and securing the Earth’s safety. After completing another brutal mission, the Earth’s undying guardian is approached with a cryptic task: find and save a baby — in whose hands might rest the fate of an entire people! But the Eternal Warrior is no nursemaid…and, to complicate matters, a thousand Magyar invaders want the baby dead. At the edge of civilization, can history’s most expert killer keep one precious life alive?

Start reading here as master storyteller Peter Milligan (Hellblazer) and Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord (X-O MANOWAR, Conan) chronicle the brutal and bloodied history of Valiant’s immortal champion in an all-new tale of swords, savagery, and steel. Collecting ETERNAL WARRIOR: DAYS OF STEEL #1–3.

$14.99  | 104 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 29
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 9781939346742

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BLOODSHOT VOLUME 6: THE GLITCH AND OTHER TALES TPB

Written by PETER MILLIGAN, DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI, B. CLAY MOORE,
HOWARD CHAYKIN and More
Art by LEWIS LAROSA, MANUEL GARCIA, WILL ROSADO and HOWARD CHAYKIN
Cover by LEWIS LAROSA

A murderer’s row of comic talents – Peter Milligan (Hellblazer), Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey), B. Clay Moore (JSA: The Liberty Files), Howard Chaykin (American Flagg), Lewis LaRosa (Punisher MAX), Manuel Garcia (Black Widow), and many more – come together for a collection of stories from throughout the bullet-riddled history of Valiant’s most brutal and relentless hero!

Meet the man behind Bloodshot – or is he? – when one soldier’s untapped killer instinct takes over in “The Glitch”! Then, Russian superpies don’t die easy as “Sleepers” takes Bloodshot deep into the biting cold of a former Soviet state and face to face with an enemy eerily similar to himself.

Plus: the origin of Bloodshot retold, Howard Chaykin’s “Protocol”, and much more!

Collecting BLOODSHOT #24, the oversized BLOODSHOT #25 anniversary extravaganza, and an exclusive Director’s Cut of BLOODSHOT #1 – featuring a never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes look inside the script, art, and character designs of the blockbuster first issue that set Bloodshot in motion!

On sale APRIL 15 | 112 pages, full color | $14.99 US | T+
ISBN: 978-1-939346-71-1

$14.99  | 112 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 15
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 9781939346711

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Q2: THE RETURN OF QUANTUM AND WOODY DELUXE HC

Written by CHRISTOPHER PRIEST
Art & Cover by MD BRIGHT

The most demanded return in comics is finally here! The original Quantum and Woody are back! Legendary creators Christopher Priest (Black Panther) and MD Bright (Iron Man) return to one of the most acclaimed series of the modern era for an all-new mini-series!

Whatever happened to the world’s worst superhero team? Twenty years past their prime, the unlikely crime-fighting duo known as Quantum and Woody (not a couple) have long since parted ways…until a middle-aged Quantum suddenly reappears with a brand-new teenage partner. Now Woody is out to break up the all-new, all different Quantum and Woody and put an end to Quantum’s recklessness…just as Quantum takes on a life-or-death personal mission for national security. Can these former friends set aside their differences…and their age…and their numerous health difficulties…to join forces one last time without driving each other crazy?

Collecting Q2: THE RETURN OF QUANTUM AND WOODY #1–5 in a deluxe, oversized hardcover format for a perfect shelf companion to the QUANTUM AND WOODY: THE COMPLETE CLASSIC OMNIBUS!

$24.99 | 160 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 8
OVERSIZED HARDCOVER | ISBN: 9781939346568

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X-O MANOWAR DELUXE EDITION VOL. 2 HC

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and MATT KINDT
Art by LEE GARBETT, CARY NORD, DOUG BRAITHWAITE and VICENTE CIFUENTES
Cover by LADRÖNN

Born into battle, Aric of Dacia, the fifth century Visigoth now known as X-O Manowar, has never known peace. Abducted and enslaved by the savage alien empire known as The Vine, Aric finally escaped his captors after stealing their ultra powerful X-O Manowar armor and returned to Earth…only to find that more than a thousand years had passed in his absence. Stranded in the modern day, the most primitive man on Earth now wields the most powerful weapon in existence as X-O Manowar…

But when Aric decides to use to his newfound power to reclaim the ancestral homeland of his Visigoth forefathers – the nation-state of Dacia, now in modern day Romania – he will inadvertently set the world on a path to nuclear annihilation…one that can only be prevented by the elite super-team called Unity! And, together, Unity will unleash a world-shaking battle royale pitting the world’s most formidable heroes – Toyo Hardaa, Ninjak, Eternal Warrior, and Livewire – against the unstoppable might of X-O Manowar.

Collecting X-O MANOWAR #15–22 by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Green Lantern) and artists Lee Garbett (Loki: Agent of Asgard) and Cary Nord (Conan), plus the sold-out UNITY #1–4 by New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and artist Doug Braithwaite (Justice), this deluxe, oversized X-O Manowar hardcover also comes packed with more than 20 pages of never-before-seen art and extras, direct from the Valiant vaults.

$39.99 | 320 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22
OVERSIZED HARDCOVER | ISBN: 9781939346520

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Preview: The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #5 (of 5)

THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE #5 (of 5)

Written by JEN VAN METER
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover by KEVIN WADA (NOV141701)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 14

Doctor Shan Fong-Mirage has lived and died…and lived to fight again!

Scarred, transformed, and strengthened, Dr. Mirage returns from the perils of the spirit world to face the treacherous men who would erase her from existence…with everything to fight for and nothing left to lose! Do not miss out on the haunting climax of the critically acclaimed, sold-out series.

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Review: The Death Defying Dr. Mirage #4

dm04With this the fourth of five issues in this miniseries, the resolution to the challenges against Dr. Mirage is nearly here, but in the meantime there is an assortment of problems faced by her before she leave the astral plane.  After the previous issue, little time is wasted for her reunification with her deceased husband Hwen, but at the same time the forces of Ivros are on the move and March’s scheming keeps the pace moving as numerous influences seek to destabilize the barrier between the astral plane and Earth, allowing for an invasion.

At its heart this is a fairly engaging story, with a well-conceived concept, but where it fails is with the artwork.  It is not even that the artwork is bad, because the artist is evidently skilled enough, only that when superimposed upon the astral plane, that it does not help the chaos of understanding who is where, but rather adds to the confusion.  With the astral plane as essentially a setting wide open in terms of creative inspiration or imagination, it makes sense for such a setting to be unfathomably bizarre and complex, but from the reader’s standpoint, it is still necessary to have an anchor to understand it, and the artist fails to do so with this issue.

On the whole though, this still succeeds in the way that it is meant to.  Once the confusion of the artwork is bypassed, the reader is left with a story that is full of both interesting plot twists as well as well-developed characters.  The villains are evil and the heroes are good and neither in solely a superficial sense.  The heroes face difficult choices from a moral standpoint and it is in those choices where the final issue of this series is headed.

Story: Jen Van Meter Art: Roberto de la Torre
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Death Defying Doctor Mirage #4 (of 5)

THE DEATH DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE #4 (of 5)

Written by JEN VAN METER
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover by KEVIN WADA (OCT141704)
$3.99 | 32 pages. | T+ | On sale DECEMBER 17

Deep within the underworld, Mirage makes a life-or-death choice…and the life or death in the balance is hers!

The evil men who conspire against Shan Fong-Mirage make their move to destroy everything she has and everything she loves in the physical world. Faced with the obligation to cross the veil back and stop them, Mirage must abandon the spirit of her husband who she came to rescue – or give in to the wish for all she’s ever wanted, to die, and stay with him forever!

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Review: The Death Defying Dr. Mirage #3

drmirage_003_coverThis third installment in this five part series continues the journey of Dr. Mirage through the astral realm in search of her dead husband.   During her search she encounters a number of different spirits that inhabit the realm as well as malevolent forces, both on the plane and on Earth, that seek to use her for their own evil plans.  As she ventures further and further into the realm she learns more and more of the rules that help to define it, and in so doing she gains new power from this knowledge.

What is both interesting and detracting from this experience is that the reader is learning alongside the protagonist.  By journeying on the astral plane the creative team has chosen to show something which does not really exist, and in so doing its rules are open to their interpretation.  In the first two issues this did not help the story, as it focused on the chaotic land and introduced the various rules of those that inhabit it.  To be fair, I can understand that someone might have read the first two issues and found that this series was a bit too convoluted and simply chosen not to proceed.  While this might be the case, it would be unfortunate as by the third issue the series has hit its stride and it is no longer completely chaotic.  Part of the reason behind this is that the main character starts to make her own rules, or at least to understand the rules well enough that she can manipulate them to meet her own goals.  The artistic side of the story is also better here, offering less of a distraction than before and although it is still not a style that I would say works well with this story, it at least is not taking away from the story.

Although already halfway through a short series, the story is finally one which I might recommend others to read.  The series has faced an uphill battle thus far, both in introducing a brand-new character but also in introducing a brand-new realm.  It took a couple of issues to sort through the confusion, but here in issue #3 the creative team has finally pulled together their talents into something more coherent.

Story: Jen Van Meter Art: Roberto de la Torre
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Preview: The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #3 (of 5)

THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE #3 (of 5)

Written by JEN VAN METER
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN (SEP141706)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale NOVEMBER 5

Down in the darkness!

Below the veil of the living world, deep in the lands of the dead, Dr. Mirage fights her way through the evils and monstrosities that besiege the spirits. But the real monsters live in the world above, where a sinister hit squad tries to put an end to Mirage’s mission — permanently.

DRMIRAGE_003_COVER_FOREMAN

Almost American
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