Tag Archives: turok

Retro Review: The Unity Saga

This week Valiant Entertainment have been focusing on the superhero team Unity as their Hero Of The Week, an initiative the company are undertaking to give readers and Valiant fans something to look forward to while the comic industry is on pause.

Valiant Entertainment is the company launched by a group of folks who purchased the first Valiant’s original character rights (Solar, Magnus and Turok were licensed characters used by the original iteration of the company, and weren’t included in the sale which is why you don’t see them in the modern books). The two eras of comics often differentiated by VH1 for the original publisher and VEI for the modern company (there is a VH2, but that’s not relevant right now). Given VEI’s tendency to reuse the names of VH1’s heroes, teams and comics in ways that pay homage to the original, or just as a tip of the hat to fans familiar with the VH1 era, I thought it would be interesting look back at the VH1 version of Unity.

Unity was an eighteen chapter crossover that took place from August – September of 1992 across seven different series published by Valiant Comics, with each of the publisher’s ongoing series dedicating two issues to the crossover. X-O ManowarSolar, Man Of The Atom; Shadowman; Rai; Magnus, Robot Fighter; Eternal Warrior; Archer and Armstrong; as well as prelude and epilogue under the Unity name each had a blue banner across the top of the cover, with artwork that formed two interconnecting images of eight comics. Both Eternal Warrior and Archer and Armstrong were launched during the crossover, with both the first and second issues having the blue banner.

The cover to first part of the story as it appeared in the individual series form a giant interconnected image.

The crossover was unique in that if you only read one series, say X-O Manowar, and had no intention to read the entire crossover, then you could read just the two chapters in X-O Manowar and still enjoy an almost complete story across those two chapters. That’s something that works very strongly in favour for the ongoing series that Unity crosses over, but when reading the story twenty-six years later it does have the effect of causing a sense of repetition as numerous scenes are retold – often from another character’s perspective, but not always. This also allowed for a slower build for the story, almost too slow by today’s standards, with a non-linear timeline that is perhaps necessitated by each contributing series having a complete story across both chapters.

The plot of Unity focused on a being of pure energy, much like Solar, called Erica Pierce who sought to unify all of time into one place, known as the Lost Land, where time moves incredibly slowly in comparison to the rest of the time stream. From the Lost Land, one can enter the timestream at any point, except in the Lost Land’s past, making the place a time nexus.It’s for this reason that Pierce wants to consolidate the timeline and eliminate anything that is not in the Lost Lands. Understandably, the heroes of the Valiant universe, both past and present, band together to stop her.

The covers to the second part also form a larger image when pieced together.

It’s the past and present of the heroes that’s interesting as we get the Eternal Warrior from the 1990’s and the Eternal Warrior from 4001 in the room at the same time, which leads to some interesting interactions between the two characters. What I was perhaps most surprised about was the ease of which you could read the series from start to finish without any knowledge of 90’s Valiant; now obviously I am more than a little familiar with post-2012 Valiant, so I may have had some advantage there, but one could also easily make the case that going in with knowledge as to who the characters are now doesn’t make it easier to read about who they were. It’d almost be like a Marvel vs Ultimate Marvel, or DC before and during the New 52 and then the Rebirth era. Similar, but not the same. More of a case of the new being inspired by the old.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the crossover, and was equally as surprised when I found myself collecting the original Valiant comics as a result. It was an epic story but because it was also designed to be ready easily if you only picked up some of the series involved, say Magnus, X-O Manowar and Harbinger, when reading every single issue you will notice there is some overlap. Often from a different perspective, but it lends those issues a feeling of familiarity that can be hard to shake. Although given the time displaced setting, one can argue that this familiarity is an added layer to the story – and the saga never shies from going in depth with the character’s emotions and thoughts, which is ideal if you’re starting to read VH1 comics with Unity as I did.

As a crossover story by a then young company, this was as ambitious as it was daring. Unity is the benchmark that other Valiant crossover stories are often held to, even today. After reading the story, I understand why.

Because some of the characters and comics included in the story are no longer under VEI ownership, it can be very hard to find the trades of Unity. Fortunately, the floppies are still relatively easy to track down for a very reasonable price. I don’t think I paid more than $4 for any of the books with the average being between $1-2. That is a great price considering what’s presented in this story.

Do you think that this kind of line wide crossover could work in today’s market?

Preview: Turok #5

Turok #5

writer: Ron Marz
artist: Roberto Castro
covers: Rags Morales (A), Butch Guice (B)
Rags Morales (RI-B/W), Butch Guice (RI-B/W), Rags Morales (RI-Virg), Butch Guice (RI-Virg)
FC | 32 pages | Action/Adventure | $3.99 | Teen+

All secrets are revealed as Turok faces the ultimate truth of the Lost Valley, and his place in it, when he is confronted by a seemingly endless array … of Turoks! Will the revelations be enough to return Turok and Andar to their home? Or will the brothers be forever marooned in a land of hungry dinosaurs? Writer Ron Marz and artist Roberto Castro continue to deliver prehistoric perfection!

Turok #5

Preview: Turok #4

Turok #4

(W) Ron Marz
(A) Roberto Castro
(CA) Rags Morales
$3.99

Turok discovers the greatest mystery of the Lost Valley is … Turok himself?! Stunning revelations abound as Turok learns the long-buried truth about the Lost Valley, and about himself. Now he just has to live long enough to escape this time-lost land and the fate waiting for him thanks to the bounty hunter who has doggedly pursued him. Oh, and dinosaurs too! More prehistoric peril by Ron Marz and Roberto Castro!

Turok #4

Preview: Turok (2018) #3

Turok (2018) #3

writer: Ron Marz
artist: Roberto Castro
covers: Rags Morales (A), Butch Guice (B)
Rags Morales (RI-B/W), Butch Guice (RI-B/W), Rags Morales (RI-Virg), Butch Guice (RI-Virg)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen+

Turok and Andar are on the verge of solving the secrets of the Lost Valley, if they can just avoid becoming dinner for hungry dinosaurs!

Meanwhile, the cavalry soldiers might betray the brothers in order to find a way home, the mysterious bounty hunter reveals his true (and shocking!) nature, and Turok comes face to face with a woman who could become his greatest ally … or his worst enemy! Classic adventure for a classic creative team!

Turok (2018) #3

Preview: Turok (Vol. 4) #2

Turok (Vol. 4) #2

writer: Ron Marz
artist: Roberto Castro
covers: Bart Sears (A), Butch Guice (B)
Bart Sears (RI-B/W), Butch Guice (RI-B/W), Bart Sears (RI-Virgin), Butch Guice (RI-Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen +

Turok and Andar pierce the veil and find themselves out of time, literally, in the Lost Valley! The Kiowa warriors are surrounded by hungry dinosaurs, and their only possible allies are the cavalry soldiers sworn to capture them. But all is not as it seems in the time-lost land, and the key to solving the mystery might well be the shadowy bounty hunter dogging Turok’s trail. Dino doings from Ron Marz and Roberto Castro!

Turok (Vol.4) #2

Around the Tubes

Turok #1

The weekend is almost here! What fun things do you all have planned? Sound off in the comments. While you wait for the work day to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Newsarama – CW Announces 2019 Premiere Dates for Arrow, DC’S Legends of Tomorrow, iZombie – Mark your calendars.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics – Laurel Lynn Leake’s Emotionally Powerful Poetic Abstract Comics – Free comics!

Reviews

Atomic Junk Shop – Tumult
Comics Bulletin –
Turok #1

Review: Turok #1

A new hero rises! Turok pursues his kidnapped brother… in the Badlands of the Old West! In the waning days of the Indian Wars, the U.S. cavalry has captured Andar, but Turok will stop at nothing to rescue him. But that quest will lead Turok, Andar and even the soldiers to a strange, lost land inhabited by creatures beyond their imaginations. This is Turok as you’ve never seen him before … and Turok as you’ve always seen him!

If you’ve been reading Graphic Policy’s reviews for some time, then it will probably come as no surprise to you that I’m a Valiant fan. I’ve also been delving into the original Valiant comics from the 1990’s, and one of those series I’ve been picking up is Turok back when Valiant still had the license. So when I saw that Dynamite had started publishing another series, I was curious. Curious to see whether it would be easy enough to pick up if you never touched the cancelled series from 2017 (because I missed that, too), and curious to see if it was even worth reading.

Turok #1 is written by Ron Marz with art by Roberto Castro and colours by Salvatore Aiala, and kicks off in the American West of 1873 as Turok hunts those who have taken his brother Andar captive. The comic’s plot is remarkably simplistic (even more so if you’re aware of Turok’s more traditional setting, whether from videogames or the old comics), but a simplistic plot doesn’t mean the writing is bad; it just mean that Ron Marz didn’t waste any time in getting Turok where he was bound to end up. Honestly, instead of a half an issue or so, I expected at least an arc to pass before we saw a change of scenery. Turok’s first issue is a well paced comic that dispenses with any extraneous plot points, and gets us right to the arrow tipped, uh, point.

Artistically, Roberto Castro and Salvatore Aiala are great. The (digital) pages leave you in no doubt what’s happening, or where, as the story progresses. A pleasure to read and look at, this comic has a really enjoyable feel to it; I went in expecting to get an action comic, and that’s exactly what I got. I have no complaints about this issue in any way shape or form.

Ultimately, a refreshingly fast paced comic with some solid art make Turok #1 a comic that’s just begging to be read by any who are curious.

Story: Ron Marz Art: Roberto Castro
Colours: Salvatore Aiala Letters: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Turok #1

Turok #1

writer: Ron Marz
artist: Roberto Castro
covers: Bart Sears (A), Butch Guice (B), Jefferey Veregge (C), Roberto Castro (D)
Roberto Castro (RI-Virgin), Butch Guice (RI-Virgin), Jefferey Veregge (RI-Virgin), Roberto Castro (RI-B/W), Butch Guice (RI-B/W)
FC | 32 pages | Sci-Fi/Fantasy | $3.99 | Teen+

A new hero rises! Turok pursues his kidnapped brother… in the Badlands of the Old West! In the waning days of the Indian Wars, the U.S. cavalry has captured Andar, but Turok will stop at nothing to rescue him. But that quest will lead Turok, Andar and even the soldiers to a strange, lost land inhabited by creatures beyond their imaginations. This is Turok as you’ve never seen him before … and Turok as you’ve always seen him! Written by acclaimed storyteller Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Silver Surfer, Witchblade), with exquisite art by Roberto Castro (Red Sonja, Flash Gordon).

Turok #1

Preview: Turok Vol. 1: Blood Hunt TP

Turok Vol. 1: Blood Hunt TP

writer: Chuck Wendig
artist | cover: Álvaro Sarraseca
FC | 140 pages | $19.99 | Teen+

COLLECTS ISSUES 1-5 PLUS BONUS MATERIAL

The fascist Saurian soldiers of the Varanid Empire-part dinosaur, part man, all bad news-have seized control of the Lost Valley, and only the mysterious man known as Turok is willing to stand against them! But the all-new Turok only cares about one thing: he’s on a quest to track down a missing girl – and she might hold clues as to how the Lost Valley has changed so much!

Now Turok must infiltrate a prison camp run by the Varanid Empire in order to get more information about her whereabouts — and beware, any Varanid soldier who gets in his way – because there’s a reason they call him the Dinosaur Hunter!

Those Two Geeks Episode Twenty Two: Planes, Tangents and More

On the docket this week: The geeks use fancy editing to cobble together both halves of the podcast after the recording stopped midway through. I Love Tom King, But… makes another return as do the tangents the geek are known for. Joe also had some trouble at the airport.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

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