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Preview: Quantum and Woody! (2017) #11

QUANTUM AND WOODY! (2017) #11

Written by ELIOT RAHAL
Art by JOE EISMA
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by KYLE SMART
Cover B (Extreme Ultra-Foil) by GEOFF SHAW
Interlocking Variant by JOE EISMA
Pre-Order Edition by RYAN LEE
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 17th

Situation Normal All Klanged Up!

Quantum and Woody are having a pretty terrible day so far – their atoms were dissolved in the middle of a nationwide disaster; they faced down their personal demons in “The Otherverse;” and now they’re responsible for bringing a malicious entity back with them! These guys can’t even finish a jigsaw puzzle without losing a whole bunch of pieces – how are they gonna put all of reality back together?

Rising star Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks) and Eisner-nominated artist Joe Eisma (Morning Glories) give the world’s worst superhero team some much-needed closure as SEPARATION ANXIETY draws the two brothers closer than ever before!

Review: Ninja-K #12

NINJA-K_012_COVER-A_KANOWith the fate of the Eternal Warrior hanging in the balance, Ninjak has tracked The Dying One – a being who reemerges in a new human body whenever they die – to a small town outside of Chernobyl. But Colin King is about to uncover secrets more unsettling than the loss of his friend Gilad. Abandoned in the wilds of the Russian wilderness, the world’s most dangerous super-spy must now survive against an unthinkable onslaught of science experiments from the twisted mind of his immortal foe!

I’m going to start off by saying I have read Ninja-K #12 twice, and both times  I found the art a little tough to penetrate, which I both enjoyed and didn’t all in the same breath. Roberto De La Torre‘s line work is very reminiscent of the 2000AD comics I read as a youngling where some of the strips would be much darker and far more murky than others. It had the effect of lending a very horror-esque atmosphere to the panels, drenching each page with an atmosphere that you would struggle to achieve otherwise. Conversely, it also meant the art was a little harder to read at first glance which encouraged the reader to really take in each page.

Likewise, Ninja-K #12.

The art is also hampered by, or enhanced by depending on your preference, the nearly monotone colouring of Jose Villarrubia. For the most parrt it worked for me, but there were moments when I found it took me a few moments to properly process what was happening during a fight scene. It is a dark and murky issue, which does fit with the theme of the story, but may turn some away from being able to fully enjoy the comic.

Which is a shame, because Christos Gage has written a really interesting issue. With the Dying One inhabiting the Eternal Warrior’s body, and having committed untold atrocities whilst doing so, we finally get to see Ninjak face off against his friend’s body after having cut his way past the henchmen of the Dying One. What I quite enjoyed is that never once is Ninjak focused on stopping the Dying One and saving thse he has manipulated verses saving his friend. It’s an interesting development for a character that has frequently been portrayed as having troubles connecting with people, because this isn’t a mission Ninjak is being paid to undertake we’re seeing the character’s genuine motivations.

Ninjak-K #12 has the potential to be a divisive comic based on the art, and while I enjoyed the visuals of the comic I can understand why you may not. Fortunately, the story more than makes up for any shortcoming you may see in the art. If you’ve been reading the arc so far, then there’s no reason for you to stop.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Roberto De La Torre
Colours: Jose Villarrubia Letters: A Larger World Studios
Story: 8.8 Art: 7.9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Faith: Dreamside #1

Faith: Dreamside’s first issue primarily sets up groundwork for what is hopefully going to be a more interesting storyline. With only the series name and a brief mention of ghosts to go on, one is left to wonder where this story might go? A quick Google search explains that Faith will be entering another realm for this adventure, the Dreamside, but it’s still a mystery as to what it may hold.

This series picks up after Faith has been framed for murder, so if you’re not caught up, that’s not a huge issue here. The story does a great job of filling in background work. That’s part of its problem though. It’s more so about recalling the past and setting up the future than living in the present. There was one glimpse of humor in a scene where Faith escapes the police with the help of a familiar face—and that leaves hope there might be more to come.

In classic Faith fashion, the art more or less follows the traditional Faith we all know and love. It’s light-hearted, charming and fun. Simple scenes like Faith with her hair wrapped up in a towel, a mundane task and a simple side note left by the artist, makes living in her world just that much more real for readers. It’s in these scenes Faith is at her best. Not a day reporter or a superhero but just a woman in her apartment hanging out.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should pick this issue up, I’d wait for the collection bundle if you’re truly a fan. This particular issue doesn’t offer much but a slow build. We can only hope that the issues to follow will offer more and be worth the wait.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Dave Sharpe

Preview: Ninja-K Vol. 2: The Coalition TPB

NINJA-K VOL. 2: THE COALITION TPB

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE LANPHEAR
Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN

“THE COALITION” spells doom!

A once-loyal agent has defected from the ranks of MI6’s most elite espionage unit… and Ninjak has been dispatched across the globe to prevent his secrets from plunging the world into chaos. But, in the shadows of Mexico City, Colin King is about to discover something far more deadly… The Ninja Programme’s own former sensei, the Jonin, has assembled a conspiratorial circle of enigmatic enemies – the Dying One, Kostiy the Deathless, Linton March, and The United’s Ultimo – for a purpose so sinister that even Ninjak can’t risk engaging them alone. Enter: Livewire, Punk Mambo, Dr. Mirage, and GIN-GR – Ninjak’s brand-new black ops team with a very specific set of skills…and a license to kill the unkillable!

Collecting NINJA-K #6-9.

$14.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 10th
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 978-1-68215-281-2

Preview: Ninja-K #12

NINJA-K #12

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by DAVE LANPHEAR
Cover A by KANO
Cover B KOI TURNBULL
Ninja Programme Variant by ADAM GORHAM
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 10th

Catch me if you can!

With the fate of the Eternal Warrior hanging in the balance, Ninjak has tracked The Dying One – a being who reemerges in a new human body whenever they die – to a small town outside of Chernobyl. But Colin King is about to uncover secrets more unsettling than the loss of his friend Gilad. Abandoned in the wilds of the Russian wilderness, the world’s most dangerous super-spy must now survive against an unthinkable onslaught of science experiments from the twisted mind of his immortal foe!

“FALLOUT” continues as renowned writer Christos Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil) and celebrated artist Roberto de la Torre (THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE) lead a manhunt for the ages!

Review: Faith: Dreamside #1

FAITH_DS_001_COVER-A_SAUVAGEEven before Faith Herbert, AKA Zephyr, gained the power of flight, joined the Harbinger Renegades, and soared through the skies of the Valiant Universe, deep down she was always a hero at heart. But what’s a hero to do in the face of a foe that exists only in nightmares? Face them head-on, of course! To protect the dreams of her teammate, Animalia, Faith must venture into a fantastical new realm the likes of which we’ve never seen…and she’ll need some help from the world’s premiere parapsychologist, Dr. Mirage, to make it back with her subconscious mind still intact!

One of my favourite things about Faith, and specifically how Jody Houser writes her, is that there is a genuine sense of happiness that she is a superhero. Which gives this comic a really uplifting vibe as Faith’s positivity and optimism is still very much present and a part of her character despite the dark times she’s going through (y’know, being framed for murder and all isn’t overly fun).

Faith was one of the series that I was most excited to read when it was being published, and Houser has been able to effortlessly recapture everything I loved about that series in one issue. For those of you who, like me, missed Faith’s solo series (and the Future Force spin off) then you’re going to be super happy with this comic’s direction. You’ll also be happy with MJ Kim‘s artwork. Kim’s style is suite perfectly toward the highflying superhero, and easily veers from a wide eyed innocence to panels that convey more emotional weight than you would expect given the text around them.

And this is all in the first half of the book (it gets better, too, but you’ll need to read that for yourself).

Faith: Dreamside #1 took me by surprise when I read it (so much so that it took me a week to finally sort my thoughts out on it). I always try to go into each comic without any expectations, but I’m only human – Dreamside exceeded the expectations I had for it. This book was a genuine pleasure to read from cover to cover, and reminded me once again why I love reading comics.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

NYCC 2018: Valiant Unveils Panels and Signings

It’s that time of year again… The air’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and Valiant Entertainment is gearing up for another jam-packed New York Comic Con, the biggest celebration of pop culture and comics on the East Coast!

From Thursday, October 4th to Sunday, October 7th, join Valiant at Booth #1635 in the Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side and discover why Valiant is one of the most talked-about comic book publishers in the industry! Check out an extensive selection of award-winning comics and graphic novels –  plus a vast array of enthralling exclusives, must-have merchandise, and giveaways that can’t be found anywhere else!

Comic writers, artists, and professionals from Valiant’s powerhouse pool of creative talent will be dropping in for signings all weekend long, including:

  • Vita Ayala (LIVEWIRE, The Wilds)
  • Ken Lashley (BLOODSHOT RISING SPIRIT, X-Men)
  • Peter Milligan (BRITANNIA, Detective Comics)
  • Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH, BRITANNIA: LOST EAGLES OF ROME)
  • Andy Diggle (SHADOWMAN, INCURSION)
  • And more!

Plus: If you’re looking to enter the comic industry, Valiant’s hardworking editorial team will be holding portfolio reviews every day of the convention, from 11 am to 12 pm EST and from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm EST at Booth #1635! Stop by to receive personalized one-on-one guidance from a member of our prestigious editorial team! Portfolio reviews are first come, first served, so don’t be late!

But that’s not all! Make sure you don’t miss a single second of Valiant’s New York Comic Con panel presentations!

On Thursday, October 4th, head to Room 102 at 2:45 pm ET to kick off the festivities with VALIANT 101: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO VALIANT! New to the Valiant Universe? There’s never been a better time to become a fan! Jump on board right here with a fun-filled introduction to the origins and adventures of Valiant’s greatest heroes, from past hits like HARBINGER to current bestsellers like X-O MANOWAR, and brand-new upcoming titles featuring FAITH, BLOODSHOT, LIVEWIRE, and more! Valiant has been hailed as the premier superhero publisher in comics today. Now, look no further than this panel to find out where to start!

The fun continues on Saturday, October 6th at 7:30 pm ET in Room 1C03 with VALIANT: THE VOICES OF VALIANT BEYOND! Sit in on an in-depth discussion from the unstoppable talents behind the publisher’s latest initiative, VALIANT BEYOND, as they reveal behind-the-scenes looks at their upcoming Valiant titles, insider information about the creative process, and more – featuring writers Vita Ayala (LIVEWIRE), Andy Diggle(SHADOWMAN, INCURSION), Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson (BLOODSHOT RISING SPIRIT), and other incredible special guests!

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For August ’18

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Comics not in Diamond’s top 100 sellers for August


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have a definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping  that you decide to check at least one of these series out next time you’re looking for something new either online or at your LCS, and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find four to six comics that are worth your attention that failed to crack the top 100 in sales. The only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 100 for July’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.


 

 

Valiant High #4 (Valiant)
August Sales Rank/Units Sold: 405/2,100
Why You Should Read It:
Do you like Archie Comics? Are you a fan of reimagined superheroes? Then this is a series you’ll want to check out. Obviously familiarity with Valiant will help, but this four issue mini (or the trade) is still enjoyable if you’re new to the company’s comics. And you get a great idea as to who they key characters are if you don’t know, too.

Walt Disney Showcase #6 (IDW)
August Sales Rank/Units Sold: 366/2,693
Why You Should Read It:
Sometimes, you just need a little bit of something different in your comics reading. Especially if you’re more inclined to longer, darker stories the likes of which you don’t get here because it’s Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. Plus the Disney comics are just fun.

Ninja-K #10 (Valiant)
August Sales Rank/Units Sold: 314/3,608
Why You Should Read It: 
Because the standalone (relatively) nature of this story is a great intrduction to the characters within and the nature of the story that’s unfolding. Plus, there’s all the high tech ninja action you could hope for in a comic that also tells a quality story.

Terminator Sector War #1 (Dark Horse)
August Sales Rank/Units Sold: 201/7,626
Why You Should Read It:
Are you a Terminator fan? If you are, then this comic is a must read. Sarah Connor wasn’t the only target of Skynet in the 80’s. There was another target – a police officer – who also gives birth to an important resistance leader.

Multiple Man #3 (Marvel)
August Sales Rank/Units Sold: 144/14,462
Why You Should Read It: 
Because Mathew Rosenberg’s writing is perfectly suited to this style of story. As a five issue miniseries, you may want to wait for the trade at this point, but there’s nothing stopping you from hunting the back issues if you want to experience this story. And you should. Because it’s awesome on multiple levels (see what I did there?).



Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Review: X-O Manowar #19

XO2017_019_COVER-A_ROCAFORTBeyond time, space, and reality, there lies the Unknown…and now it’s coming here! When soldiers from a mysterious foreign realm arrive on Earth, it’s up to the armored Visigoth known as X-O Manowar – newly returned to the planet and now the leader of his own elite G.A.T.E. unit – to deal with the intrusion. But are these otherworldly emissaries truly the threat they appear to be, or does a larger danger loom over the Valiant Universe still?

I’ve been fortunate to read a lot of X-O Manowar over the last year, and not once have I felt that I’ve gotten to know Colonel Jamie Capshaw as well as I have from this issue. By using her essentially as the point of view character for the issue, Matt Kindt further explores the impact and influence of X-O Manowar on the world around him.

In terms of establishing a new arc, Kindtkicks things off with a steadily paced issue that is as good a jumping on point for new readers as any other that you’ll find. Through Capshaw’s narration we get a good grasp on who Aric is (and how she sees him) which is more than enough to enjoy the comic in your hands. For those of you who have been reading X-O Manowar across all 75 issues since the 2012 relaunch then you’ll notice how the character has grown – his experiences are literally scarred into his body, but there’s also a weight to his presence and movements that backs up all he’s gone through. Juan Jose Ryp‘s hyper detailed style suits this story (and specifically a wide-eyed officer), and X-O himself.

Kindt sets a lot up in this issue, none of which I’ll reveal here in detail as it’ll be much more fun for you to see why Capshaw is more than just a suit. For my money (and I will be buying this issue) this arc is shaping up to be one of the most exciting things we’ve seen Kindt do with the series this year.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Harbinger Wars 2 Aftermath #1

HW2_AFTERMATH_001_COVER-A_ALLENThe power’s back online and the fighting is over…but who are the real victors of Harbinger Wars 2, and what was truly lost in the carnage? For those who survived the terrible onslaught – and who must now witness the devastating aftereffects of their actions – will there ever be peace again?

That the version of Harbinger Wars 2 we got differed from the version that was hinted toward in the years and months prior to the first issues (months that included a company buyout and some staff turnover), shouldn’t be in doubt. Regardless of what the intended direction for the story was, and how good that may or may not have been, we didn’t get that story. Instead Harbinger Wars 2 turned out to be a chaotic event with genuine consequences for the Valiant universe, but it was an event that didn’t quite live up to the hype. Harbinger Wars 2: Aftermath does a little to redeem the story, allowing the events of the finale to breath, but is far from required reading. Especially if you didn’t read Harbinger Wars 2. 

Despite not being required reading this isn’t a bad comic, but nor is it anything special. Harbinger Wars 2 Aftermath #1is a perfectly average comic that has some moments that trend toward the quality you’d expect of this creative team, but those moments don’t quite balance out the missteps in the art or the plot.

To be clear this isn’t a bad comic, and it is worth reading – if you have read the event. If not? The parts of this comic that will prove relevant in future series will doubtless be recapped within those comics which makes this a comic for completists and collectors, and not necessarily one for everybody else.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Adam Polina
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 6.8 Art: 7.4 Overall: 7.1
Recommendation: Read if you’ve read the event, Pass if you haven’t

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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