Tag Archives: valiant

Review: X-O Manowar #23

X-O Manowar #23

Aric of Dacia may have left Planet Gorin behind, but its people still remember the ruin they felt in his wake…and so do the bounty hunters who sought to end his barbaric reign! Enraged by the blight on their perfect record, they’ve arrived on our world to finish the job they started – and this time, they don’t plan on taking X-O Manowar alive!

A question that often comes up in comic shops is whether you can start reading a series with the issue currently on the shelf, or if you need to start from the beginning. Valiant’s previews often claim that the start of a new arc is a good jumping on point (when coupled with the recap page and at times the reader’s willingness to accept things with only the barest of explanations) and they’re seldom wrong with that statement. As far as X-O Manowar #23 goes, this is a pretty good jumping on point should you choose to do so (though I feel obligated to tell you that the entire series is really good and worth the time and financial investment for your enjoyment).

Matt Kindt is able to establish the premise of this story remarkably quickly, and despite the fairly simple plot presented here, his writing is once again of the high quality one has come to associate with the writer. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking the simple plot (it won’t take you long to realize this is a revenge story), because for me it was actually a selling point. Kindt’s ability to develop Aric’s character in a handful of panels demonstrates his understanding of the character, and gives us a discussion about human waste that, let’s be honest, most of us have wondered about.

Once again, Tomas Giorello is freaking amazing. His art transcends traditional comics and will have you rereading this comic just to look at the pictures (or maybe you’ll take your time reading the book because your eyes demand the time to drink in the visual spectacle before you.). Whether it’s the figures, the page layouts or the use of space, both figuratively and literally, this comic features some fantastic art. Genuinely, I can’t wait to see this in print.

The one nitpick I have, and it is minor, involves the arrival of certain characters on Earth. How they got where they did isn’t quite explained, and makes little sense to me, but is far from a story-breaking moment; I’ve a feeling it may be explained later in the arc, and if it isn’t there’s a chance I won’t remember it come the next issue. X-O Manowar has consistently been one of the better comic book series over the last couple of years, and this issue is a prime example of why.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tomas Giorello 
Colours: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Story: 9.2 Art: 10 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: Livewire #2

When the superpowered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies – and now she’s about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren’t simply interested in bringing her to justice…no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world…

After the events of Harbinger Wars II, which was a perfectly forgettable and very disappointing story, Livewire has emerged as perhaps one of the most fascinating characters in comics. Much like Magneto, who will do anything to protect and defend mutantkind, Livewire’s actions have blurred the line between hero and villain for the character. She may feel she’s a hero, but is she?

The first issue saw Livewire captured and drugged by a gang of soldiers, the results of which are dealt with in Livewire #2  in a slower paced but no less emotional story. I may not have been the biggest fan of the way Harbinger Wars II was told, but I am really enjoying the way that Vita Ayala is building upon Livewire after her actions in that miniseries. Ayala doesn’t let us forget that our actions have consequences, and although there’s a stereotypical guard figure in the book, even his anger at Livewire feels understandable and justifiable because of the damage she caused.

It’s an anger that’s not just expressed through the dialogue, but visually too. Raul Allen and Patricia Martin are adept and conveying the emotions of the characters through their linework and the colours used in the comic, and often provide much more of an insight to a character’s emotional state than you’d necessarily expect from a comic book. Their style isn’t one I immediately warmed to when I first came across it, but Allen and Martin are an incredibly talented duo who subvert expectations with their work; the more you see it then the more you’re going to love it. It’s deceptively simple art – there’s very little flashy effects used, and the style is stronger for it.

Despite the intelligent use of colour this issue, Livewire #2 is a book that lives in the moral grey area. It delights in making you question your point of view and your sympathies with the main character. Whether she’s a hero or a villain is still largely in the eyes of the reader, but I can’t wait to see where the creative team take us.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: X-O Manowar Vol. 6 Agent TPB

X-O MANOWAR VOL. 6: AGENT TPB

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover by MICO SUAYAN

The Agents of G.A.T.E. vs. the Brothers of the Bomb!

Beyond 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?

Worlds collide as Eisner Award-nominated writer Matt Kindt (ETERNITY, Grass Kings) and incendiary artist Juan José Ryp (BRITANNIA) bring a new plane of existence crashing down upon our own in a brand-new jumping-on point for 2017’s bestselling series!

Collecting X-O MANOWAR (2017) #19–22.

X-O MANOWAR VOL. 6: AGENT TPB

The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1-6 Gets a Pre-Order Bundle

Valiant has announced that The Life and Death of Toyo Harada – the much-anticipated limited series by Eisner Award-nominated writer Joshua Dysart and a lineup of all-star artists – including CAFUMico SuayanButch GuiceAdam PollinaDiego Yapur, Kano, and Doug Braithwaite – is available to pre-order now at comic book stores everywhere in advance of its March 13, 2019 premiere date!

Available only as a pre-order set, The Life and Death of Toyo Harada Pre-Order Edition Bundle – six massively expanded editions of the most powerful man on the planet’s campaign to better humankind, no matter what the cost – can only be ordered together and must be reserved with your local comic shop by the final order cut-off date of February 18th, 2019!

The Life and Death of Toyo Harada will place the menacing mastermind in the spotlight as he strives to control the course of history. But with his resources dwindling after the downfall of the Harbinger Foundation and a target on his head, will the formidable psiot re-emerge as humanity’s greatest hero…or its most dangerous villain?

Released monthly from March 2019 through August 2019, each 48-page PRE-ORDER EDITION issue comes packed with trade paperback-style extras and bonus content – including creator commentary, behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of the comics, process character designs, first looks at upcoming issues, and exclusive covers by interior artist CAFU that can’t be found anywhere else – and for no additional cost!

The only way to obtain these exclusive items is to pre-order all six issues with your local comic shop by the final order cut-off date of February 18th, 2019! No more copies will be made available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations!

Preview: X-O Manowar #23

X-O MANOWAR #23

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TOMÁS GIORELLO
Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Cover B by DIEGO YAPUR
Cover C by MICHAEL MANOMIVIBUL
Interlocking Variant by FRANCIS PORTELA

NEW ARC! NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! “HERO” – PART ONE!

Aric of Dacia may have left Planet Gorin behind, but its people still remember the ruin they felt in his wake…and so do the bounty hunters who sought to end his barbaric reign! Enraged by the blight on their perfect record, they’ve arrived on our world to finish the job they started – and this time, they don’t plan on taking X-O Manowar alive!

The past catches up with Earth’s Visigoth guardian in “HERO,” an unforgettable new jumping-on point for the bestselling Valiant series from Eisner Award-nominated writer Matt Kindt (DIVINITY, Mind MGMT) and spectacular artist Tomás Giorello (NINJA-K)!

X-O MANOWAR #23

Preview: Livewire #2

LIVEWIRE #2

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN, PATRICIA MARTÍN
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by MEGAN HUTCHISON
B&W cover by ADAM POLLINA

Powerless!

When the superpowered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies – and now she’s about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren’t simply interested in bringing her to justice…no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world…

Dazzling writer Vita Ayala (The WildsSubmerged) and unforgettable art team Raúl Allén (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) and Patricia Martín (SECRET WEAPONS) back Amanda McKee into a corner as the most anticipated ongoing series of 2019 rages onward!

LIVEWIRE #2

Valiant Reveals Rai’s New Look and More Fallen World Character Designs

Valiant Entertainment has delivered a first look at AJ Jothukumar‘s charismatic character designs for Fallen World, an epic sci-fi limited series by writer Dan Abnett and artist Adam Pollina. Launching this May, Fallen World is part of the Breakthrough slate, Valiant’s lineup of new titles that are perfect jumping-on spots while also greatly expanding the shared universe’s mythos.

Feast your eyes on Jothikumar’s character designs below.


Fallen World Character Designs by AJ Jothikumar. From left to right: Acolyte of the Fallen, The Circadian, Bloodshot, Raijin, Karana, Rai, Rai, Lula, Ka’Orta, Kor’tanga Warrior
Rai Character Designs by AJ Jothikumar

Rai Character Designs by AJ Jothikumar

Alex’s Best Comics of 2018

Now that 2018 is in the history books, it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics, movies and events that really stood out for me during the year. Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

Now that 2018 is in the history books, it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics, movies and events that really stood out for me during the year. Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

In a break from last year, we’re just looking at comics (ongoing or miniseries). Eight of them in fact, that for one reason or another rocked my socks off.

 Eight

Black Badge (Boom) The only reason that this book is number eight and not higher is because I’m trying to be cautious of Recency Bias – that phenomenon where the most recent thing you’ve read swiftly becomes the best thing you’ve read. Although this series is six issues deep, I only started reading after the end of 2018 (which puts this in a grey area anyway, but the majority of the issues out thus far were released in 2018, so I’m counting it). In short, the two things that sold me on this was the short blurb from Brett “boy scouts being trained as assassins” and the fact that Matt Kindt is the writer.

Seven

Grumble (Albatross Funny Books) Although only a relatively new series, Grumble has captured my imagination and numbers highly on my anticipation list each month. Whether it’s the talking pug, the urban magic or the brilliant visual and verbal humour I don’t know. But I do know I can’t get enough of it.

 Six

Ninja-K (Valiant) The easiest way to describe this series is as a blending of James Bond and Batman with a liberal dose of ninja flavouring (which should be obvious by the title). Christos Gage’s run on this series delved into the back story of MI6’s Ninja Programme and exposed the manipulation and programming the agents (Ninjas A through J) had been subject too; often in the most subtle of ways, all to keep them as more effective weapons. Ninja-K, or Ninjak, gets thrown through the emotional gamut, and it’s fascinating reading.

 Five

The Immortal Hulk  (Marvel) I’m not generally a horror fan, nor do I regularly read Hulk comics with any real regularity, but there’s something about this series that struck a chord with me. This is how Hulk should be handled. As a monster barely constrained, ever deadly and with a massive presence.

 Four

X-O Manowar  (Valiant) A series that was really good in 2017, but swiftly became the best thing I was reading. Even with Valiant’s stumble with Harbinger Wars II didn’t affect the series despite the character featuring heavily in the story, and the series returned with a pair of arcs that went from strength to strength as Matt Kindt redefined what it means to be a hero and a superhuman (emphasis on human).

 Three

Old Man Logan (Marvel)  Old Man Logan was never going to live forever, especially not with the younger Wolverine returning at some point in the next year or so. We’ve known for awhile that there wouldn’t be much chance Marvel would keep both around (aside from an interesting interaction or two, I’m hoping there was a lesson learned from bringing the Original Six X-Men to the future), which has meant that the battles Old Man Logan has found himself in have been genuinely tense – a rarity these days in comic books.

 Two

The Highest House (IDW) Were it not for the fact that my top pick also had my favourite issue of the year, then The Highest House would have been much more likely to peak. A book about slavery, and how one’s circumstances don’t have to stay one’s circumstances, this is a hauntingly beautiful book that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the high middle ages. The collected edition is one of those books that I’ll recommend to people over and over as an example of what comics are capable of, and will in time, I believe, be held in (almost) as high esteem as Maus and Watchmen.

 One

Quantum And Woody (Valiant) When Daniel Kibblesmith was writing this book it was good, but when Eliot Rahal took over with issue 6 it was like the lights had come on. His take on the brothers was funny without ever feeling forced; I have never read a better take on Quantum and Woody. Plus, this series had my absolute favourite issue of the year. Which was also the final one. The series was continually, and consistently, of a high quality in every aspect every issue, but it’s the third that was the high point with a superb interview sequence interspersed with one of the greatest two page spreads of the year, only to culminate in perhaps the most emotional scene in any comic as one character talks to another about  his fears that due to the altered timeline he may forget his wife ever existed. Without the context of the preceding issues, one would expect that the emotional impact of the scene would be lost. I assure you, it isn’t. 

Review: Shadowman #11

The final showdown!

Shadowman #11

At long last, Shadowman is unbound…and it couldn’t have come at a worse time! Finally free from the Boniface lineage after generations of torment, the loa that once shared its gifts with Jack Boniface must now be convinced to join his cause willingly…or else the Brethren will lay waste to everything Jack holds dear!

Whenever a series ends prematurely – whether that’s due to a lack of sales, or not – there’s always the fear that the story won’t end as well as was originally planned if the number of issues allotted are shaved down. While I’m not sure if that’s the case here, there is a lot of story packed into the pages of Shadowman #11 than there has been in the last couple of issues. This has the effect of giving the comic a very retro feel; comics from the 90’s and before always seem to pack a lot of dialogue and text within the pages in comparison to more modern offerings.

Whilst I’m a fan of older comic

s, where Shadowman #11 stumbles is a lack of clarity in some sequences as the scenes transition – the art, while astonishingly brilliant to look at, doesn’t always have the backgrounds necessary to indicate a transition without narrative explanation. Unfortunately, his left me reeling a couple of times during my read through wondering if I’d missed a page, or a text box, or if I needed more caffeine.

That being said, the issue’s pacing is relentless, and hits you with one development after another – it’s the kind of comic that feels like it’s absolutely worth the money you’re spending on the book, even with the occasional stumble.

Andy Diggle closes out his time with Shadowman on a high after taking the character on a journey full of revelations and character growth as he fleshed out the mythology and history of Jack Boniface and the shadow loa. It was a successful run, and one capped off with an explosive and action fueled issue that ties up enough loose ends that you’re not left with a sense that too much is dangling in the ether waiting for a resolution that’ll probably never come, but rather with anticipation for Shadowman’s next stage.

As has been mentioned already the art by Renato Guedes and Eric Battle is spectacular, although the comic would have been stronger had there been a few more backgrounds used during scene changes or passages of time. For the most part, though, there’s very little to bemoan in regards to the artistic offering here, and credit for that should also be given to Ulises Arreola‘s colouring that goes a little way toward helping the eye follow the story breaks if you pay attention to the background colours.

As a conclusion to an eleven issue run, this is a strong comic. Diggle puts a cherry on top of a run that’s added a lot to Shadowman’s lore whilst wrapping up the story satisfactorily. Although you’re not likely to buy this issue if you haven’t at least read the final arc, you can at least rest assured that once you’ve caught up, this is a really solid cap to a brilliant run. I’m looking forward to seeing what Andy Diggle has in store for us next.

Story: Andy Diggle Art: Renato Guedes with Eric Battle
Colours: Ulises Arreola Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Shadowman #11

SHADOWMAN #11

Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Cover A by TONCI ZONJIC
Cover B by KERON GRANT
Cover C by JOHN BIVENS
Interlocking Variant by RYAN LEE 

The final showdown!

At long last, Shadowman is unbound…and it couldn’t have come at a worse time! Finally free from the Boniface lineage after generations of torment, the loa that once shared its gifts with Jack Boniface must now be convinced to join his cause willingly…or else the Brethren will lay waste to everything Jack holds dear!

The conclusion to “RAG AND BONE” unleashes anarchy as Andy Diggle (Green Arrow: Year One) and Renato Guedes (BLOODSHOT SALVATION) build to a brutal breaking point that will change Shadowman’s fate forever!

SHADOWMAN #11
« Older Entries