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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Barrier #4 (Image Comics/Panel Syndicate) – The digital series is now in print and it’s even better physically in our hands. Absolutely amazing and timely as the series explores barriers in geography, culture, genders, language, and more.

Black Panther #1 (Marvel) – A new direction for Black Panther and it’s VERY different for the character and series. So many unanswered questions.

The Flash #47 (DC Comics) – “Flash War” kicks off!

Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1 (Marvel) – A mini-event in a way with numerous mini-series. They’ve shockingly been good so far.

Justice League: No Justice #3 (DC Comics) – It’s a turn off your brain popcorn event that’s a lot of fun to see the villains and heroes interacting. Some great moments in this one.

Lumberjanes #50 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s rare a comic makes it to fifty issues, even rarer for a smallish press comic to do so. Celebrate with this issue!

Skyward #2 (Image Comics) – Beyond creative and entertaining the story touches upon so many things like class struggle with a cool concept of a world where gravity is near gone.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Through the Mirror #4 (IDW Publishing) – The Mirror Universe comes into the Prime Universe and the story has been really entertaining. If you like the Mirror Universe Trek stories, you’ll love this.

Star Wars #48 (Marvel) – Well into an arc, we’ve been seeing the battle to liberate Mon Cala which is actually been pretty good and a solid addition to the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20 (Marvel) – Basically the Star Wars version of Indiana Jones and boy does the series work. Just lots of fun and pure entertainment.

The Winner (Retrofit/Big Planet Comics) – Karl Stevens’ amazing graphic novel that’s beyond beautiful to read and look at. An amazing small press/indie comics that’s a must get.

X-O Manowar (2017) #15 (Valiant) – Epic is the only way to describe the story that writer Matt Kindt has been weaving with a series of artists. This issue marks a new jumping on point “Barbarians” that leads directly into Valiant’s next big event Harbinger Wars 2!

Harbinger Wars 2 #2 – Matt Kindt and Tomás Giorello Dive Into the Fray on June 27th!

Valiant has released a first look at Harbinger Wars 2 #2 (of 4), the stunning second installment of the SEISMIC CROSSOVER EVENT OF 2018! On June 27th, Eisner Award-nominated writer Matt Kindt and superstar artist Tomás Giorello deliver a powerful reckoning as the world’s most powerful superhuman forces face off in a no-holds-barred fight for the fate of psiots everywhere!

From East to West, the nation has been cleaved down the middle as Livewire’s defensive attack on the U.S. power grid envelops America in darkness and sets the stage for the biggest clash of powers ever witnessed… On one side, Peter Stanchek’s ragtag team of Renegades – alongside their newly activated army of untrained and wildly unstable psiots – ready themselves for an unsparing firefight with H.A.R.D. Corps and the agents of Omen. On the other, Ninjak and Bloodshot prepare to enter Livewire’s domain inside blacked-out Los Angeles. But as the casualties pile up and the losses mount on both sides, none of them will be ready to confront the full fury of raw power personified, as X-O Manowar makes his long-awaited return after a year of self-imposed exile among the stars…and delivers a single concussive strike that will send shockwaves across the whole of the Valiant Universe!

Featuring covers by J.G. Jones, Mico Suayan, Juan José Ryp, Felipe Massafera, and Lewis LaRosa!

Peter Milligan and Robert Gill Go to War in Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 – On Sale July 25th!

Valiant has released a first look at Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1, the incendiary opening salvo of an ALL-NEW EPIC SERIES and BLOODSTAINED JUMPING-ON POINT from Peter Milligan and Robert Gill! On July 25thprepare yourselves for a perilous journey into the barbarian age as history’s first detective takes on another challenging case at the crossroads of magic, mystery, and monsters!

The Roman standard – the eagle borne at the front of each Roman legion – was more than just a symbol of the soldiers that carried it… It was a symbol of Rome itself, the ultimate embodiment of the empire’s power…

But now, in the mist-shrouded Germanic forest of Tottenwald, the unthinkable has happened: A rampaging barbarian horde has crushed three of Rome’s most highly skilled detachments in battle… and captured their mighty Roman eagles.

His authority threatened by this all-too-public shame, the mad emperor Nero has dispatched Antonius Axia, the empire’s finest “detectioner” and hero of Britannia, and Achillia, the sword-wielding champion of the gladiatorial arena, to reclaim his stolen relics at any cost.

But what began as a simple mission will soon become a terrifying journey into the dark heart of belief itself as the isolated woodlands of Rome’s enemies reveal unseen dimensions…and the true power of the legion’s lost eagles threatens to consume any who would pursue them…

Featuring covers from Cary Nord, Brian Thies, and David Mack!

Time Flies When Creating Your Very Own Comic Clock

It should come as no surprise to you that I’m a fan of Valiant comics. Well, I recently decided that I needed a clock for the nerd cave in my house so that  I can keep track of the time when recording (shameless plug) Those Two Geeks with Joe, or otherwise writing within the room (let’s pretend that had forgotten about the clock on my laptop I wasn’t just looking for an excuse to craft something). Since it was unlikely I’d find a Valiant clock anywhere, I thought I may as well go ahead and make one myself. Having made up my mind to create my own clock, I decided that since I have mediocre artistic skills, I’d make a collage of comics for the clock face.

I have never done this before.


What you’ll need to create your own comic clock:

  • Comics you don’t want anymore. I’d suggest against Action Comics #1.
  • A clock face. You can buy this at a craft shop, of sand and make it yourself depending on your level of handiness. I bought mine.
  • Clock mechanism. I found mine at a craft shop.
  • Modge podge. Also from a craft shop. It’s basically glue.
  • Paint brushes. From where ever you get them.
  • Scissors. You probably have these.
  • A sowing needle or pin.

Once I had all my supplies ready I started to cut away at a couple of comics, taking  pages and panels that I thought would be cool or would stand out. Before you get too horrified at my actions, the comics were both free; one from FCBD 2018, and one from the summer of 2017. Even still, cutting them was oddly painful.

My wife didn’t know what to make of her comic loving husband cutting comics, especially Valiant comics, into shreds.

Once I thought I had enough to cover the face, I started putting them roughly in place to see how they’d fit. Not well as it turned out, so I started chopping again.

Once I finally had enough pieces, I started playing around with placement. I figured it would be easier to remove the overlap on the edges once the comic pieces had been attached to the clock face.

At this point I had a decent idea of what I wanted, so I painted a thin layer of Modge Podge on the wooden clock face and started putting the comics down. There’s not as many pictures at this point  because I was in the zone and didn’t want the glue to dry before I’d laid the comics on the clock face. That being said, I quickly discovered that I needed less than half of the pieces I had cut out, and instead settled on some larger panels and such with only a few little additions near the top. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but each comic piece was attached with a very thing layer of the glue and pressed down tightly to avoid air bubbles popping up (but they did anyway, so I poked them with the needle).

Once the glue had dried, I shaved off the edges. Carefully.

Then I poked through the center hole of the clock before putting two more thin layers of glue on the face of the clock. Once that had dried, I put the clock mechanism together, and boom Valiant clock.

The entire process took a couple of hours, which wasn’t as long as I expected. However I did learn that Modge Podge can be tough to work with if you make a slight mistake in laying your pieces down, and that the paper will bubble when applying the glue regardless of how careful you are. The final result, which you can see below, dried remarkably well (and actually looks better the following day – of which there is no image).

All that’s left now is to hang the clock and figure out what to do with all the leftover scraps of comic…

Review: Ninja-K #7

NINJA-K_007_COVER-B_QUAHFor decades, the mysterious figure known as the Jonin trained and tutored the agents of MI-6’s Ninja Programme. In his hands, the men and women of Britain’s most elite secret service were refined into more than spies… They became human weapons capable of inflicting extraordinary damage and defying the laws of nature itself. Now, after decades thought dead, this master killer has resurfaced…and recruited a new circle of undying, seemingly ageless powerhouses from across the Valiant Universe for reasons unknown. The Jonin’s revenge will cast a long shadow – and, to meet it head on, Ninjak has assembled his own squadron of heavy-hitting heroes – including Livewire, Dr. Mirage, Punk Mambo, and GIN-GR – for the ultimate black-ops mission!

A literal team building issue as a recovering Ninjak pulls himself back together after barely escaping in one piece from infiltrating the headquarters of the Jonin, with more than half of the comic dedicated to establishing Ninjak’s relationships with the rest of the newly assembled team. There’s no lengthy exposition to set the stage, rather the body language and odd comment from the titular hero as he becomes aware of each person he’ll be working with to take on the Jonin – the man who trained most of Ninjak’s predecessors.

With the appearance of Dr. Mirage, Christos Gage is able to inject some humour into an otherwise serious comic without ever compromising the feel of the series. Despite the impending doom the team will soon have to face, there is a lot of slower moments that allow readers unfamiliar with the rest of the Valiant Universe to get a sense of who the characters are beyond Ninjak’s relationship with them, with the end result being a book that doesn’t feel like an entry in Ninjak’s solo series, but instead reads as a team book.  When it comes to the art, again, the comic is a winner. Juan Jose Ryp and Jordie Bellaire are top tier talent, and they show you why that’s the case with a varied colour pallet that highlights some wonderfully  diverse backdrops and close detail.

As you can tell, I don’t have too much to say about this issue; it’s a good read, brilliant to look at, but it didn’t generate an awful lot of loquaciousness within your humble reviewer. Essentially, if you’ve enjoyed the series so far then you’ll enjoy this.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bloodshot Salvation #9

BSS_009_COVER-A_ROCAFORT“In the wire-strewn trenches of World War I, witness the true story of a good boy gone bad, as Eisner and Harvey Award nominee Ray Fawkes joins New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and astonishing artist Renato Guedes for a special one-shot tale chronicling the never-before-revealed history of Project Rising Spirit’s first prototype in nanite enhancement: the indestructible canine weapons unit codenamed Bloodhound!

Before he found his place at Ray Garrison’s side, Bloodshot’s loyal companion learned the depths of mankind’s inhumanity toward brother and beast alike on the battlefields of France. Now, as the Kaiser’s war machine approaches, find out firsthand how a beloved comrade with four legs and a soul full of fury inspired a legacy that still stands after nearly a century!”

Just like it says on the tin, this is a story about the origin of Bloodhound. Effectively a standalone interlude, Bloodshot Salvation #9 takes us back to the World War I where a mad scientist is desperate to help the men and boys on the front lines in the Battle of the Somme by using an unstoppable weapon that could turn the tide of the war  – yup, you guessed exactly what that weapon is: Bloodhound.

Bloodshot Salvation #9 is written by Ray Fawkes with Jeff Lemire who take no prisoners in the depiction of the futility of war, and the chronic waste of life that was the Great War. Although one can argue the necessity of Bloodhound’s origin at this point in the Bloodshot Salvation run, one should not argue that we got the story at all. Especially as there’s a chance that the deeper understanding of the hound and his struggles during the conflict will play into the future issues of the series.

When it comes to the art, Renato Guedes is firing on all cylinders as he delivers an artistic performance that will have you smelling the mud, blood, sweat and fear of the trenches. Guedes uses a lot of earthy tones during the quieter moments of the comic, with the muted browns and greens mixing with the subtle greys to add a palpable sense of foreboding before the colours explode out of the page in a horror of action and carnage.

As an interlude issue you couldn’t ask for any better, because although having to wait one more month to find out what’s happening in the Deadside isn’t the most ideal scenario for the less patient among us, Bloodshot Salvation #9 more than makes up for having to wait. Whether it’s an anticipation building move that will drive some crazy or a cunningly placed interlude to allow more time to finish the next comic doesn’t worry me. This is a beautifully brutal comic with a level of darkness and horror that lies just below the surface as the scientific experimentation is only just beginning for the men who will become Bloodshot.

It’s not a must-read comic in terms of the story, but  you will kick yourself if you miss this wonderful example of sequential art.

Story: Ray Fawkes with Jeff Lemire
Art: Renato Guedes Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.4 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Andy Diggle & Shawn Martinbrough Launch “Dead and Gone” in Shadowman (2018) #4 – In Stores June 20th!

Valiant is proud to reveal your first look at a selection of lettered pages from Shadowman (2018) #4, the start of a BRAND-NEW ARC and NEW JUMPING-ON POINT in this POWERFUL ONGOING SERIES! On June 20th, renowned writer Andy Diggle and distinguished artist Shawn Martinbrough launch the next thrilling story arc, “Dead and Gone,” as they investigate the seedy underbelly of a bygone age and uncover the secrets of Jack Boniface’s long-forgotten ancestor, Max Boniface – the Shadowman of 1940s New York!

For years, Jack Boniface believed he knew the true story of the Shadowman loa – the true story of the curse inside him. He was wrong.

For the first time, Jack Boniface is about to discover the long-hidden history of the supernatural power that became his birthright. Unmoored in time and space, the loa is about to reveal its untold dimensions…and now, the last defender of the wall between our realm and the Deadside is falling backwards through the astral void, finding himself face to face with his forebears across the centuries – from the paranoia-addled alleyways of 1940s New York to the fire-scorched plantations of the Civil War…all the way back to the primeval height of the African savannah in 40,000 B.C.!

In the shock-inducing aftermath of “Fear of the Dark,” master storyteller Andy Diggle will lead a rotating cast of superstar artists – beginning with Shawn Martinbrough and continuing with Doug Braithwaite and Renato Guedes – to reveal the full scope and power of the Shadowman mythos…and how three of its forgotten champions stoked its earliest embers…with a legend-fueled odyssey into eons past as “Dead and Gone” tells all!

Ninja-K #10-14 Pre-Order Bundle Edition Deals With “Fallout” – Beginning In August!

aliant is proud to present the Ninja-K #10-14 Pre-Order Bundle Edition – available only as a pre-order set to fans who reserve the next thrilling jumping-on point, “Fallout,” with their local comic shop by the final order cut-off date (FOC) of July 23rd, 2018! The next five issues are from writer Christos Gage and dazzling interior artists Larry Stoman and Roberto de la Torre.

Released monthly from August 2018 through December 2018, each Pre-Order Edition 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 and artwork, and first looks at upcoming issues – plus exclusive covers by Philip Tan that can’t be found anywhere else!

The only way to obtain these exclusive items is to pre-order all five issues with your local comic shop by the final order cut-off date of July 23rd, 2018! No more copies will be made available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations!

The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Underrated: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior

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: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior.



wotewThis week saw the release of a deluxe hardcover edition collecting the entire 14 issue run of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior along with Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1. Fifteen comics presented in an over-sized hardcover along with 20 odd pages of bonus extras that add a lot for  those interested in the process of the creation of the series, all for $49.99. And yes, I did buy this myself (and happily so).

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior didn’t start out as a series that wowed me. The first four issues seemed to struggle with pacing and the art style, especially given the series billing as a follow-up to the explosively exciting Book Of Death miniseries that (spoiler) ended in the Eternal Warrior’s death. It’s that death, and those that follow, that form the crux of the series, but without the first four issues you don’t realize the toll taken on the Eternal Warrior with each death and resurrection cycle. The issues that I felt struggled with pacing quickly became some of the most important ground-setting in modern comics – a lesson that I took to heart, and quickly so.

It would also be fair to say that the art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin were not immediately to my taste. In furtherance to that, it would also be fair to say that my taste quickly changed as the series progressed and the elegance and artistic genius of the husband and wife team gave me a new appreciation of the majesty of sequential art.  There are other artists who contribute to the series, all with a fantastic level of talent; it’s these contributions that give the series the honour of being one of the most visually stunning and diverse pieces of sequential art published by Valiant.

Robert Venditti has written some incredible comics in his time, but one of the finest examples of his work comes in the fourteen issue run of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior. Taking you on a journey through history,  across continents and beyond death, Venditti weaves an incredibly deep tale that reveals a different layer upon each subsequent reading.

It’s also violent as all hell in places, which should satisfy the need we have for a bit of blood and conflict in our comics.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior is a fantastic series, and I envy those of you who get to read the entire thing in one sitting; the deluxe hardcover is worth picking up for that series alone, which is why I haven’t mentioned Eternal Warrior: Awakening at any point in this week’s column because that’s the cherry on top of the fantastic main course. Mixed metaphors aside, Awakening is another really good comic, and serves as another nice bonus for those who buy the collection.

I’ll  make no secret of my abject love for this series, indeed the fact I own both the individual issues and the deluxe hardcover when I also have access to the review copies should hopefully speak volumes to that love. It’s a love that I genuinely believe you’ll share when you give the series a chance – it’s an underrated gem.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Preview: Ninja-K #7

NINJA-K #7

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover A by TONCI ZONJIC (MAR182008)
Cover B by ALAN QUAH (MAR182009)
Interlocking Variant by CLAYTON CRAIN (MAR182010)
Ninjak Icon Variant by DAS PASTORAS (MAR182011)
Pre-Order Edition by RAYMUND BERMUDEZ (MAR188174)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale MAY 16th

“THE COALITION” spells doom!

For decades, the mysterious figure known as the Jonin trained and tutored the agents of MI-6’s Ninja Programme. In his hands, the men and women of Britain’s most elite secret service were refined into more than spies… They became human weapons capable of inflicting extraordinary damage and defying the laws of nature itself. Now, after decades thought dead, this master killer has resurfaced…and recruited a new circle of undying, seemingly ageless powerhouses from across the Valiant Universe for reasons unknown. The Jonin’s revenge will cast a long shadow – and, to meet it head on, Ninjak has assembled his own squadron of heavy-hitting heroes – including Livewire, Dr. Mirage, Punk Mambo, and GIN-GR – for the ultimate black-ops mission!

Renowned writer Christos Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil) and incendiary artist Juan José Ryp (BRITANNIA) unleash the next chapter in an international super-spy thriller colliding Valiant’s newest superteams together in an untold show of force!

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