Tag: Valiant Entertainment

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    Fight and Flight

    Faith Herbert is a typical geek. She marks out to comic, sci-fi movies, and plays Pokémon Go. Her world is upended when she discovers that she is a psiot, possessing the ability to levitate objects and fly.

    Faith becomes immersed in a world she previously only experienced as an observer. She has the abilities and the heart to be the superhero her town needs–if she can only find the confidence.

    In Faith #6, a psiot being held captive by Project Rising Spirit has escaped and possesses the body of Zoe, a young pop star involved in an internet scandal. This psiot, named Dark Star, can cannibalize the powers of other psiots and drain energy from any living thing.

    You Gotta Have Faith

    After a run in with Zoe/Dark Star, Faith finds her own abilities weakened. Bringing down the possessed child star is only one of her issues now. She will also have to deal with the overzealous PRS, who believe they’re serving the greater good. These psiots claim they are “protecting the populace from all manner of threats.” That sounds great in theory, but in practice it means they capture and attempt to control psiots.

    Writer Josie Houser (Mother Panic) makes a rare connection with readers. Her stories about a comic book mark getting lost in her fandoms when times get tough should resonate with every reader who’s ever been a fan of anything. Faith quotes lines from her favorite nerdy movies and attends cons. It’s easy to imagine you might meet Faith at an event and strike up a conversation.


    There is an obvious weight angle with Faith, but it doesn’t seem to matter to the story. Faith’s body type is insignificant because it doesn’t define her or limit her value in any way. Artists Meghan Hetrick and Marguerite Sauvage throw all kinds of body types, skin colors, hairstyles, and complexions at the page. It all sticks and creates a believable, immersive world.

    Faith #6, Valiant Entertainment, Release date December 7, 2016, Rated 12+, Written by Jody Houser, Art by Meghan Hetrick, Cover by Philip Tan, $3.99

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    Millar & Capullo’s Reborn Is Just What Comics Needed

    New Comic Book Day November 16th

    Mark Millar turns his new series on its head this New Comic Book Day. Nightwing gets help with his nightmares, Doctor Strange starts a new arc, a new team of Renegades forms, and our magical cross country tour makes its first stop in Spell on Wheels. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Nightwing #9
    By: Tim Seeley, Marcio Takara

    It’s common that after story arcs end, a single story issue provides some transition from one story to the other. It’s rare though that such issues are also character defining. Nightwing provides a bit of unseen backstory on Dick Grayson–namely that he has been haunted by nightmares for some time. In an attempt to help, Superman uses Kryptonian tech to enter Nightwing’s dreams. The adventure this takes us on shows not only how important Nightwing is (as the glue of much of the DC Universe), but also how this new Superman really is the back-to-basics version of the character fans have been craving.

    Tim Seeley continues to prove his love for Nightwing. He captures the fun, but also underlying struggle the character has been having recently. It’s this kind of nuance that has always made Nightwing a compelling character. Marcio Takara’s art adds the layer of grit needed, but without this feeling like a typical dark Gotham book.

    Personally, Nightwing is not anywhere near my favorite Bat-Family character, but with how well this book is, this has consistently been one of my favorite offerings from DC’s Rebirth. The balance of well-written stories with a large helping of heart hits this old comic fan right where it counts. I highly suggest you make this a regular pull. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Reborn #2
    By: Mark Millar, Greg Capullo

    This is it folks. This is where the real journey begins. The glimpse of this realm that we received in the first issue does not prepare you for how fantastical everything is. Mark Millar, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and Fco Placencia really made something special with this issue. At first, you start to see typical tropes from this type of story but then they immediately turn that on its head!

    You get a proper explanation, a good look at the protagonist, a few great mysteries and a great segue into what I am sure will be an epic adventure full of emotion. Read on warriors! [Sean W. at TFAW.com]


    Doctor Strange #14
    By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Al Vey, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Antonio Fabela, Java Tartaglia

    The newest issue of the Doctor Strange comic book lives up to its name–Strange. Get ready to go to “all-new all-different” hell and pal around with Satana, the devil’s daughter.

    Wile the story reads like a quick scene in a larger narrative, I could see people really digging into this. Chris Bachalo’s art is whimsical and frenetic. He really shines when Strange takes on his astral form. Good stuff. Jason Aaron is taking a comical beat this issue and it’s rather fun to experience. I’ve had a lot of fun seeing Strange at his lowest, slowly dragging himself from the muck and rebuilding himself. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]


    Harbinger: Renegades #1
    By: Rafer Roberts, Darick Robertson

    A brand new #1 from the team at Valiant Entertainment. Harbinger: Renegades #1 is a new team of heroes. What looks to be fragments of the old Renegades team with some new faces. Like most team-up books, this issue sets up not only who the team will consist of, even if momentarily, but also who the villain is.

    Rafer Roberts’ writing is great; he creates a real world and gives the characters responsibilities and lives that fit within our reality more so than any other book I’ve seen lately. Darick Robertson does an amazing job with facial expressions–you really see the shock and awe in his line work. With the team just starting to come together, I’m anxiously awaiting the next issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Spell on Wheels #2
    By: Kate Leth, Megan Levens, Marissa Louise

    When we last left our trio of witches, they were on a road trip to get back their stolen magical items. Their first stop: Massachusetts. This issue of Spell on Wheels picks up with the gang as they meet with an old artist who purchased one of their stolen pieces. Unfortunately the package hasn’t arrived due to, you know, shipping and all. So the girls wait there until the next day for the package to arrive. Little do they know however it’s not quite that simple.

    I love the dialogue in this comic. It feels like I’m talking to a friend. Another thing I really enjoy about how Kate Leth wrote this is how strong these women are with or without magic. Next stop Connecticut! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Batman and TMNT Join Forces

    New Comic Book Day Nov 9 2016

    It’s Wednesday, and that means there are new comic book releases to talk about! Check out our other New Comic Book Day blog articles to see our thoughts on previous new releases. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1
    By: Matthew K. Manning, Jon Sommariva

    Combining my favorite iteration of Batman with the most fun version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures gives us the ’90s Batman Animated Series combined with the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. What we get is a great sense of nostalgia, combined with the upbeat sensibilities the Turtles are known for. So basically, a good time.

    Matthew K. Manning weaves a plot that sets our two worlds of heroes onto the same case in a way that respects Batman’s detective skills and the turtle’s penchant for always getting themselves into trouble. Jon Sommariva’s art does a great job of combining the very distinctive art styles from both worlds into one that makes it feel like they belong together. Where IDW and DC had these two comic book versions of the characters recently crossover, having the light-hearted and more commercially known versions of these two classic franchises join forces is a great breath of fresh air for the kid at heart. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Flash #10
    By: Joshua Williamson, Felipe Watanabe, Oclair Albert, Chris Sotomayor, Steve Wands, Carmine Di Giandomencio

    Heroics are hard. Having fantastic powers is great, but it doesn’t make one a hero. Barry Allen has been training Wally West how to use his powers, but The Flash #7 shows us that there’s more to heroics than simply running fast.

    Over the decades, The Flash has learned valuable lessons on how to save the people of Central City; he’s now using those years of experience and imparting wisdom upon Kid Flash. It’s as if Joshua Williamson is distilling decades worth of comics into digestible pieces for a new generation of comics fans.

    Williamson introduces two new Rogues, and this story promises to take us to places we’ve never gone before. I am excited to keep reading. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]


    Archer & Armstrong #9
    By: Rafer Roberts, Mike Norton, Brian Level

    A&A #9 serves as a jump on point for new readers. “Andromeda Estranged” kicks off a new arc that sets our heroes in a history lesson. You see, Earth and humans, they’re a strange anomaly within the universe. The “creators,” as we learn, didn’t mean for us to be created. They tried to steer us in the right direction but greed and power (as it always seems to) corrupted us.

    Valiant is known for creating good jumping-on points for new readers and this issue is no exception. Rafer Roberts has been doing an excellent job with this series. Issue #9 is no exception. Penciler Mike Norton and Colorist Allen Passalaqua within the first few pages have a visually striking style that works with the context, (thanks to Ryan Lee) a James Stokoe grit if you will. Once we’re back in our world, however, they go to a more familiar style that Archer & Armstrong fans are used to. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    WWE Then Now Forever #1
    By: Dennis Hopeless, Dan Mora, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Guillory, Rob Shamberger, Derek Fridolfs, Daniel Bayliss

    As a fan of professional wrestling growing up, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this issue from BOOM! Studios new WWE series. WWE: Then. Now. Forever #1. This is a reader’s first introduction to the new comic world that weaves in and out of actual stories from the WWE. This compilation issue collects a story by Dennis Hopeless about Seth Rollins’ rise and fall with his team, The Shield. Along with short stories featuring The New Day, Sasha Banks, and Tugboat. This issue also collects the San Diego Comic Con exclusive one-page stories featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, John Cena, The New Day, Sasha Banks, The Undertaker, and Dusty Rhodes.

    Headed up by a huge list of creators, this book takes the fandom seriously in some stories, has a whole lot of fun in others, and finds itself incredibly inspirational. The heroes, the heels, the over the top performances, and the drama that fans of professional wrestling have come to love and crave are all found here. If you’ve ever been a fan of any era of the WWE, WWE: Then. Now. Forever is a book for you. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Captain America Steve Rogers #7
    By: Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Joe Caramagna, Stephanie Hans

    Steve Rogers’ reality has been secretly rewritten by a sentient Cosmic Cube known as Kobik. He is now an agent of HYDRA.

    That’s all the background you need to jump aboard Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz’s Steve Rogers Captain America. Cap is no longer the bastion of freedom and morality; he’s been corrupted, and this allows Spencer to explore some important themes that his predecessors never have. Steve Rogers Captain America #7 is the start to a new arc, so now’s a good time to join along.

    Saiz’s art is expressive and emotional, particularly when it comes to depicting the book’s tyrants–the Red Skull and the bullies of 1935 that were a part of the machine that gave rise to his HYDRA regime.

    I can’t help but have optimism about the future of this comic and really, really look forward to getting our Steve Rogers back in the saddle again. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Catastrophe Looms in New Bloodshot Miniseries

    A lot of comics come out each week on New Comic Book Day. Some are good, some are bad, and some are worse. Here are a few of our favorites from this week’s new comic book releases. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Deadpool #21
    By: Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish, Ian Doescher

    Holy Tacos! More pages?! That’s right true believers, this is not an ordinary Deadpool comic. This 60 page issue contains two stories! The first, written by Gerry Duggan, unveils Wilson’s great Christmas spirit. Also, Bob and Emily Preston make a nice cameo and Mad Cap stirs the plot for further issues. The writing team for this issue has definitely made this Deadpool more like Ryan Reynolds, and I love it!!

    The second story throws you a huge curve ball by writing in iambic pentameter. For Shakespeare fans this is great, and a fun task for avid readers of Deadpool. Ian Doescher (Of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars fame) still maintains The Merc with the Mouth’s exorbitant humor. While adding a sophisticated spin to it. I give this issue 10/10 Chimichangas, so be sure to pick up your issue today! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]


    Bloodshot USA #1
    By: Jeff Lemire, Doug Braithwaite, Kano

    Bloodshot is a super-soldier. Imbued with nanites that regenerate any and all damaged cells, blood, and bone. This also allows him to impersonate others and enabling him to interface with machinery. Once controlled by the programming of Project Rising Spirit, an elite and shadowy governmental organization, Bloodshot was their enhanced operative.

    Bloodshot USA jumps right into the action as those very same nanites have been weaponized, and now spread like a virus, infecting the populace of New York. Enter Unity, the supergroup of heroes who act as Earth’s protectors.

    Can even the great Unity do anything to stop this outbreak? When a few of the members fall victim to the virus, the prospects look weak for stemming the tide. Splendid art, and well-paced storytelling keep this one moving, and as a longtime fan of the series, I am entirely on for this ride! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]


    Hellblazer #3
    By: Simon Oliver, Moritat

    John Bloody Constantine, is there any other way to say his name? Hellblazer #3 delves into what’s been hunting John as Swap Thing searches for clues as to where his love, Abby, went. Something dark, ancient, and angry is hunting our heroes.

    Simon Oliver did a great job with this issue, ensuring that if you haven’t read the previous two Rebirth issues so far, you can jump in here and be fine. Moritat and Andre Szymanowicz work well together on the art, giving us different worlds when highlighting the various environments we see in this issue.

    It’s always exciting when John is at his wits end with an unknown enemy–that’s also when he preforms best! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? Are you excited that the Bloodshot movie is in production? Join the conversation and let us know below!

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    Britannia Shows a Side of Rome You’ve Never Seen

    Britannia #1 review

    Britannia comics at TFAW.comRome has a long, and storied history of dominance across the world stage. Britannia is set during the rule of Emperor Nero, and follows a Roman Centurion named Antonius Axia.

    Political intrigue winds its way through the threads of fate for Antonius, set in motion by the Great Vestal Virgin, Rubria who appears to have plans that run much deeper than any of the cast could imagine. Antonius is being steered toward the land of Britannia, while a cult following the Lord of the Cave, Orkus appear to be looming in the shadows, out of view.

    Antonius is bestowed a codex, some greater depth of knowledge by the Vestals and it seems as though they are the ones truly guiding his path ahead. To what end? There is a dark, supernatural force lurking beyond Orkus, and the cult who revere the deity.

    This book has gripped me, though I strongly urge that this is strictly for mature audiences only. If you enjoy tales of characters such as Conan, Valiant’s own Eternal Warrior, and the like, you should definitely check out this new title by Peter Milligan (Animal Man, The Discipline) and Juan Jose Ryp (Clone, Wolverine).

    Crisp, direct, and expressive artwork was popping on the uncolored review copy which I read, but with the depth that is sure to sweep through the title in final copy, you can bet that the series is going to dig hooks in to you and draw you back for more.

    With this introduction, you need not worry about having to have read any previous comic titles as this is setting out an all new path that is so often claimed in comics these days, but unlike other titles, Britannia actually delivers.

    Swords and sorcery tales typically have a very different feel, but with Britannia being set during the Roman Empire, the series is set to deliver new feeling to the genre entirely. What are the Vestal Virgins attempting to do with Antonius, and Nero? Looks like we will have to wait and see as details emerge further with each new issue. I am ready for this journey.



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    Introducing Valiant Entertainment

    This August we want to help you start something new – Valiant Entertainment.

    Valiant Entertainment lineup

    Valiant Comics started back in 1989 – with the boom in comics during the early ’90’s Valiant was bought by Acclaim Entertainment – a Video Game developer. In 2004 Acclaim shut down. One year later Valiant Entertainment restarted and since then has gone on to create some of the most original, award-winning titles. Most recently having 50 Nominations in the 2016 Harvey Awards.

    Over most summers, like most superhero publishers, they have a big event. Now when I say “big event”, I’m not talking 30+ issues spanning 9 different titles. No, Valiant doesn’t play that game. When they do big events typically the main series is only 5 issues, and will only spread across a couple of their on-goings. This summer is no exception with their event – 4001 A.D. This series focuses on the future within the Rai comics.

    4001 A.D.
    The most ambitious comics event of 2016 brings war to the 41st century – with Rai leading the charge! One hundred years from today, Father – the benevolent artificial intelligence that governs the island nation of Japan – will gain sentience. To defend its borders, Father will take drastic action by launching Japan into space…where its people will thrive in isolation, away from the overpopulated and resource-deprived planet below.

    One thing is that all of the Valiant characters are connected in some way. Even if they are not currently interacting or on the same team. For example, Armstrong from the Archer & Armstrong series is the middle brother of The Eternal Warrior, and Ivar, the Time Walker. Even currently Faith (one of the best new characters in comics) and Archer are now a couple, having their first date within Archer & Armstrong #5. There are lots of connections within the Valiant Universe.
    Summer of Valiant 4001 A.D.
    Another thing to note about this publisher is that even though they publish “superhero” comics that are all connected, their series range from vigilante-style heroes (Bloodshot) to Sci-Fi adventures (Divinity). Even those who like comedy and wacky adventures like Deadpool will get enjoyment out of Archer & Armstrong.

    What about a story involving a suit of armor? X-O Manowar – After a brutal encounter with a mysterious enemy known as The Vine leaves him a prisoner on an alien world, the only hope Aric has of returning to his family and saving them from slavery is to seize armored suit capable of incalculable destruction and become X-O Manowar! The Vine destroyed Aric’s world. Now he will give them war.

    These and many, many more stories are being released every month. With vol 1 trades starting at $9.99 they’re easy to jump on and get hooked. Amazing creators like Matt Kindt, Jody Houser, Jeff Lemire, Jen Van Meter, Clayton Crain & so many more contribute to these characters. This Summer, take a chance, read a Valiant Entertainment title!

    Valiant Time Capsule
    If you shop with us at any of our Oregon Locations this month, pick any Valiant Entertainment product and you’ll get a raffle ticket for a weekly drawing of Valiant merchandise, including hardcover graphic novels and signed comics. Then come back on the 31st for the opening of the Valiant Time Capsule, where we’ll be raffling off items from it. This promotion is valid

    Still unsure if Valiant Entertainment is right for you? Come on by and ask us what would be up your ally based on your current reads. Valiant has something for everyone.

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    New Comic Book Day — Review for Batman, Supergirl, X-O Manowar, & Power Rangers

    It’s a big New Comic Book Day . With the end of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman Run, our comic intro to TV’s Supergirl, Tommy’s seduction to evil in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and we dive further into Valiant’s 4001 A.D. Remember these are only a few of this week’s new releases. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on past books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter! SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batman #52 By: Scott Snyder, Riley Rossmo, Greg Capullo

    In the final issue of the New 52 Batman, we get insight into the part of Batman’s life that we haven’t been able to see. We all know what made Bruce Wayne the Batman. Events drove him to be the scourge of the criminal underground in Gotham and the rest of the DCU. In this new issue, though, Batman faces a new villain that is trying to steal one of Bruce Wayne’s secrets. It’s unsure what could it be–documents of his time as Batman? A list of the Bat-family’s identities? Even worse, the identity of other superheroes?–and tension is high until the final emotional pages. In this perfect end to a truly exciting 52 issue run. Which introduced us to the Court of Owls, the amazing events of Year Zero, Joker’s return in the terrifying Death of the Family, the “final” battle between Batman and his greatest enemy in Endgame, and his return in Superheavy. This issue shows us what is most valuable to both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Realizing that if disappearing is the first step, this issue shows us what the final step is, too. I can’t wait to see what comes next in Rebirth for our favorite caped crusader! [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    4001 A.D. X-O Manowar #1 By: Robert Venditti, Clayton Henry, CAFU

    Set 100 years from now, New Japan launches its new utopian city into the sky causing a shockwave that kills millions. The UN takes a page out of Pacific Rim’s playbook and gets to work on weaponized suits of armor to combat the threat of New Japan’s devastating and callous A.I. program, Father. What they don’t realize is that Father has anticipated and prepared for this. This provides a nice background for Valiant’s massive crossover event. Robert Venditti and Clayton Henry find all the right ways to hook readers in. Venditti’s dialogue and descriptions are honed in giving the story maximum effect. Henry delivers the chilling imagery of a society putting every resource into one ultimate weapon. This triumphantly builds up the X-O Manowar suits and Father. Two key players in the main 4001 A.D. story. If Valiant’s crossover seems daunting to jump into, this book will be a nice way to get your feet wet and get a taste for the stories ahead. Plus, it has giant robots fighting against a flying city while a pink cyber assassin kills people by turning them into binary code. What more could you ask for? [Tim S. at TFAW.com]

    Adventures of Supergirl #1 By: Sterling Gates, Bengal, Cat Staggs

    If you’re familiar with the popular CBS series Supergirl, then you’re in for a treat. Since this is a number one, old and new fans will quickly fall in love with this series. This issue gives you a good idea of what type of superhero Kara is, and what her biggest values are. Similar to her well-known cousin, she believes in helping and saving everyone no matter what the cost. Overall, she believes in hope. We start off in the middle of a major fight scene between Supergirl and Rampage. Kara is not going down without a fight. She soon realizes Rampage only gets stronger with each punch she takes. As Supergirl feels like she has won, she is brutally mistaken. Supergirl is knocked out, kidnapped and her sister’s life is in grave danger. Kara wakes up in a place she’s never been with people that know more about her than she knows about them. Will she be able to save her sister? Will she be able to defeat Rampage once and for all? I guess you have to read Adventures Of Supergirl #1! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    Might Morphin Power Rangers #3 By: Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya, Jamal Campbell

    Three issues in already, for me this is a top read, and even now I can’t wait for more. Let me explain what’s been going on: post-Rita creating the Evil Green Ranger, our gang of Power Rangers saved him. Although Rita still has her witching ways, trying to break Tommy down by manipulating what he sees, hears, and dreams. She’s trying to break him, and doing a good job at it. Kyle Higgens is leading me into this new, “updated” version of my childhood. Don’t think that I mean it’s gritty and dark. It blends the original mythology/charm with the spice of today’s storytelling standards. It’s incredible & every month I get excited to read it. Don’t get discouraged if you never watched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers back in ’93. You can very easily pick this series up and connect with these heroes. Boom, Kyle, Hendry Prasetya and Jamal Campbell all do such a good job bringing back this universe. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    X-O Manowar Contest Winners Announced

    X-O Manowar ComicsWhat would it be like to be a man from the 5th Century–in control of technology that far outstrips anything the 21st Century has ever seen? That’s the question put forth by X-O Manowar, an original comic book series from Valiant Entertainment.

    We held an X-O Manowar Contest that ended earlier this month, and we’re excited to announce the winners!

    • Jacob P. from Buffalo, NY
    • Bobby K. from Athens, TX
    • Daniel C. from Carlsbad, CA
    • Chris E. from Tatum, TX
    • David M. from Springfield, OR
    • Ryan G. from Kingwood TX
    • Justin H. from Rolling Hills Estates, CA
    • A. Wilson from Reston, VA
    • Tarik B. from Silverspring, MD
    • Enrico B. from Blue Grass, IA

    Congratulations to our winners! You’ll each get a X-O Manowar #1 “talking” QR Voice Variant signed by series writer Robert Venditti, and a copy of Harbinger #1, Bloodshot #1, and Archer & Armstrong #1 as part of the contest! Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog for announcements on another hot contest soon!

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    Joshua Dysart Takes Us Inside Valiant’s Harbinger: Win Variant Comics

    Valiant Entertainment is launching an incredible spring and summer of comics, bringing back old favorites like X-O Manowar with new twists readers have really been enjoying. Next up is Harbinger, by Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans!

    Harbingers are powerful psionics who can read minds, bend steel, and break all the rules! Down-on-his-luck teenager Peter Stenchek discovers that he’s one of the most powerful Harbingers in the universe. But what will happen when he enters into an uneasy alliance with fellow Harbinger Toyo Harada, a wealthy business magnate obsessed with making the universe a better place–no matter what the cost?

    We interviewed writer Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier, B.P.R.D.) about his plans for Harbinger and what excites him most about the series! Plus, we’ve got a great six-page preview of Harbinger #1, out June 6.

    Enter our Harbinger Contest today to win one of eight Doug Braithwaite Harbinger #1 Variants (see his amazing cover, below left)!

    TFAW.com: What is a Harbinger, exactly?

    Joshua Dysart: The standard definition of a Harbinger is a person or thing that signals the approach of another. But it’s also come to mean any portent or omen. In our book the word Harbinger is used to mean many things, but primarily it’s the name of the special program where psiots (hyper-telekinetics and psychics) are awakened to their dormant powers and trained in the fine art of controlling them.

    TFAW.com: What excites you the most about writing Harbinger?

    JD: Harbinger has always been about youth culture in revolt. I think that’s an incredibly timely narrative. I’m pretty jazzed about exploring that idea through a superhero narrative. But also, I’m just excited to screw around with the whole superhero concept in general. Creating new psiots and showing how they use their powers is going to be a blast for me. I’ve only done one piece of straight-up superhero work in the past (Captain Gravity and Power of the Vril), and it’s still one of the things I’m most proud of. This will be way darker than CG, but still have some of the same inventiveness.

    TFAW.com: Have you read the original Harbinger comics?

    JD: Yes. Of course. Could you imagine embarking on this project blind? I’d be eaten alive by the fans! And rightfully so!

    TFAW.com: How closely is the new series hewing to the original premise?

    JD: That’s a hard question to answer. Characterization, pacing, tone . . . these things are all different in our series. But the broad strokes in plotting (at least when it comes to the first arc) and the thematic continuity are all still in place. All the characters you know and love will eventually show themselves, as well as many new ones.

    TFAW.com: Tell us about Toyo Harada.

    JD: Toyo Harada is a billionaire who runs a major international conglomerate of corporations that have a profound, secret effect on global affairs. Also unknown to the world is the fact that Harada possesses extraordinary psionic abilities. He is possibly the most powerful psionic on the planet (most likely activated during the Hiroshima atomic explosion in 1945).

    Harada is the epitome of ambition. His ultimate endgame is to force the rest of the species into being better to one another, whatever the cost. But building a better world is a very, very complicated thing, even for someone with great power, and he’s not adverse to doing horrible things for what he perceives as the greater good.

    TFAW.com: It seems like he originally had good intentions–to save the world from itself–but now he’s gone off the rails. Is this like if Professor X became a fanatic?

    JD: A lot of the original Harbinger is a riff on the X-Men. So yes, there’s a touch of that. But I wouldn’t say he’s gone off the rails. I’d say he’s doing what he feels needs to be done. In a way, he’s giving himself to us heart and soul. But his hubris is massive. He is convinced that his choices are the right ones. That he’s the only one who can save us. Good intentions mixed with hubris can be a bit of a blinding concoction.

    TFAW.com: Peter Stenchek is Harbinger‘s main character–and a very powerful psionic. What will he do with his newfound powers?

    JD: He will rage. He will turn against everything that’s kept him down his whole life, and before it’s done he will shake the pillars of the Valiant Universe. Boom! How do you like them apples?

    TFAW.com: The original Harbinger series featured two super-powered teams–one led by Toyo, one with Peter. Does this mean we’ll meet more superheroes–and villains–soon?

    JD: Oh yes. Most certainly. Issue #1 starts with Peter and his friend Joe and Peter’s old flame Kris. With each consecutive issue, the cast of characters will broaden. I hesitate to call anyone a hero or a villain, though. It won’t play out quite that cleanly, but there are all kinds of people with all kinds of powers and intentions coming. And yes, battle lines will have to be drawn.

    TFAW.com: You’ve done some fantastic war and horror comics, such as Unknown Soldier and B.P.R.D., but not a lot of superhero comics. What brought you to this genre now?

    JD: Thanks for the compliment! Honestly, Valiant took a chance on me. I was laboring to move towards science-fiction comics when I got out of Unknown Soldier, but [Valiant Executive Editor] Warren [Simons] came to me and offered me this chance to be a part of something that was being built (re-built) from the ground up. I couldn’t say no. And I want to try my hand at this.

    I want to build an audience and show that even though I have a different voice then what the genre traditionally calls for, that can be an asset instead of a hindrance. And maybe I can even bring something “new,” or at least “rare,” to the table. Of course the truth is that Harbinger, in many ways, has always trafficked in the familiar aspects of the genre, and taking those tropes and futzing with them just a bit is going to be fun for me, too.

    TFAW.com: What else are you looking forward to?

    JD: Once we start getting the book out I’m looking forward to the convention season. Getting out there and meeting the readers.

    Our thanks to Joshua Dysart for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Make sure to pre-order Harbinger #1 and #2 now!




    Did you see our review of X-O Manowar? Are you excited to read Harbinger? Post your comments below!

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    Comic Book Reviews: X-O Manowar, Earth 2, Avengers X-Sanction

    Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

    We’re back for another edition of TFAW’s comic book reviews. Grab a seat and watch our reviews of X-O Manowar #1, Earth 2 #1, the Avengers X-Sanction HC, and the Sucker Punch Sweet Pea Statue!

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but occasionally a spoiler slips through!

    X-O Manowar #1



    We’ve made it simple to share this video on Facebook and other social media outlets with the social networking buttons near the title. If you wouldn’t mind doing us a solid and sharing this video with your friends, we’d be eternally grateful. What should we review next week? Post your comments below and we’ll see what we can do!

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    Robert Venditti Takes Us Inside Valiant’s New X-O Manowar

    X-O Manowar ComicsWhat would it be like to be a man from the 5th Century–in control of technology that far outstrips anything the 21st Century has ever seen? That’s the question put forth by X-O Manowar, an original comic book series from Valiant Entertainment.

    Originally debuting in 1992 from Valiant Comics, X-O Manowar focused on Aric of Dacia, a man at war against the ancient Roman Empire. When he’s kidnapped by aliens and held prisoner, Aric fights his way free, discovers a suit of X-O Manowar-class armor, and returns to Earth–only to discover that 16 centuries have passed in his absence. Without family or friends–and possessing the most advanced technology known to man–Aric must find his place in the world.

    Sound interesting? You’re in luck: 10 years after the second X-O Manowar series concluded, Valiant Entertainment is relaunching their major superhero titles this spring and summer, starting with X-O Manowar–with New York Times-bestselling author Robert Venditti and famed artist Cary Nord!

    We had a chance to ask Venditti some questions about his involvement in the series and what he’s most looking forward to–read on, below. Plus, enjoy a six-page preview of X-O Manowar #1, out May 2.

    Enter our X-O Manowar Contest now to win one of 10 QR Voice Variant Cover Editions of X-O Manowar #1 signed by Robert Venditti!

    TFAW.com: How did you become involved with Valiant Entertainment, and X-O Manowar?

    X-O Manowar #1 Page 1Robert Venditti: Warren Simons, Executive Editor at Valiant, reached out to me last June. He told me about Valiant’s plans to relaunch their line, and I was immediately interested. He sent me a bunch of material on Valiant’s characters–and I did some researching on my own–and X-O Manowar resonated with me. There were a lot of Valiant characters, both heroes and villains, that I was interested in, but I had to start somewhere!

    TFAW.com: What attracted you to this story?

    RV: So many things. There’s such a strong core concept driving the book, and the blend of historical fiction and science fiction isn’t something you see very often in comics. I also liked the idea of writing for a shared universe. Most of my work to date has been creator-owned, so taking on a new challenge like this will allow me to try a different style of writing.

    TFAW.com: Were you familiar with the original series at all?

    RV: I wasn’t overly familiar with the character, but that speaks more to my inexperience with comics in general. I didn’t start reading comics until around 2000, so beyond general pop culture awareness, I wasn’t really aware of any of the established universes or characters. I’ve done my homework now, though. I wouldn’t take on a project like this without having a solid understanding of the character’s history.

    TFAW.com: How have you updated X-O Manowar, if at all?

    X-O Manowar #1 Page 2RV: We’ve used the original Valiant run as the basis for our story, but we’ve expanded on it and added to it in ways that will hopefully let the series resonate both with longtime fans and readers who are new to the character. We spent a lot of time fleshing out The Vine, the alien race who abducts Aric from his own time and is ultimately responsible for him coming into possession of the X-O Manowar armor. We’ve also added some new abilities to the armor, including one that will be the key to the first year of the series.

    TFAW.com: The original premise was of a primitive man who ends up wielding extremely advanced technology. What are the most intriguing wrinkles of that scenario to you?

    RV: Aric is at the same time the world’s most primitive and most technologically advanced person. It’s a wonderful dichotomy, and it lends itself to all kinds of storytelling possibilities.

    TFAW.com: What do you think are the key traits of our hero, Aric of Dacia?

    RV: He’s a skilled warrior and a born leader, but his battle prowess and charisma have not yet been tempered by experience. So while he has the best intentions, things don’t always turn out the way he’d hoped. A Visigoth by birth, he also grew up in a time when his people didn’t have a homeland to call their own.

    X-O Manowar #1 Page 3They were a nomadic culture, forced to get by on what they could scratch together from within the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Take a character with that type of background and give him command of the most powerful weapon in the universe, and you have a recipe for telling exciting, action-packed stories. You also have an opportunity to see Cary Nord draw some really incredible scenes.

    TFAW.com: Will X-O Manowar be encountering any of Valiant’s other heroes soon?

    RV: Absolutely. One of the big attractions of writing a project like this is you have access to a huge catalog of characters. A big part of my initial pitch focused on the ways X-O Manowar can interact with the rest of the universe.

    TFAW.com: What’s the atmosphere like at Valiant Entertainment right now?

    RV: There’s so much energy at the home office. You can feel the enthusiasm of the staff. Everyone is genuinely proud of the books, and it’s reflected in the effort they’re putting into getting the word out.

    TFAW.com: What are you most looking forward to with this project?

    RV: Working with the writers and artists from Valiant’s other titles to build the new universe. The team they’ve assembled is so rich in talent and experience, and I look forward to talking through ideas with them. It isn’t often that you get the chance to not only relaunch a character, but also help shape an entire universe, and I’m not taking anything for granted.

    X-O Manowar #1 Page 4X-O Manowar #1 Page 5X-O Manowar #1 Page 6

    We want to thank Robert for giving us the inside scoop on X-O Manowar! You can pre-order X-O Manowar #1 and #2 from us today and save 20%. Plus, save 35% on Harbinger #1, Valiant’s second series relaunch, by Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans!

    Make sure to enter our X-O Manowar Contest to win one of 10 QR Voice Variant Cover Editions of #1 signed by Robert Venditti!



    Are you excited for the return of X-O Manowar? Post your comments below!

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