May 25, 2012

The Compost Pile

Thoughts on Valiant Comics’ August Solicitations

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Newsarama published the August solicitations from Valiant Comics last week.

Just like last month, here’s some thoughts on these August solicitations.


Archer Armstrong 01 Cover

Archer & Armstrong #1 Cover

Written by Fred Van Lente

Art by Clayton Henry

Cover by Mico Suayan

Pullbox Exclusive Cover by Clayton Henry

Variant Covers by David Aja & Neal Adams

It’s a globetrotting quest for the Valiant Universe’s greatest secrets, from the New York Times bestselling team of Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Zombies) and Clayton Henry (Uncanny X-Men)!

Obadiah Archer was born and raised to cherish three things above all else: the faith of his parents, the love of his 22 brothers and sisters, and his lifelong mission to defeat the ultimate evildoer. Now, after years of training, Archer has been dispatched to the heart of America’s festering modern day Babylon, aka New York City, to root out and kill this infamous Great Satan. Unfortunately, dying has never been easy for Archer’s target — the hard-drinking, 10,000-year-old immortal known as Armstrong. Together, this unlikely pair of heroes is about to stumble headfirst into a centuries-old conspiracy that will bring the whole of ancient history crashing down on the modern day Valiant Universe. And that’s going to mean one Hell of a hangover.


On Sale August 8

Thoughts on Archer & Armstrong

Archer Armstrong 1 Henry pullbox cover

Archer & Armstrong #1 Clayton Henry Pullbox Variant

The fourth and last title in the #SummerOfValiant!

Archer & Armstrong was the favorite of many folks back in the days of Barry Windsor-Smith’s legendary 12-issue run on the book (well, it should be legendary).

A naive Obadiah that is the world’s greatest hand-to-hand fighter? Check.

A washed up, immortal Aram that prefers his bottle to anything else? Check.

An ancient conspiracy that thinks that Armstrong is the spawn of Satan? Check

The odd thing about this book is that is seems like it will be very different from the rest. It doesn’t seem to be taken a wild action bent, with big important ramifications to them, like in the other books. This seems appropriate, since the entire concept of Archer & Armstrong was very different from the rest of the books back when it was first published in 1992.

It seems like they are keeping the core concept to Archer & Armstrong intact, so all the ingredients are there. The question is, will they be mixed up correctly?

Also, I expect to laugh when I read this book. In a good way.


Bloodshot 2 cover

Bloodshot #2 Cover by Arturo Lozzi

Written by Duane Swierczynski

Art by Manuel Garcia & Arturo Lozzi

Cover by Arturo Lozzi

Variant Cover by Andy Brase

Waking up inside a body bag is no way to start the day.

But that’s where you are, and worse yet, you’re 35,000 feet above the desert, guarded by the some of the toughest soldiers on the planet. You’re being flown back to the people who created you, who may have even betrayed you. You’re having a hard time separating your false memories (of family, duty, country) from the grim reality (of bullets, blood, screaming). Who’s really on your side? Why were you created? Where does the “real you” end and the programming begin? There’s only one way to find out – by reaching up and zipping open this bag. And God have mercy on anyone who comes face-to-face with the weapon — no, the man — no, the soldier — known only as Bloodshot.


On Sale August 15

Thoughts on Bloodshot

Bloodshot 2 cover Brase Variant

Bloodshot #2 Andy Brase Variant Cover

The solicitation for the first issue of Bloodshot was unique, it was written in the second person. You are Angelo Mortalli. You are Raymond Garrison. You are Bloodshot. Etc.

This solicitation continues this writing style. It gives us a cool look into the thoughts of Bloodshot, as he no doubt begins a bloody rampage in true Bloodshot style.

They are flying Bloodshot back to the people that created him, which was Iwatsu and Project: Rising Spirit in the original Bloodshot. Will his creators be the same in this version? It seems like he is some sort of Military project from some earlier info and solicitation.

It sounds like Bloodshot will be struggling as much with figuring out who he is, and what is happening in his head, as he is with struggling to blow his ay out of whatever situation he is in.

I hope that this book includes this inner struggle, I think that gets closer to the root of what makes Bloodshot such a great character.


Harbinger 3 cover

Harbinger #3 Cover

Written by Joshua Dysart

Art by Khari Evans & Lewis Larosa

Cover by Arturo Lozzi

Variant Cover by Patrick Zircher

Welcome to the Harbinger Foundation. Class is now in session.

Throughout his whole life, Peter Stanchek has been confused by his strange powers and their effect on those closest to him. Now, having abandoned everything he knows, Peter has escaped to the confines of Toyo Harada’s Harbinger Foundation where his new training will temper his body, torture his mind and reawaken the horrors of his past. But is all of this truly giving Peter more control over his power? Or simply making him far more dangerous than he’s ever been before?


On Sale August 15

Thoughts on Harbinger

Harbinger 3 Zircher Variant cover

Harbinger #3 Variant Cover by Patrick Zircher

Pete in the Harbinger foundation.

We never actually saw this in the original. He never put on the Harbinger Foundation uniform, practiced with the eggbreakers, and joined the team. Looks like we’ll see that in this book, it seems to be a bit of a difference from the original.

Also, Pete found out pretty quickly in the original incarnation of Harbinger that Toyo Harada is not the good guy. I’m looking forward to seeing Harada use and manipulate Pete in this version.

I also hope that we will see some of our other recognizable characters in this issue. One of the promo images that Valiant has been throwing around shows Pete with Kris and Zephyr. Maybe they’ll be at the foundation? Will Kris have a Harbinger ability this time around?

And most importantly, when is Flamingo gonna show up. That’s who I wanna see.

And what’s this about “horrors from his past”? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what kind of tortured soul Pete is.


X-O Manowar 4 cover

X-O Manowar #4 Cover

Written by Robert Venditti

Art by Cary Nord

Cover by Doug Braithwaithe

Variant Cover by Don Kramer

X-O Manowar vs. 2012 A.D.

With the enormous power of the X-O Manowar armor at his command, Aric has returned to Earth hell bent on destroying the Roman Empire. But the Rome he encounters is as alien to him as the Vine colony ship he escaped from – because 1,600 years have transpired in his absence. Without fully understanding the consequences of his actions, will Aric’s first act in the modern day ignite a new world war? Meanwhile, the secret history of the Vine’s presence on Earth is finally revealed. Who is corporate mogul Alexander Dorian? Will he be Aric’s one ally in this strange new world – or his very first enemy?


On sale August 29

Thoughts on X-O Manowar

XO Manowar 4 Kramer Variant Cover

X-O Manowar #4 Variant Cover by Don Kramer

This one looks good. This one looks like we’ll be getting to what X-O is all about: a man out of time.

I love that the cover shows Aric in modern day Rome. Of course he would come back to crush the Roman Empire, and of course he would start at the heart, by destroying Rome.

I’m expecting a bunch of mayhem when Aric arrives.

Should be good.

I feel like the first three issues of the series will be working to get us here, to the point where Aric crashes into modern day earth. With this issue, we’ll get to see the totality of what X-O Manowar is all about, and what we can expect to get from the series.

I’m also looking forward to the secret history of the Vine on earth. The planting of the Vine baby was the most intriguing part of the first issue, I’m looking forward to seeing more about this.

And is Alexander Dorian our new Ken?

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