August 24, 2012

The Compost Pile

Thoughts on Valiant’s November Solicitations

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Shadowman 1 Cover

Shadowman 1 Cover

“Blackout” Pullbox Exclusive Variant by PATRICK ZIRCHER

The next epic expansion of the Valiant Universe starts this November in a new ongoing series by comics superstar Patrick Zircher (Captain America, Thor: Ages of Thunder) and Harvey Award nominee Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Team 7)!

There’s a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true. As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the legacy he was born to uphold. As Shadowman, Jack is about to become the only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But is the mantle of Shadowman a blessing or a curse? And what is the true cost of his otherworldly power?

The rebirth of a Valiant icon starts right here when Shadowman strikes this November!

$3.99 US/Rated T+/32 pgs.

And here’s the rest of the covers to number 1:

Shadowman 1 Pullbox Variant Cover

Pullbox Variant Cover

Shadowman 1 Cover Johnson Variant

Johnson Variant Cover

Shadowman 1 Cover Sienkiewicz Variant

Sienkiewicz Variant Cover


Back in the 90s, I was never too excited about Shadowman. I liked the first 6 or so issues of the series, but I actually liked it a bit less when Bob Hall took over and ran with his run on the book. Shadowman was about the middle of the pack for me. Better than Armorines, HARDCorps and Secret Weapons, but not as good as the rest of the A-listers.

That said, Valiant has sure put some heavies on this book. Justin Jordan is coming off a huge initial foray into writing comics with Luthor Strode, and Patrick Zircher is off the hook. Have you seen the previews of Zircher’s Shadowman art? Check it out if you haven’t. It might be the best looking art in a Valiant book yet.

Ultimately, I think this book is going to come down to character. Who is Jack Boniface in this incarnation, and what makes him tick?

Just like with Bloodshot, where the Acclaim version of the character is mixed with the classic Valiant version of the character, I expect this Shadowman to be a mix of Jack Boniface (the classic Valiant Shadowman) with Michael LeRoi (the Acclaim Shadowman).

The premise of this book seems pretty simple from the solicitation, a guy fights monsters and zombies in New Orleans. I think we’ll have to wait and see in Novemeber what else is going to be in this book to see what more this becomes.

This solicitation has intrigued me, but not captured me. I’m waiting till November to find out more.

Of course, I’m sure I’ll love it. Like I’ve loved all the other Valiant comics.

Archer & Armstrong 1 Cover

Archer & Armstrong 1 Cover

Variant Cover by JUAN DOE

Archer & Armstrong make their last stand against The Sect high in the Himalayas!

Every clan of The Sect has gathered together for the first time in millennia to harness the unthinkable, sanity-shattering destruction of the mythical Book. But one piece is still missing – and Obadiah Archer has it! If he turns it over, The Sect will give him back his family. If he refuses, the man called Armstrong dies! PLUS: The true nature of Archer’s powers revealed! AND, on top of everything else, witness the debut of the Valiant Universe’s next superstar hero – only in this issue!

$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs.

Archer & Armstrong Variant Cover

Doe Variant Cover


That’s really the only way I can explain this book.

I’ve noticed that Archer & Armstrong seems to be the book that old school Valiant fans like the least, but that everyone else likes the most. I love it.

I’m inclined to like the kind of books that Fred Van Lente writes, however, and Clayton Henry is the perfect artist to illustrate his stories. I like the strange, humorous way that everything plays out in Van Lente’s books.

This sounds like it is the last issue of the first arc, with Archer and Armstrong’s initial confrontation with the Sect and The One Percent coming to a head. This book promises a lot of cool, crazy storytelling in each solicitation we’ve seen.

If the stroytelling continues how it did in issue 1, I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of this comic.

Bloodshot 5 Garcia Variant Cover

Garcia Variant Cover

Variant Cover by MANUEL GARCIA

ALL-NEW ARC! Before Bloodshot, who was Raymond Garrison?

Bloodshot is finally free of the memories that have haunted him since his awakening – but now even greater mysteries remain. Who was he before he was transformed into a walking weapon of mass destruction? And does he have a real family out there somewhere? Unfortunately, the only man with the answers is the former mastermind of Project Rising Spirit, Dr. Emmanuel Kuretich –-and he’s just struck a devil’s bargain with Bloodshot. “Destroy your creators and I’ll reveal everything.” Well, almost everything…

$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs.

The tricky thing with a character like Bloodshot is what to do once the amnesiac remembers everything. Wolverine became a far less interesting character once he got all his memories back. Will the same thing happen to Bloodshot? Also, there is the flip side – how long can you string the story along without revealing anything? It’s a tough balancing act./p>

We recently recorded a podcast episode (OTV 81, coming this Sunday), and one of the concerns that some of the OTV crew had with Bloodshot #2 is that it brings in more mystery, without providing much answers. We need to get some answers to be satisfied. Too many answers though, and the story might lose its drive./p>

I’ll be curious to see how this title walks this line. It looks like there may have been some answers by the time this issue is in our hands, but that Bloodshot is still looking for other answers./p>

I’m loving this title though, this Bloodshot is very different than the classic bloodshot stories, but this is very cool.

Harbinger 6 Cover

Harbinger 6 Cover

Variant Cover by MATTHEW CLARK

ALL-NEW ARC! From out of the ashes – ­RENEGADES!

After a crushing defeat at the hands of his would-be mentor, Peter Stanchek lies critically wounded and the only person who can save him is the person that hates him the most – his childhood love Kris Hathaway. As Harada’s Eggbreaker strike force closes in, the helpless Peter wonders if he is going to find forgiveness at Kris’s door –-or unbridled vengeance. But when Faith returns as the superhero she’s always dreamed of being, the game is going to change for everyone involved…

As the most daring series in comics enters its staggering second act, find out why this is the book that Comic Book Resources says “feels new in a way that few comics about characters with superpowers manage these days.”

$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs.

Harbinger 6 Clark Variant Cover

Clark Variant Cover

As excited as this solicitation makes me for issue 6, it makes me more excited for issue 5. I want to see this showdown between Pete and Harada that leaves Pete in such a critical state. That is gonna be some good comic book story telling.

At San Diego Comic-Con, both Josh Dysart and Warren Simons addressed the issue of what happened between Pete and Kris, and how Pete used and invaded her mind (if not more). They didn’t say anything definititive, and asked us to wait and see how it plays out in the story, and to see how they handle it.

It looks like they will be addressing that here in this issue, and as physically explosive as I expect the showdown between Pete and Harada to be, I expect the showdown between Pete and Kris to be equally emotionally explosive.

Plus, Faith. Looks like the old gang’s getting back together.

X-O Manowar 7 Cover

X-O Manowar 7 Cover


X-O Manowar vs. Ninjak. To the victor – Earth!

Agents of the alien race known as The Vine have been living in secret among us for centuries and now they’ve just been activated for one final mission – purge the Earth of all human life! An invasion fleet is on its way and the only weapon in existence powerful enough to defeat it is the X-O Manowar armor. But first, Aric of Dacia must survive his latest encounter with Ninjak, the covert operative and master weapons specialist charged with taking him down. The stakes are raised and revelations abound in the latest issue of the smash hit series that has IGN declaring, “This is X-O Manowar done for this generation…and it is awesome.”

$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs.

Robert Venditti promised us that plot points set out in issue 1 will come back throughout the series. It looks like at one of those plot points (creepy Vine Baby, anyone?) will be coming up.

This is part 3 of the X-O Manowar v. Ninjak storyline, and we haven’t even seen part 1 yet (other than a few X-O Manowar #5 preview pages), so it’s hard to comment on this.

Will Ninjak be working for the Vine? Will he turn against his Vine masters?

I have no idea, but one thing does seem to be promised by this solicitation, VINE INVASION. That should be a pretty good bit of war coming. Sounds good to me.

Looks like X-O will continue to be the most awesome of the Valiant titles.

Let’s talk about that cover. How cool is that? It reminds me of the type of cover Jim Steranko would do for an old Nick Fury comic. It is reminiscent of that 60s spy style. Very cool!


  • Dallow comments:

    November titles look like they maintain the momentum of the relaunch which is great to see. I wasn’t too keen on the Ninjak character from VH1 (or VH2 or should that be VH3?) but I’m keeping an open mind as all the titles have been top quality so far!

  • Yup, I’m keeping an open mind about Ninjak. I didn’t like the original, but I’m looking forward to the new Ninjak.
    Sean recently posted..“Sunrise” Mylar Sun PrintMy Profile

  • I listened to the podcast yesterday and while I respect the OTV crew’s apprehensions towards the new Bloodshot, I gotta disagree. This doesn’t feel like another “Lost” or “Prometheus” where mysteries are teased and then never explained. All of the twists and turns this title has taken in the past two issues seem very deliberate to me, especially considering the grey goo incident is referred to on the inside cover of the first issue.

    Also, to make another reference to the podcast, it’s pretty clear that Bloodshot thought he was “helping” the people during the incident (his handler says, “help them”), even though he was killing them, that is what the video Kuretich downloaded from his head reveals. We see what is really going on even while Bloodshot has no idea. It seemed like there was some confusion regarding that scene and I hope that clears things up (although it was VERY entertaining listening to guys debate exactly what is going on in this book lol).

    I’ve got a good feeling that so long as Swierczynski is allowed to stay on the book and tell the story he wants to tell, we’ll get our answers eventually.

    Also, I have mad respect to the OTV crew for being up front about their value systems and religious differences, but for not letting those beliefs get in the way of discussing some awesome new Valiant comics. It’s always been my opinion to let the writer tell the story they want to tell, but I really appreciate you guys discussing exactly what those stories mean to you personally.

    Wow, TL;DR amirite?
    Xtianhardy recently posted..Advance Review: X-O Manowar #4My Profile

  • TL;DR

    J/K :)

    I know Chiclo and Elveen have some apprehension, but I’m totally loving Bloodshot. I think we haven’t seen enough after just two issues to know what kind of story it is.

    Thanks for the assist on the Incident/Grey Goo part. That whole sequence was very confusing to me.
    Sean recently posted..“Sunrise” Mylar Sun PrintMy Profile

  • Hey no problem! I was just listening to it in my car laughing my ass off as you guys debated what was going in Bloodshot so I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

    I wasn’t as psyched about Archer and Armstrong #1 initially, but judging from the preview pages for #2 I think we’re in for a treat with this series. I’m a fan of FVL’s Hercules run and I think once people give him a chance they’ll come around to A&A.
    Xtianhardy recently posted..Prophet #28: Live Free or Die HardMy Profile

  • I’m confused as to how there are people that haven’t come around to A&A after just the first issue. I thought A&A was good as can be.
    Sean recently posted..“Sunrise” Mylar Sun PrintMy Profile

  • I think it’s like Chiclo said, most of the criticism seems to be how FVL’s satire was aimed pretty squarely at Midwestern Orthodox Christians, and people don’t like to feel as if they’re being talked down to.

    I thought the issue was hilarious. I’m a big fan of satire like South Park and Wonder Showzen that really pushes the envelope, but my fiancee, who went to a Christian high-school and until very recently lived a pretty orthodox lifestyle, read through A&A, put it down afterwards, and said “no, just no.”

    When I pressed her on it, to find out whether or not it offended her, she responded that the all the people at Promised Land Park were just too much like people she’s known and the comic just seemed like it was poking fun at something which, for a while, was the way that she saw the world.

    But it’s just the first issue, and I think that maybe we’re all just being too hard on a comic that hasn’t even finished its first arc.
    Xtianhardy recently posted..Prophet #28: Live Free or Die HardMy Profile

  • I think it’s good to laugh at people.All people.

    I think it would be great if FVL makes fun of us coastal city liberals that like the smell of our own farts and choke on all the smug in the air.

    We probably deserve it.
    Sean recently posted..“Sunrise” Mylar Sun PrintMy Profile

  • Hahaha and George Clooney is about to give his next Oscar Speech…
    Xtianhardy recently posted..Prophet #28: Live Free or Die HardMy Profile

  • Ha ha! We definitely deserve it.
    Sean recently posted..Preview: Archer & Armstrong #2My Profile

  • Dallow comments:

    Just on the back of the religion perspective on the podcast comic reviews, I think it adds an interesting dimension to the discussion. We don’t really have the orthodox christian movement in the UK (although I am aware of it in the US through the media), so it was interesting to hear Chiclo taking mild offense at certain aspects of the Harbinger book which I hadn’t even registered. It’s good you guys can bring different opinions to the table!

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