Posts Tagged With: Event

Thought Balloon/Review: Valiant Entertainment’s 4001 A.D Summer “Event”

4001-ad-summer-event

A few weeks ago saw the conclusion to Valiant Entertainment’s summer event, 4001 A.D.

First off, let me tell you that I loved this story! I enjoyed everything that Valiant published for the 4001 A.D series, but I just don’t feel that this really qualifies as an “event”, at least in the way that most comic fans are used to.

To start off, let me give you a rundown of how this “event” was organized. The main story, told in 4001 A.D, involves a conflict between Father, the AI the space station that is New Japan, and Rai, Father’s protector over New Japan and his weapon against any who oppose him. You can learn everything leading up to this event in the first 12 issues of Rai, which has been collected in an exquisite hardcover deluxe collection. Without getting into too many specifics, Rai joins forces with the future Gilad, the Eternal Warrior and together they battle their way back onto New Japan and defeat Father, who has succumb to a virus and is separating sections of New Japan and sending them crashing to Earth. If you just want to know about the 4001 A.D storyline, proper, all you really need to read are these 4 issues.

The second story is told within the pages of Rai. Spanning issue 13 through issue 16, we actually get a glimpse into the past and learn about the first Rai, a female Rai and the Rai before our current hero. Overall, these issues have nothing to do with the main “event”, but do help flesh out the setting and show us what some of the other Rai’s were like. Issue 16 is important, because it takes place directly before issue 1 and sets up the entire series.

The last, and mostly fringe, stories are told within the various one-shots that involve the other heroes of the Valiant Universe. In the X-O Manowar issue, we learn about the origin of the X-O Mecha that Rai and Gilad use to get back to New Japan. In the Bloodshot issue, you discover that Bloodshot’s nanites have evolved past their original intent and are being on their own. In the Shadowman issue, we learn about an Earth city with a connection to the Deadside, and the formation of a new Shadow person. Lastly, in War Mother, we’re introduced to a new character, a hunter and scavenger of New Japan tech with a sentient rifle. With the exception of the X-O Manowar and Bloodshot issues, I believe that the stories told in Shadowman and War Mother will become a bigger part of Rai’s world come 4002 A.D.

So, with a third of the “events” issues taking place in the past, and the other third taking place on Earth, in separate communities, I feel that this is not a normal comic “event”. While this doesn’t change my opinion of the overall story or my love affair with Valiant, I feel that comic companies need “events” to sell titles and get comic shops interested in buying odd, random one-shots and new mini-series. I wish comics were in a different place right now, but they aren’t. Marvel is constantly doing massive, for over-reaching “events”, many of which are never completed on time, dragging on for months, while DC keeps reinventing itself in hope of catching up to Marvel’s numbers and sales. With these two big juggernauts out there, I can see why Valiant calls this little story, which takes place in the future of their universe, an “event”, because they need that boost, just to get shelf space.

I’m really, really tired of “events”! I remember when they used to be fun and exciting and rare. I can get behind what Valiant’s doing here, making the “event” accessible, by breaking the story up into groups, so that you don’t have to go broke reading everything, I just wish they would save the word, “event” for something bigger!

 

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Review: Book of Death- Fall of Ninjak #1

BoD- Fall of Ninjak #1Title: Book of Death- Fall of Ninjak #1

Publisher:Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Matt Kindt (writer) with Trevor Hairsine (artist)

After the second Armor Hunter War and the final battle with the United, where Gilad disappeared for the last time, Ninjak survives, alone as the the Fist and Steel, taking over Gilad’s place for him as protector of Earth. When Livewire, or a copy of her, arrives to tell Ninjak that she’s rebuilt Japan after a major disaster and wants to make it self-sufficient and take it into space, using a substance she calls Livewire, Ninjak refuses to help and in fact, opposes her plan. He has trained a new league of spies, the Spylockes, who defend him against Livewire’s robots. In the end, GIN-GR arrives to help Ninjak and the two sacrifice themselves to try and stop New Japan, but to no avail!

An amazing look into the future of not only Ninjak, but most of the Unity heroes. While my synopsis can’t do the actual issue justice, there are name drops and hints of future events and battles that are littered throughout this issue. We also get a heavy reference to Rai and New Japan and learn of the fate of Livewire. I can’t tell you enough to pick this issue up! If you love Ninjak, Rai, Unity or hell, Valiant in general, you must read this issue!

Recommended

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Review: Book of Death #2

Book of Death #2Title: Book of Death #2

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Robert Venditti (writer) with Robert Gill (artist)

Gilad versus the Unity! When diplomacy ends, Gilad and his former team battle over the young Geomancer, Tama. Gilad seems to have taken lessons from Batman, because he has the battlefield set, traps planned and knows exactly how to take out each member of his team. Using some of Ninjak’s weapons and defenses against the team, especially X-O, he tries to drive a wedge between them in hopes of getting away. On the run, Tama reads more from the Book of the Geomancer and Gilad learns about his own future and how lonely he becomes. David, the young “anti-Geomancer” is exhausted, but his unseen master continues to force the youth to attack Tama and Gilad. Gilad and Tama are attacked and forced to give up their ride and we learn that the person behind David is none other than Master Darque!

Another great issue of Book of Death, where we learn..don’t mess with the Eternal Warrior! While I thought he was in over his head, at the end of the last issue, it shows you that while he has very little offensive powers, his centuries of training and battle have given him the edge over all of his opponents and allies. We also learn that Ninjak’s sword has an X-O setting, which can pierce the Shanhara armor, something that I was unaware, but makes sense for the character, especially after the Armor Hunters’ attack. While it was revealed online some time ago that Master Darque was the villain behind this whole story, we do finally get the reveal, we just don’t know why! A great issue with an amazing story and fantastic art, this should not be missed by anyone, especially Valiant fans!

Recommended

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Review: Weirdworld #3

Weirdworld #3Title: Weirdworld #3

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Jason Aaron (writer) with Mike Del Mundo (artist)

Arkon and Warbow barely make it out of Morgan Le Fey’s vault alive, surviving on luck and chance. When they escape, Warbow pulls an Odysseus and shouts both of their names to the surviving lava men. Arkon is furious by this action and just wants to be free of the crazed Crystal Warrior, acquiring the promised map and leaving. Warbow’s map proves to be even crazier than Arkon’s, with Warbow telling our lead hero that Weirdworld constantly changes to suit Le Fey’s whims. Morgan learns of the two warriors that broke into her vault and escaped..and of their names! She recognizes the name of Arkon as the individual that tried to steal her dragon mount and sends Skull the Slayer to kill the nuisance. Using the map, Arkon finds his way to a tavern in the arctic regions of Weirdworld, where he encounters Skull the Slayer. The two battle in and out of the tavern and eventually fall from the mountain. Arkon lands in a vast forest, which he recognizes from Warbow’s map, the Forest of the Man-Things!

Another fantastic issue of Weirdworld, one where Jason Aaron resurrects another obscure Marvel warrior, namely Skull the Slayer! I love this series because of it’s fantasy elements, something which Marvel really lacks and because almost every issue has made me learn more about the Marvel Universe and research characters that I’ve never encountered or even heard of! I really hope this series continues, in some fashion, after Secret Wars ends, because it’s not only growing to be one of my favorite series, it’s probably the best thing Marvel is publishing right now! The story and the art are partnered together beautifully, this series is not to be missed!

Recommended

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Review: Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot #1

BoD- Fall of Bloodshot #1Title: Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot #1

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Jeff Lemire (writer) with Doug Braithwaite (artist)

We learn several pieces of Bloodshot’s future, including a time as a pirate after the “Brother’s War”, his time with some Arctic natives, his adventures in space during the Robot Wars, is exile in the Faraway battling dinosaurs and as an old man in a future metropolis, where he dies a peaceful death, but not alone.

OK, I really enjoyed this issue, but because it’s a book which skips ahead from time to time, it’s one that makes writing a synopsis hard. I really liked getting some hints into Bloodshot’s future, and how his life parallels that of the original Valiant Universe’s Gold Key heroes, Magnus and Turok. I was hoping for more of a connection to Rai, but that may be something that Valiant is saving for another day. Still if you love Valiant and/or Bloodshot, you should definitely pick this one up, it’s a great read.

Recommended

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Review: Weirdworld #2

Weirdworld #2Title: Weirdworld #2

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Jason Aaron (writer) with Mike Del Mundo (artist)

While imprisoned in Apelantis, Arkon befriends another captive, a crystal warrior called Warbow. Together, the two escape the underwater apes, but Arkon loses his map of Weirdworld in the process. Warbow claims to have a better map, but he needs the barbarian’s help in freeing his captured Prince. Arkon agrees to help the warrior of crystal while Morgan Le Fey attempts to train the very dragon that Arkon had saved earlier. The dragon was a gift from the Apes to the Queen of Weirdworld, however the dragon is proving to be uncooperative. Eventually, Morgan is able to tame the beast, which gives her the ability to fly above her citizens of Weirdworld. While Le Fey is gone, Warbow and Arkon sneak into her vault, where Warbow’s Prince, Crystar, is being held. However, it appears that Warbow has slightly lost his grip on reality, as what they “rescue” is a bag of crystals, which may or may not be the remains of his prince. In the end, the two warriors are surrounded by lava men as they attempt to flee the vault.

Marvel had pushed back the release of several Secret Wars titles, this being one of them, but I have to say that it was worth the wait! I really love this series and hope to see it continue, in some fashion, after the Secret Wars event is over. I love the (re)introduction of the Crystal Warriors back into the Marvel Universe. I hope this means we may see more of them in the future, possibly after the event is over. Once again we get a great story with even better art, this one is highly…

Recommended

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Review: Justice League #42

Justice League #42Title: Justice League #42

Publisher: DC Comics

Cost: $4.99

Storytellers: Geoff Johns (writer) with Jason Fabok (artist)

Superman and Lex Luthor are trapped on Apokolips and the rest of the Justice League is battling the Anti-Monitor and his ally, Darkseid’s daughter (who is also half-Amazon). Metron arrives to help the Justice League by Boom Tubing them all to the Rock of Eternity, “home” of Shazam. Mister Miracle meets with Myrina Black, who reveals that she is the mother of Darkseid’s daughter and wants to help the Anti-Monitor defeat the New God. Mister Miracle believes that she is foolish, and that Darkseid may not be able to be killed. When she doesn’t like what she hears, she attacks the New God, but as always, Mister Miracle escapes! While on the Rock of Eternity, Wonder Woman tries to get answers from Metron, but he gives nothing up. Even using the Lasso of Truth on him reveals nothing, except that the chair has all the information she needs, and that pulling him off and taking a seat, will answers all of their questions. So Wonder Woman pulls Metron off the chair, but Batman gets on, learning the identity of the man who killed his parents and the true identity of the Joker, however, once on the chair, Batman doesn’t want to get off!

Another good issue of Justice League, where we see our heroes out gunned by both Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor. The League learns a little bit more about what’s going on, but still don’t have the answer to every question. Also, Mister Miracle is still on the run and needs allies, and I can’t wait for him to team up the the Justice League. We also get the revelation that Myrina Black is the mother of Darkseid’s daughter and that she wants to help the Anti-Monitor kill the New God! I love the story and the art in this series, which so far, hasn’t let me down. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the League deals with Batman and Superman and Lex Luthor team up to survive Apokolips!

Recommended

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Review: Book of Death #1

Book of Death #1Title: Book of Death #1

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Robert Venditti (writer) with Robert Gill (artist)

This issue starts off, in the past, with a child, named David, who can communicate or control insects, snakes and other assorted vermin. In the present, we find out that MI-6 and G.A.T.E have been on the trail of Gilad and Tama, the Geomancer from the future, whom escaped from custody. It appears that everywhere that Gilad takes the girl, death follows, leaving several small towns filled with the dead. Something dark is following the young Geomancer and Gilad is trying to protect her, but the different government agencies believe that the girl is causing the devastation, having never learned to control her powers. Capshaw send Aric to try and talk some sense into Gilad, but the immortal warrior declines any help and won’t bring the girl in. Most of the Unity team don’t believe that the girl is from the future, because time travel isn’t exactly something that the everyday public knows about. Tama made the trip from the future with the book of the Geomancer, a journal that chronicles the next 2000 years, and contains all the info on the deaths of several of Valiant’s elite heroes. As Tama reads from the book, we get a glimpse into the future, where we learn that the Unity team will grow in size and contain new members, both familiar and brand new. We learn that Aric will have a child in the near future, but will come to a grizzly end. We also learn that after Kay’s death, a new Geomancer comes forth, one that brings death and destruction with him, one that will change the world forever. As the Unity team prepares to take on Gilad and the girl, an unseen foe has the boy David, older now, and is using the boy to “battle” Gilad and Tama, causing the insects and vermin to attack them in their safe house. All seems lost, but Unity arrives and is able to save their wayward teammate and his companion. Livewire still wants the girl to be turned over, but Gilad trusts no one and refuses. Ninjak attacks the immortal and the battle begins!

OK, for a single issue, there is a hell of a lot of stuff going on in this book! We finally get more from Tama, the young Geomancer introduced at the end of The Valiant, and start to see hints of the person/being after her. While is didn’t go into too much detail about the flash forward presented by the Geomancer journal, we do get a lot of sneak peaks into the future of Valiant, much like we got with Rai #0 from the original Valiant Universe. This issue is great, setting up this mini-series event and features both a great story and gorgeous art…and tons of cameos! If you are a Valiant fan, you definitely need to pick this one up, as it may be the crux of all stories for the foreseeable future.

Recommended

BoD- Legend of Geomancer #1 On the topic of Book of Death, I must admit that I did not get a copy of the sister title, Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer! While I want to read this series, it’s implementation, has left a very sour taste in my mouth. Right now, even if someone gave me a free copy, I would not read this issue! For those that don’t know, this companion series is a retailer exclusive. It’s not available digitally and never going to be collected (which I find ridiculous). Retailers only got 1 copy for every 25 issues of Book of Death they ordered, making this the lowest print run Valiant comic. Some comic shows and online retailers are selling this issue for upwards of $40, and it’s barely a week old (as of this writing). I understand that this ‘event’ is giving Valiant a lot of coverage in the entertainment media space, but I don’t understand why they would create a comic that supports the secondary market and alienates most of their fans. I really don’t care to ever own a copy of the single issues of this series, but some digital releases or a collector’s edition hardcover collection would be nice.

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Review: X-O Manowar #38

X-O Manowar #38Title: X-O Manowar #38

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Robert Venditti (writer) with Rafael Sandoval (artist)

Aric travels to California in order to meet with Doctor Mirage, who uses her ability to summon Deidre’s spirit from the other side. Aric needs to know if she was happy after he was taken and whether he has her permission to remarry. She gives her blessing and an emotional Aric is off to meet with his current love, Saana, but not before help Mirage paint her new home. Aric and Saana have a long discussion about her time on Loam as a slave and her feelings toward Aric. After her speech, he proposes and she accepts! A week later, they are married in a massive ceremony, one fit for a king, as his Unity teammates and his past allies, including Faith and Archer & Armstrong are all in attendance. The two are wed and spend their wedding night together, and in the middle of the night, Aric gets up and heads outside, looks to the heavens and tells Deidre thanks! This issue also features many backup features, that include Saana getting ready for the wedding and telling a small Visigoth child about her past and what future she might have as Queen. We also get a story that has Aric receiving advice from his father about women and meeting Deidre for the first time and lastly, we get an extended Owly & Wormy & Shanhara fun story.

Another great issue of X-O Manowar, where we get less action than we’re used to, but see our title hero finally find his queen. This issue features a beautiful story with gorgeous art. I especially loved the cameos from all of Aric’s hero friends and the scene where Aric and Saana have their conversation right before his proposal. I didn’t expect the backup features, all of which are great. The first few help fill in some story points and the Owly & Wormy stuff is just plain adorable. A great issue and probably the best wedding comic I’ve ever read (although as a Fantastic Four fan, I still haven’t read the issue where Reed and Sue get married, something I hope I get to do one day).

Recommended

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Review: X-O Manowar #37

X-O Manowar #37Title: X-O Manowar #37

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Robert Venditti (writer) with Diego Bernard (artist)

The government is aware that a planet-sized object is making it’s way to Earth, but are seeing it stopped at Mars, and don’t know why. Aric has assembled Shanhara-like armors and their hosts, and together they are going to take down the Dead Hand, a collective, hive mind of drones created to hunt the armors and destroy the planets they are on. The Dead Hand has been collecting species samples of the primary life on each of these destroyed worlds, which is of little comfort to Aric! The “X-O Corp” attack the Dead Hand “planet”, eventually making it inside and taking it out before it can fire on Earth’s sun. As the government is stunned by the destruction of the object, the armors leave Aric, looking for new homes and some of the Dead Hand may have survived on the surface of Mars!

A great ending to an outstanding follow-up to one of my favorite events of the last few years! I loved seeing Aric battling with other armors by his side, taking out another threat created by the Armor Hunters. I can’t wait to see what the Dead Hand’s remnants on Mars will do, but I guess that’s for another time and a different storyarc. A great issue with a massive battle and good art, this is why X-O Manowar is one of the best books I read!

Recommended

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