Posts Tagged With: Valiant Comics

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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Monday Art Attack: Bloodshot Reborn #6 Variant Cover by BENJAMIN MARRA

Bloodshot Reborn #6 Variant Cover by BENJAMIN MARRA

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Review: X-O Manowar #40

X-O Manowar #40Title: X-O Manowar #40

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

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

As this issue begins, we are taken back a year or so to the Vine Invasion of Earth, before the “Planet Death” storyline, where two Vine Plantlings rescue Commander Trill after his defeat. In the present, Capshaw places Aric in command of the situation and forces the military planes to land. The Vine and Visigoths face off against the US Air Force in a stalemate, as Aric stands between both armies, trying to calm the situation. What all but the Vine are away of is that the rest of their fleet in on it’s way to Earth. Elsewhere, Commander Trill, living underground becomes aware of the Vine Fleet and wants to spark war between the humans and the Vine refugees, so he contacts his Plantling within the US Military and tells the soldier to start World War 3. So the Plantling soldier takes his sniper rifle and places his scope over Shana, as she tends to the wounds of the Vine refugees!

Another great issue of X-O Manowar, where we see Aric is stuck between three worlds and must juggle his responsibilities between all three. He wants to protect his people and take care of the Vine, who see him as a religious icon and stand with the military as a secret weapon of the government. I can’t wait to see what happens once the Vine Fleet arrives and Trill makes his move. I really hope Shana makes it out alive, as she’s a very interesting side character in this title…and she JUST became Queen for crying out loud! A great issue with both a great story and great art, so this one is…

Recommended

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Review: Imperium #8

Imperium #8Title: Imperium #8

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Joshua Dysart (writer) with Scot Eaton (artist)

After being temporal displaced by Divinity, Harada attempts to read the god-like Russian’s mind and project thoughts and images of his family in order to calm him, but this fails as Divinity sees through the guise. However, this disruption sends Harada back into regular time, although at the moment when the PRS sub he was on was sinking. Harada and his team make it off the sub, as well as Kozol, who slinks away back to the safety of Project Rising Spirit. After the fiasco of trying to rescue “Broken Angel”, Gravedog wants to leave Harada’s team, but he is able to convince the former H.A.R.D Corp commander to stay, because he has the technology to give him his powers back without the need for Lifeline. In the end, Harada’s various allies head off to their quarters and labs. This brings us to Sunlight on Snow, who reveals a hidden PRS soldier within his chest cavity. As a medical droid, he saved the young woman and healed her back to moderate health, unbeknownst to anyone else. He plans on releasing her once she’s fully healed, but what Sunlight doesn’t realize is that she’s Vine plantling, there to spy on PRS, but is now within the inner sanctum of Harada’s Foundation Zone! In the end, Harada learns about the Divinity incident but this time decides not to act against him, hoping to woe the god-like being to his side…eventually!

Holy, crap a fantastic issue of Imperium! We get a wrap up to the Broken Angel storyline and Harada’s encounter with Divinity and see the beginnings of the next storyarc, involving the Vine. While I’ll admit that this series isn’t my favorite from Valiant, but this issue is fantastic and shows why Valiant is the greatest publisher of comic books today! There is so much going on in this one issue, it’s absolutely mind-blowing. We spend time with Harada, Divinity, Sunlight on Snow, Gravedog and Kozol…that’s a lot of characters to deal with in one single issue. While this issue if great, it’s built upon the entire series thus far, so this particular issue isn’t a great choice for newcomers. A great story with good art, this issue is definitely…

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Review: Dead Drop #4

Dead Drop #4Title: Dead Drop #4

Publisher:Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Ales Kot (writer) with Adam Gorham (artist)

Detective Cejudo is sent in to find Beta-Max, Archer and Aric and stop the alien virus threat. Apparently, Neville has something on Cejudo, as she “owes him one”. She discovers Beta-Max is dead and continues to explore, but is attacked by the runners from the first two issues. They tell Cejudo that they’re hackers, but good ones, using their abilities to leave thing better than how they found it. So they discovered the virus and wanted to destroy it before it fell into the wrong hands. Cejudo leaves the hackers and continues on, finding both Aric and Archer, who are infected with the virus. She also encounters one of the aliens, who is severely infected. All he wants to do is die, so in exchange for clearing Aric and Archer, she kills him and burns the warehouse down, destroying any and all remains of the virus. In the end, she sends a letter to Neville explaining her actions, and we see that the two hackers have made off with Beta-Max and restored the former villain to life!

A decent ending to, probably my least favorite Valiant Entertainment series! While I hated the first two issues and really loved the third, this fourth and final issue kinda ends really fast, with little to no payoff. We get no massive fight or any real explanations, just some loose detective work and everything working out in the end. The story may work better in collected form, but I’m not sure. If you wanna read everything Valiant, and haven’t yet gotten into this, I would wait for trade!

Wait

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Review: Ninjak #6

Ninjak #6Title: Ninjak #6

Publisher:Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Matt Kindt (writer) with Raul Allen (artist)

Ninjak has gone off the grid for the last two months, remaining in deep undercover as a Weaponeer, hunting for the Shadow Seven. Using his new contacts and computer access, Ninjak learns of the location of one of the Seven and heads to take him out. Heading to a part of France he knows well, Ninjak finds the hideout of one of the Seven’s most reclusive members. However, Ninjak’s in a bit over his head, as the member he fights has a helmet that can hack anything with a circuit, which is everything that Ninjak has on him. After discarding everything that’s useless, he fighter the Shadow Seven member and is able to take him down, giving MI-6 another present. In the back up tale, Neville and Colin try to track Angelina’s killer. Heading to the mountains, Colin discovers a hidden monastery and a stationary monk. However, when he is discovered, the students of the monk start to come out and beat Colin!

Another good issue of Ninjak, where we see the titular hero battle without all of his fancy gadgets and gear. Another member of the Seven is down, but is Ninjak getting in too deep?  Only time will tell! A good issue with a great story and good art, this issue is…

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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: Ivar, Timewalker #8

Ivar #8Title: Ivar, Timewalker #8

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Fred Van Lente (writer) with Francis Portela (artist)

As the future Neela tries to destroy all of reality, Ivar and his brothers use their vessel and burst into Oblivi-1, crashing right into the temporal base. The future Gilad rescues Neela, but she runs off, as Armstrong tries to take on future Neela, but is knocked out in the process. Neela and Ivar find each other and share a kiss before future Neela arrives. The three have a huge conversation, as all of reality begins to crumble, which ends with Ivar kissing future Neela and the two are seemingly vaporize or absorbed into the fabric of space and time. Armstrong forces Neela off the station, back into their ship where, apparently things are going according to Ivar’s plan, and they ride the black hole into oblivion!

A great finale, to this crazy time traveling epic! I know the Valiant Universe isn’t dead, so they all make it out alive, it’s just how and in what condition they make it out in. While this may not be one of my favorite Valiant series, it’s fun and interesting and can take us places no other Valiant series can! I can’t wait for this series to give us some more time hopping adventures, reminiscent of the VH1 series. A good issue with good art, this issue is…

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: X-O Manowar #39

X-O Manowar #39Title: X-O Manowar #39

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Cost: $3.99

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

With no where to turn, the Vine refugees have return to Earth and plan on making this planet their new home! However, Aric realizes that this WILL be bad and tries to get them to leave, but the government sent some fighter jets to investigate the situation, especially since the last time aliens arrived, things didn’t go so smoothly. The pilot they sent, starts having flashbacks to his battles with the Armor Hunters and starts firing on the Vine. Aric rallies the Visigoths (with Shana’s help) and they try to save as many as they can. However, it looks as if more fighter jets have arrived!

I always love this title, but poor Aric, can’t even have an moment’s peace, especially since getting married. Ever since Dead Hand, I saw this coming: I knew the Vine would try to claim or stay on Earth since the destruction of their home world. I don’t know what Aric’s going to do, but he better do it fast! A great issue with both a great story and good art, this one is definitely…

Recommended

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