Eternal Warrior #1

Valiant

Release Date:  9/11/13

Words:  Greg Pak

Pictures:  Trevor Hairsine

The Sitch:

As Valiant itself claims, “Greg Pak and Trevor Hairsine launch a campaign for Valiant’s immortal champion, The Eternal Warrior, in his own all-new monthly series.”  Although The Eternal Warrior is a familiar face in the Valiant universe, this story introduces him in such a compelling way that even new readers can appreciate getting to know an interesting and complex character in the midst of an epic battle.

The Confession:

I have to admit I am not very familiar with the Valiant universe so I was not aware of The Eternal Warrior character of Gilad Anni-Padda before reading this book.  It did not matter much at all as Pak is a strong storyteller, especially when mythology is a big part of the story.  Here is a warrior’s tale full of blood, guts, valor, and violence.  Gilad loves battle but at the same time is a selfless leader, driven by a strong moral compass.  Despite being dropped in the middle of a serious battle the reader quickly understands how strongly bonded Gilad is to his family.  Gilad is a deeply flawed and complex man.  Pax effortlessly steeps Gilad’s story in duty and honor, legend and myth without skimping on the brutality, both physical and emotional brutality.  I usually do not gravitate all that much to violent warrior stories but this one is surprisingly deep, dark and emotional. I like how the story focuses more on Gilad’s humanity than on his immortality.  Pak knows what makes the stuff of legends.

Hairsine’s art compliments this warrior story.  He uses a lot of gritty roughness in his lines showing the confusion and brutality of the violent warrior life.  There is A LOT of action in this story and Hairsine handles it beautifully depicting humanity in the darkness and chaos of war.  He can also show a lot of emotion in his pacing and facial and body expressions.  

This is the strongest new book I’ve read this week.  I was pleasantly surprised to find I actually really enjoyed and appreciated something I was sure I was not going to like.  For those who know and love The Eternal Warrior, this should be an easy must read.  For those looking for something new and have yet to try this genre, this is a worthy, solid first issue.

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Quantum & Woody! #1

Valiant

Release Date:  7/10/13

Words:  James Asmus

Pictures:  Tom Fowler

The Sitch:

This is the origin story of the Quantum & Woody comic from Valiant/Acclaim in the 1990’s.  Another relaunch and update for 2013.

The Confession:

This is a fun book.

I had no idea this was a relaunch and update until I finished reading, so I have no idea what the back story is on these two.  It doesn’t seem to matter, and please feel free to correct if I’m wrong, but I was just fine in this introduction to these two unlikely, odd couple-type superheroes.  The reader is launched pretty quickly, though deftly, through these characters origins, how they relate to each other and how they are on their way to being the worst superhero duo ever.  Working with an estranged sibling can’t be easy.  Not a lot is told from a plot standpoint beyond it being an origin story of how these guys get their powers.  There is a ton of character development and it’s done it a solid, naturally humorous way.

Fowler is great in the artwork department.  The look is clean and modern with lots of detail.  I like how he is so adept in using not just facial expressions but body language, which only makes the funny even more, well, funny.  It’s also a nice touch to see the flashback scenes handled with a slightly different style and color use.

Issue #1 seems to be off to a good start providing enough story to make me curious enough to come back for more.  I mean, what the heck is with the goat?

Harbinger Wars #1

Valiant Comics

Release Date:  4/3/13

Words:  Joshua Dysart, Duane Swierczynski

Pictures:  Clayton Crain, Clayton Henry, Mico Suayan

The Sitch:

Project Rising Spirit is dealing with the fall out of Bloodshot’s removal of several psiot children, while Peter Stanchek is preparing for the conflict concerning said psiot children.

The Confession:

I understand that Harbinger Wars is a hugely anticipated crossover event between two big stories in the Valiant Universe, Harbinger and Bloodshot.  I am obviously a Valiant Virgin, so as a VV, I appreciate how the writers took the time to give enough back story and setting up so that this can be a good stand alone story where newbs like me can get hooked in.  I can also see how this may frustrate those dedicated readers who have been waiting to see how this all turns out.  Despite that attention to detail, I still felt like I was walking in on the middle of something.  In my mind crossovers are events dedicated to the most devout of fans.  It takes a lot of time and teasing to get to the point of a crossover and it just does not do it justice to just walk in the middle of an epic story like that.  This book did not change my mind.  The story pulled me in enough to want to read the other story lines in their entirety before going any further with Harbinger Wars itself.  I got just enough interesting bits to make me want to know more… like who is this bleeding monk?  The art work consisting of three different artists to portray three different aspect of the story was interesting.  My favorite of the three being the beautiful flashback sequences by Clayton Henry.  I’m not sure which side to try first though, Harbinger or Bloodshot?