Wrapping up the rest of November 2014. I have to say that the more Valiant stuff that I read, the more I realize that they have created a great universe… Much stronger and more tied together than most other companies. They have solid characters that are very real, situations that are not so fantastical that we can’t believe they might actually happen, but amazing enough to hold our attention and bring us back for more.
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #3 (of 5) – This story just gets more interesting. Jen Van Meter takes us deeper into the afterlife with Doctor Mirage, searching for her lost love, Hwen. This issue, we finally get to find out how Hwen was killed and what happened as she tells the story to the lost children helping her find her path through the Deadways. Ivros, the demon, continues his hunt of Doctor Mirage as the key to opening a portal and allowing his army to enter Earth and invade. Some sneakiness and quick thinking are all it takes to best him, but will Doctor Mirage’s hunt for the Pale Mistress be as fruitful as she hopes? Also, things are unfolding in the fleshly world that could put her body at risk. Passing the halfway point and things are really moving now. My Rating: 4.5/5
Bloodshot #25 – Another milestone issue in the Valiant Universe, as Bloodshot turns 25… well, actually he turns 2, but you get it. A full list of talent taking on Bloodshot in this issue: Peter Milligan, Lewis Larosa, Howard Chaykin, Duane Swierczynski, Manuel Gacia, Justin Jordan, Rafer Roberts, and Bart Sears, just to name a few. Find out more about the man that Bloodshot was and how the government dealt with the life they took him from. Several great stories that delve into who Bloodshot was, what he is capable of, why the government fears him, and even tips on home safety. Some funny, some sad, and some just awesome. You have to check this out. My Rating: 5/5
Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #1 (of 3) – Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, served at the word of the Geomancer. This is the story of how Gilad began to doubt the intent and understanding of the Geomancer and struck off on his own. But can he? “Maybe, after all, I need his schemes to have meaning.” Peter Milligan brings us a story of the Eternal Warrior’s continual search for meaning and the mission that may return that meaning to his life and his deeds. In the land of the Franks and the battle between them and the Magyar, Gilad must find a child with the mark of the savior. That child will be the savior of an entire culture. Lots of action but also a lot of deep contemplation of Gilad’s true mission as he lives out his eternal struggle. My Rating: 4.5/5
Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent #1 – One of the sects vying for world domination, the One Percent, has spent years making secret deals and manipulating world markets to boost or destroy countries, industries, or individuals. Serving Mammon, these men have stayed behind the scenes, making the required sacrifices and living as the wealth and power of their position dictates. Now, however, their children are coming into their own and things will never be the same. Call this a changing of the guard, a strategic realignment, or a bloody coup, either way, heads will roll. Ray Fawkes, Joe Esima, and Ulises Arreola make this a great story as times they are a changing. My Rating: 4.5/5
Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #2 (of 5) – The being calling himself Koro battled Quantum and won. Now, Eric, formerly Quantum, needs to find some answers. This story has a lot of reveals. Who is this new Quantum? And what about the kid who claims to be Woody? So many things still unknown. Does this really all center around a diamond heist or is there a deeper story here? I’m betting on a deeper story. Priest and MD Bright have created a pretty cool storyline that, while a little disorienting, is still a very engrossing tale of Quantum and Woody. My Rating: 4/5
Unity #12 – With the events of Armor Hunters, there is no keeping secrets about the existence of superhumans anymore. The Unity team has announced their existence and has promised to not hold any secrets back from the public. Well, at least as far as the general public will know, since they are hiding Gin-Gr, the giant robot of the Armor Hunters, in a warehouse in Florida. Now, the governments of the world begin to worry about a super team that they cannot control. Bring in The United. Who are they? Will they rival the power of Unity or will they simply destroy the peace that this team has worked towards? I have really enjoyed this book, as it brings together so many disparate personalities into a team that should not function smoothly, especially with all the ego between Ninjak and Aric. Matt Kindt continues to prove that he is a writer worthy of praise for drawing together such a spectacular team series and keeping it interesting from month to month. I can’t wait to see what is in store next. My Rating: 4.5/5
The Delinquents #4 (of 4) – The big finale of one of the funniest team-up books that I have read this year. Archer and Armstrong teamed up with Quantum and Woody have found the Big Rock Candy Mountain, but they are not the only ones. Now, as our heroes (?) face off against Mondostano and Mr. E. Meat, for the coveted treasure of the hobos, the battle should be intense… and the creators even give readers a centerfold playset where we can crash “the characters together in as many mindless feats of violence as you need in order to feel fulfilled.” Just remember that it is not their fault if your imagination is not up to the task. And just wait till you see Meatstorm… as Obie says “That is… FOUR KINDS OF ABOMINATION!” This is an amazing series and I hope to see James Asmus and Fred Van Lente team up again real soon. My Rating: 5/5
X-O Manowar #30 – As the world continues to try to crawl out from under the weight of the revelations from the recent attacks by the Armor Hunters, Aric is asked to be the leader of G.A.T.E, a replacement of M.E.R.O. with a more international flavor. We also see the introduction of the Armorines, a team of men in armor, similar looking to the X-O Manowar armor, but not quite the same. Phillip Zahn is the creator of this armor and, while seemingly being a humanitarian, is more of a war profiteer than anything else. The big challenge this issue is not some battle to be won with might or tactics but the political maneuvering that must be done when dealing with the governments of the world. Robert Venditti does an excellent job of introducing these new characters and giving us the necessary sense of foreboding that things are about to get real. My Rating: 4/5
Punk Mambo #0 – From the pages of Shadowman, Punk Mambo is a voodou priestess for the modern times. Her spirit guide is Sid Vicious, dead lead singer of the Sex Pistols, and he leads her out of her home in the bayou and back to her original home, London. This is another of the jumping on points for new readers as we learn the origin of this unusual character. How she went from being a rebellious private school rich kid to a punk mambo and all the interesting people she meets in between. And all those special people are in for a rude awakening as the young girl formerly known as Victoria, uses her considerable power to enact her revenge. Pretty good story. My Rating: 4/5
That catches us up through November 2014. Watch for more reviews of the December books coming over the next two weeks and then, in 2015, I should be back on track to review new releases each week. Thanks for reading and let me know what you love about Valiant in the comments. I may even have some stuff to giveaway.