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Thoughts on Some Recent Valiants


ETERNAL WARRIOR #1

eternalwarrior001I’m not sure what I expected exactly, from this premiere issue…based on bits of “preview” I’d seen despite my usual aversion to and attempts to avoid such things, I’d figured this would be set in the past, so wasn’t disappointed. That is a definite beauty of telling stories about a functionally immortal character who has lived thousands of years…there is a rich timeframe from which to draw and tell stories from! I suppose in some ways I think of Highlander for stuff like this, so it was kind of odd to consider children as part of the picture, but their placement works, and leaves me interested in seeing what comes next. I wasn’t blown away by this issue’s story, though I enjoyed the art. Even so, I find this a very worthy addition to the Valiant line and look forward to what the title holds moving forward.

HARBINGER #16

harbinger016This was a welcome “next chapter” given the way the previous issue ended, and seemed to make a bit more sense of what went down, giving more “reason” for it, as well as allowing some continued character development for a character I’d figured we wouldn’t be seeing again except as a corpse. Tying the character and their powers into the larger arc gives added depth I’m appreciating, and whatever the final ongoing fate of the character, there’s plenty of “meaning” given to things. I also quite enjoy the depiction of Faith and the reality given the character–smart enough to recognize reality yet willing to indulge in the fantastic. The story and art continue to be quite solid, keeping this title as one of my typical favorites of the contemporary Valiant universe.

BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D.CORPS #14

bloodshot014I was expecting something a bit different than what I found here, but quite like what we got. I expected more of a grudging team-up coming out of Harbinger Wars, and something that would feel more like a backdoor pilot of sorts. Instead, this actually came off as a #1 issue firmly rooted in existing continuity…but thankfully there’s no renumbering, only a small rebilling of the title…and there’s actually the continuing story showing the fallout of recent events. I really dig this as a way to introduce another major concept of classic Valiant to current continuity without having to add yet another title, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where things go for these characters and the title–especially as I never much considered Bloodshot a team character. Yet, obviously he’s going to (have to) become one, at least of sorts.

X-O MANOWAR #17

xomanowar017I’m not exactly loving the art on this title…while it is not bad, there’s just something that seems a bit “off” about the X-O armor. Yet, perhaps that’s the primary “issue” I have with it, because the characters otherwise do look pretty good on the whole. I’m definitely enjoying the story on the whole, though I’m not exactly thrilled at Aric growing into a sort of villain figure of sorts. However, at the same time, that is definitely a realistic thing for someone that shows up and takes over part of a country, whatever the motivations. As established, I can’t see Aric just backing down or arbitrarily/suddenly shifting an ingrained mindset to fit a contemporary mindset that accounts for 1600 years of change in such a short time. The continued development also keeps the character grounded: whatever his intentions, he’s “just” a fallible human, finding himself rather suddenly with a lot of power, making things up and learning as he goes along.

General Thoughts

recentvaliants

Outside of the TMNT comics, the first four Valiant titles of the current crop represent the longest I’ve stuck with any given series in quite a number of years. Factoring in the initial four and the eventual addition of Shadowman last year, Quantum and Woody a couple months back and now Eternal Warrior, this is the largest body of titles I’ve stuck with at length in quite awhile as well. Even when there’d be a valid excuse to essentially “double-ship” a title (a #0 and the next numerical instance) in one month, it seems that Valiant has refrained from doing so; at least with the Shadowman and Bloodshot #0s. Even being up to 7 ongoing titles (which admittedly can seem like a large “commitment” on the surface), one has but to look at Marvel‘s double-shipping and see that Valiant would have to add yet another title just to match the number of $3.99 issues’ commitment one currently enjoys every month for half the number of titles.

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