Monthly Archives: October, 2016

Valiant Comics: What’s Next?

Hey, all. It’s D.C. here just to throwdown on a discussion. My apologies for no reviews this week, but out-of-town training can keep you from reading as much as you’d want.

Anyways…Discussion time!

With X-O Manowar at an end last week, Valiant Entertainment has lost its flagship title, the book that helped restarted the Valiant Universe.

The question now is: Which new title will pick up the torch? Can a new title stand on the same level as that of X-O Manowar?

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And end of an era…

It’s my opinion that have a flagship title is great for any publisher. It’s something that helps drive or focus the overall universe or theme of the publisher in some form, if they are trying to create a cohesive universe. For Marvel, it was (supposed to be) Invincible Iron Man–though with the Marvel Now! initiative, that’s now up in the air. I fear Marvel’s seeming lack of focus will be detrimental. DC’s flagship could arguably be Justice League (certainly not Batman–his tone is too divergent for the overall DCU). IDW has Transformers.

With Valiant, the next title in this new phase of the universe seems very much up in the air, even with continuing titles Ninjak and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior. Let’s take a look at our potentials:

Image result for faith valiant1. Faith: Faith might be the quintessential optimistic heroine, bringing hope and innocence to the gray, harsh world of Valiant, she doesn’t quite strike me as a flagship title. I’ve yet to read the first 3 issues I have of this series, but from what Kay told me (she hasn’t warmed up much to the series), this book isn’t expansive enough to help build the world of Valiant in the same manner as X-O Manowar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for harbinger renegades2. Harbinger Renegades: This is the closest book I can see that will herald the next phase of the Valiant Universe. The first Harbinger series was great, and now that the spin-off series Imperium ended on a somber note, we need to see how the world still handles the threat of Toyo Harada. Peter Stanchek’s return is sorely needed. And for the Renegades to find themselves, their growth may tie in to the overall growth of Valiant and the rise of new heroes, villains, and organizations. Interestingly enough, the black woman in the background has yet to be revealed, but I can only think it’s Unity’s Livewire. How will she tie in to the group and its overall destiny?

 

 

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3. Britannia: No way. This miniseries is set so far in the past. But it’s with great hope that the world’s first detective will shed more light in Valiant’s past. Perhaps we’ll see something related to the Vine or the Anni-Padda brothers…or perhaps a later event?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for savage valiant4. Savage: Another 4-part miniseries that we can cut off the headliner list. Savage has been hailed as the Turok series that Valiant has been missing. With crazy and striking art, this mini’s already been stated that the series will integrate into the overall Valiant universe. How that will happen is anyone’s guess. This is probably the book I most look forward to.

 

 

Image result for generation zero5. Generation Zero: I’ve read the first issue of this series, but I have so little to say about the wayward psiot children that debuted in Bloodshot. I’m not sure where this series is supposed to go, or how much of the Valiant universe it’s supposed to unveil, but there were some very interesting twists just in the inaugural issue. If the other children of Generation Zero show up, and if this series keeps up the momentum, I can see some very unsettling facets of the Valiant Universe being revealed to us.

Image result for bloodshot reborn6. Bloodshot Reborn: Nah…Bloodshot’s world is far too psychotic and gritty to make the tone of Valiant. Bloodshot Reborn has been a great follow-up to the psiot killer’s first series and The Valiant (and I’d say a little better–pick up the first 3 volumes if you hadn’t), but this chaotic anti-hero strives too hard to be away from the general world. However, with the upcoming event Bloodshot U.S.A., Bloodshot’s place in the Valiant Universe is growing–but is that a good thing? Wait till we see the chaos that will come.

 

 

 

Image result for rai valiant7. Rai: Holy damn, what a good ending to Rai with the event, 4001 A.D. But since this series won’t come back until January, we can rule out this one as a flagship. However, when it returns, it should continue to flagship the future of Valiant now that new heroes (a Loa related to Shadowman, the nonhuman Bloodshot, the War Mother, the geomancer and  the Eternal Warrior) have risen to join Rai and the fallen New Japan. If you haven’t read this series or it’s conclusion, 4001 A.D., I strongly suggest you pick up all the books.

 

 

 

 

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8. Divinity III: Stalinverse: This has been one of the more intriguing lines coming out soon. I haven’t read Divinity II yet, but the first book was very captivating. But this one details a warped world that only Ninjak knows to be wrong. As for the titular character…where is he, will he aid or antagonize Ninjak, and how will these events drive the rest of the Valiant Universe when all is said and done?

 

 

 

 

 

So, for now….the idea of a Valiant flagship title is uncertain, as is the overall direction of the future going in. Still, these titles all appear exciting in some way. I can only hope that Valiant continues to push the envelope and develop other corners of its still-nascent world.

And I hope you’re looking forward to it, too.

END THROWDOWN.

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Savior…..(Does he truly exist?)

Hello everyone this is Kay G, and today we will be discussing a hidden gem I came upon called Savior; an Image comic by Todd Mcfarlane with art by Clayton Crain. Now for those of you follow my partner and I, know about Clayton Crain. Crain worked on Rai, and is one very amazing artist. He takes computer graphics to a whole another level, and his work just enhances the works of the writer.

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This story fascinated me in many different ways. It’s about a man who appears out of nowhere from the depths of the corn fields after a plane crash. Chaos is everywhere, people are dying and here’s this man coming out the fields. This mysterious man is carrying a child that should be dead but in his arms, she’s very much alive. Then this man vanishes, like if he was never there only to be seen later questioned by the police with no idea to who he is.

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John Doe

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Cassie Hale

There are also two other key characters that play a role in this comic along with the mystery man; Cassie Hale and Malcolm. Cassie Hale is a news reporter who witnesses the crash and the mystery man first hand. She somehow connects with this man on a very strange and intimate level. Yet not the level of romance, but in a deeper connection like his mind is able to connect with hers.

 

 

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Malcolm

Malcolm, who’s this young guy questioning his life after the crash finds himself questioning his faith. He starts asking the same questions as I did. Is there a god? Because if there was, would he allow all those people to die? Malcolm meets some activist that come into town, preaching that God hates them, and is punishing the wicked. That all those people died in that plane crash because they deserved it. This part of the story blew my mind. Even though I know this kind of activist exist in real life, the realization of what they could and would do was absolutely horrific. These people preached of God and punishment like a whole town could actually be suffering because some higher power hated themImage result for "savior" comic

Throughout the entire story, I found myself questioning who this man was and what he could do. Was he really a miracle? Can there be such a thing? Religious or not this comic leaves you wondering if there is a God or is there faith, but you are also left coming up with your own interpretations. This man was born with a gift, when he touched someone they could raise from the dead, they could be healed. This gift was treated like a curse something he had to hide, because what would happened to him if the world knew about him? The ending of this story is shocking and revolutionary, and the answer to the question about what happens when just ONE person finds out is surely answered.

 

I’m still in awe of this story. It was beautifully written and detailed. The artwork alone is masterful. To some readers comic books are just simple stories, a picture book with words. Well a lot of fans will tell you differently, but if you ever find yourself questioning if there is any depth into any of these stories….Savior will definitely change your mind.

 

 

The Coming of Black

Happy October, world. D.C. here to start off this month with something that garnered intense discussion.

Recently, it’s been revealed that a new miniseries by publisher Black Mask Comics will be out this coming week, called Black.

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The controversy with this kickstarted series by Kwanza Osajyefo is succinct:

“What if only black people had super powers?” You can find the article here.

With a logline like that, one might imagine the firestorm in the comic fandom–if indeed the rage is from the fandom.

On a thread tonight, I saw a large swath of comments which consisted of variations this sort: “Hypocrites,” or “If a white writer wrote this, everyone would call it racist!” or “What if the shoe was on the other foot?!” or “Garbage.”

This book, like anything controversial or other, invoked such emotion. Supporters and opponents of Black threw verbal stones at Osajyefo and at one another: racist. Racist, racist, racist.

After reading the article and the comments, my view is something like this:

Racism is a strong word to use anytime, anywhere. You have to really, really know when to use it. There are sensitive people on both sides of the argument who are too quick to call something or someone racist whenever it is something they don’t like. If you want to call something racist, you need to understand what–and most importantly why–something is racist. It’s not truth just because it comes out of your mouth or your fingers.

Using the “if a white person did this…” argument is short-sighted and, in my eyes, seeks to mitigate one’s hang ups without actual proof. To argue in such a black and white way means you disregard content and context from a historical and current events perspective.

Ignore context and history, and books like these get supplanted by less informed and less intelligent dialogue. It’s one thing to write a book like Black off as racist or bad, provided you’ve read it. But in lieu of reading and understanding the content of the story, how much information can one go off on before calling something racist, PC, pandering, or garbage? How well can you judge its merit?

Racism in media exist. Racist media does exist. Movies such as the 1915 film “Birth of a Nation” can be seen as racist. Books like 1978 The Turner Diaries can be seen as racist. Still, someone like me can see why some of those have importance. I mean, hell, “Birth of a Nation” is on the American Film Institute’s 100 top films list.

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I am a tried and true comic fan, and I find controversial topics very intriguing. If it were any other ethnicity, including white, with powers, I would still be curious to see how said group of people will use or squander their powers. I think books like this, if written well, can serve as strong, potential cautionary tales of bias, identity, conforming, social and racial tensions, prejudice, and humanity, on all sides of the coin.

Rather than cry foul or racism, I choose to read a book. Rather than be a fool and run on emotions (and Kay knows my emotions), I choose to judge a book by its content, context, and merit.

If Black, a miniseries that puts a controversial spin on superheroes and intends to address social issues that do involve black people, black sentiment, and tensions, makes you outraged, I ask: Why?

Why are you outraged? Why SHOULD you be outraged? Are you outraged at the message of the book? The content of the book? Its execution/portrayal? The very idea of the book?

Careful, though. The answers we get will tell us exactly how a dissenter thinks.

END THROWDOWN.