Monday, May 23, 2016

Comic Review: Valiant 2016 Free Comic Book Day Preview

    The Valiant Comics re-launch from a few years ago had me really excited...for a few months. It was nice to see a bunch of titles launching from someone other than Marvel and DC, characters with some history and fanbase, but enough freedom to tell new stories. Plus, Cary Nord doing art for X-O Manowar?! Yes!!!  Sadly, like Nord’s time on the comic, my interest did not last. X-O Manowar spiraled out of my interest with the introduction of stupidly 90s character Ninjak and the loss of Nord’s art. Bloodshot seemed vaguely interesting, but not quite enough to keep me reading. Really, Archer & Armstrong was the best, but I drifted away from that, too.

    They’ve kept going without my business, and keep putting things out that almost make me want to start reading them again. Now, with their “Summer of 4001AD” line, my interest is piqued again. I like science fiction stuff. Are they boosting their characters into the future? What’s going on? Well, this sample preview doesn’t really tell me. But there are a few interesting things. I don’t know anything about Rai, but he looks kinda like a Japanese Bloodshot. OK. He’s running around in a futuristic dystopia filled with virtual reality and a blasted Earth. Sure. Sounds good. The very short bit from Divinity II adds to my desire to read Divinity. Seems like some crazy, Grant Morrison type mega-Science Fiction, and you know I’m there for that. Archer & Armstrong looks sufficiently weird and funny that I’m sure I’d be enjoying it if I’d stuck around. Faith seems as one-trick as ever. I’ve not read anything from it before, and I know it gets a lot of praise, but so far as I can tell its lone selling point is a “plus-size” woman superhero as the lead. I hope there’s more to that in the actual comic, but there isn’t in the preview. And the sample of Bloodshot remains almost interesting enough to want to read it. Almost.

    This preview did for me much what walking through a comic shop does with Valiant. It makes me curious to see what they’re doing, but not curious enough to drop any money on their books. Though I’d buy a trade of Divinity if I saw it.

-Matthew J. Constantine

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