Welcome to Thursday’s Valiant Effort, where you, the reader, can come to get your weekly fix on all things Valiant. I read and review each issue released by Valiant Entertainment, give you any news that we have, and even some cool giveaways at least once a month. Please support us by sharing the articles with all your friends and liking and commenting with what you love about Valiant.
I had to take a week off from this column, not a vacation, just a catch up day, so this week we have three comics, two from last week and one from this week. Armor Hunters is heating up as the Summer event barrels ahead in full gear. Look forward to a couple of new mini-series in the coming months, The Delinquents and the Armor Hunters one-shots. Now, the reviews.
X-O Manowar #26 – Coming off the huge milestone issue of X-O Manowar #25, I was really ready to jump back into the big story and see how Aric was dealing with the Armor Hunters coming after Shandalar, the X-O Manowar armor. As I turned the pages of issue #26, what I got instead was an intense story detailing the backstory of how two members of the Armor Hunters got their first experience battling an armor. Amalgam and Reebo were a couple of bounty hunters, making a living collecting mating barbs (whatever those are) and delivering them to a bartender. Now, the opportunity has been placed in their laps, an opportunity that no one else in this bar full of bounty hunters would believe was real. A man has been telling a story, asking for help, telling about how his world is under siege. He talks of his society, a world created for war, and yet even their best generals could do nothing against this thing… this armor. Reebo merely scoffs, “Nothing wastes a planet by itself.” In the end, they decide to go just to be sure the guy is not lying. They figure they can scavenge whatever they need if nothing else. When they get to planet and setup camp for the night, the armor attacks. Secure, or so they think, behind their shields, they soon learn that even their experiences are nothing compared to what this armor can dish out. Even blasting the armor with the ship’s engine is not enough to shut it down for long. When they finally do escape from the planet, they spend the next few months recovering, telling people the story, and being the butt of jokes. Finally, they are approached by some military looking gentleman who offers them a job saving worlds from the scourge of the armors. An interesting origin-type story for one of our villains. Robert Venditti has created a cool backstory, and showing us Amalgam before he became the part-armor creature that Aric fought in space was an awesome way of tying the stories together. Raing: 4.5/5
Shadowman: End Times #3 – This is the finale to this interesting mini-series. Jack’s hunt for his father, who he found out was still alive but was hiding in the Voodou Lands, continues. Between the Abettors, Punk Mambo, Baron Samedi, and the constant inner struggle against the loa, Jack Boniface has had a rough go of it lately, but finding out that his father had not died battling his nemesis, Master Darque, and had instead abandoned his wife and son, was the final blow. Now, Jack is determined to do anything to get to his father, even if that means resurrecting Master Darque. In the Voodou Lands, as Jack is bringing Darque back to life, Josiah, his father, is petitioning the Ancestors, the voodoo spirits, to control the Shadowman loa and keep his son away. After that fails, Josiah understands that, for the first time in 30 years, he is going to have to face the consequences of his actions. Despite the diversions, Jack finally faces his father and, instead of excuses, he is confronted with the truth… the truth of what the loa can do to a man, something that is very real to Jack at this very moment. The parallels between father and son become clearer as Josiah brings up the way that Jack has treated Alyssa, the young Abettor who trained Jack in how to use and control the loa and the woman that Jack has fallen in love with. Last issue, he basically told her that she was just a warm body and meant nothing to him… harsh. Will Jack kill his father? What role will Master Darque play now that Jack has returned life and freedom to him? I can’t spoil this one for you, you just have to read it. A great mini-series, a story of the past, the present, and a solid setup for the future. Peter Milligan and a great art team have done an awesome job on this series and I can’t wait to see the next chapter. Rating 4.5/5
Quantum and Woody #12 – Another finale this week, this is the last issue of the current run of Quantum and Woody. At the mercy of Edison’s Radical Acquisitions, Quantum and Woody are thrown one more curve ball at the end of last issue… the goat is really their dad, who they had thought dead all this time. The story so far is that Woody was arrested in conjunction with a heist that was pulled, or attempted, at the Smithsonian, where Quantum just happened to be working security. To save himself, Woody ratted out the E.R.A. and they did not take kindly to that. Now, the brothers are facing their greatest challenge, the mechanical monster that is Thomas Edison. Of course, the bickering between Eric and Woody makes it really hard for a concerted attack and they are captured, again. The in-between pages are an origin story of Tommy Edison, the boy genius who wanted his genius to continue on long after his body grew old. Written as sort of an Archie/Richie Rich type kids comic, this is a funny way to tell the origin and it ends up being a comic that Eric was reading while sitting and waiting. The rest of this issue is just joke after joke and mishap after mishap, ending with the brothers working as bounty hunters and really trying to make a life. You should be reading this series, it has been amazing. This ends the current series, but be sure to come back and catch Quantum and Woody and Archer and Armstrong as they team up in The Delinquents. Rating 5/5
That wraps up this week’s Thursday’s Valiant Effort. I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to Read Valiant First and check out all the new series that are coming out in the coming months.