Happy May Day and happy Thursday’s Valiant Effort Day, everyone. Don’t forget to make your plans for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3. For those of you unfamiliar with this comic book ritual, Free Comic Book Day, or FCBD, happens the first Saturday in May every year. Most comic book stores participate and give away free stuff along with awesome sales. Many stores even have comic creators in the store for signings. you can even get some really cool giveaways. I have mentioned this before in previous episodes of Thursday’s Valiant Effort, but Valiant has a great FCBD issue of Armor Hunters, so be on the lookout for that.

Two other things I wanted to throw at you this week. First, check out the cool covers for the two great Valiant additions to FCBD.

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The Valiant Handbook will be a complete rundown of all characters in the Valiant Universe, a great resource for anyone interested in the characters and comics. This rolls right into my next big piece of news, as you can use the Handbook with what is coming. The other news is that very soon, not only will you be able to read about your favorite characters of the Valiant universe, you will also be able to role-play as them. Valiant Entertainment and Catalyst Game Labs have teamed up to create the Valiant Universe RPG. Starting on FCBD, they will be releasing PDFs of quick start rules each week until the full book is available in August. Check this out.

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(If you want to see them larger, click on the images.)

Reviews

Valiant EffortShadowman: End Times #1 – Jack Boniface is the current Shadowman, a host to an ancient spirit called a loa that gives him supernatural powers. This a gift and curse handed down from generation to generation. This mini-series focuses on Jack’s father, Josiah, a man who tamed the loa… or did he? Told with some great flashbacks, we get a glimpse into what Josiah was like, and the shadow that Jack lives under on a daily basis. While Jack and the loa hunt exiled spirits, the inner battle for control is a constant reminder of Jack’s mortal weakness. Of course there are some interesting parallels drawn between the lives of Jack and Josiah, as both of their love interests are/were Abettors, people charged with aiding the Shadowmen but also with controlling and containing them when necessary. The death of his father at the hands of his archenemy, Master Darque, is one of the strongest memories of Jack’s life, and one of the things that controls him… What if that memory was all just a lie? The team of Peter Milligan, Valentine De Landro, Livesay, and David Baron bring together another great piece in the puzzle that is Shadowman.

Valiant EffortRai #1 – The world of Japan in the year 4001 is not so different from ours. People live stacked up in layer upon layer of cities, paper is a rare commodity, and Rai is the mythical hero of all, but few believe him to be real. He is the secret peacekeeper, natural deterrent to criminals everywhere… at least he was. The Raddies, radical militants who believe that PTs or Positrons, what we would call robots, should be freed from the oppression of slavery to man, even if that means destroying humans in the process, have begun killing. Rai is called into investigate the first unsanctioned death in Japan in over 1,000 years. All he has to go on is a name, Spylocke, a fictional movie character who seems to be behind something in regards to these unusual crimes. While Spylocke knows something is going on, he sends Rai off to investigate the crime scene while people continue to die at the hands of the Raddies. The ideal of Japan that all of Rai’s beliefs are founded on is starting to unravel one thread at a time. Will he be able to solve the crimes and save Japan? Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain create a beautiful painted story of action and suspense. you have to check this out.

That’s it for this week. Remember to head out to your local comic shop, or LCS, for all the free loot you can grab. FCBD is the one day of the year that “swag” is an acceptable word. “Check out my cool swag from FCBD!” As always, Read Valiant First.