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Valiant’s Harbinger In Development At Paramount

It is being reported that Paramount has nabbed the rights to Valiant Comics’ Harbinger from Sony who is currently developing the project as a feature film. The info includes that Neal Moritz (Sonic the Hedgehog, Preacher, The Boys) is producing with Valiant’s Dan Mintz, and director Justin Tipping, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joshua Beirne-Golden, …

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Valiant Confirms Movies & TV Shows In Development: X-O Manowar, Shadowman & More

We get an update on the Valiant Entertainment slew of projects in the works that includes upcoming movies and television shows. In the official announcement of filmmaker Dan Mintz acquiring Valiant Entertainment, the list of projects being worked on is listed, which happens to include X-O Manowar, Shadowman and more: Current Valiant movie and television projects in …

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Sony & Valiant Comics Announce 5-Picture Deal for Bloodshot, Harbinger & Harbinger Wars

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Sony and Valiant Comics have announced a five-picture deal to bring Bloodshot, Harbinger and Harbinger Wars to the big screen.

The movies will be a part of a shared universe film event.

Full details:

Valiant Entertainment and Sony Pictures today announced a deal to bring two of Valiant’s award-winning comic book superhero franchises—BLOODSHOT and HARBINGER—to the big screen over the course of five feature films that will culminate in the shared universe crossover film, HARBINGER WARS.
 
BLOODSHOT, arriving in theaters in 2017, will kick off the five-picture plan leading to HARBINGER WARS and will be directed by David Leitch & Chad Stahelski (John Wick) from a script by Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) and Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce the film. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will serve as executive producers.
 
HARBINGER will follow shortly thereafter from a script by Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Sony and Valiant remain tight-lipped about potential directors. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce.
 
Both BLOODSHOT and HARBINGER will be followed by sequels before the title characters confront each other head on in HARBINGER WARS—a motion picture directly inspired by Valiant’s critically acclaimed 2013 comic book crossover of the same name. Andrea Giannetti will oversee the five-picture HARBINGER WARS initiative for Sony Pictures.
 
“Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of comics, and Neal is one of the best action producers in the business today. This is a formidable partnership that will bring two incredibly commercial franchises with global appeal together on the big screen,” said Sony Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad. “The long-term plan that begins with BLOODSHOT will be a considerable priority for Sony in the months and years to come.”
 
Brought back from the dead and infused with cutting-edge nanotechnology by private security contractor Project Rising Spirit, Bloodshot is a nearly unstoppable killing machine equipped with enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing. Created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton in 1992, Bloodshot is one of the most successful new comic book characters of the past two decades with more than 100 issues published and lifetime sales of more than 7 million copies in multiple languages around the world. After returning with a sold-out new series in 2012, Bloodshot’s latest chapter recently began with the release of Bloodshot Reborn #1 in April—the first issue of a new series from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mico Suayan.
 
Centered on telekinetic teenage runaway Peter Stanchek and his recruitment into the mysterious Harbinger Foundation by secretive CEO and philanthropist Toyo Harada, Harbinger was created by former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and artist David Lapham in 1992. Having sold more than 5 million copies worldwide in multiple languages across more than 60 issues, Harbinger returned with a new series in 2012 to multiple sold-out printings and widespread critical acclaim.
 
Bloodshot and Harbinger collide in Harbinger Wars—Valiant’s 2013 crossover event from writers Joshua Dysart and Duane Swierczynski with art by Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain, and Pere Perez. Valiant’s first crossover of the modern era, Harbinger Wars would go on to become the year’s best-selling crossover event from an independent publisher and spawned multiple sold-out printings.
 
“Bloodshot and Harbinger are two of the great untapped franchises anywhere in comics,” said producer and founder of Original Film, Neal H. Moritz. “In partnership with Sony and Valiant, we look forward to building the next great generation of superhero films.”
 
“Sony Pictures and Neal Moritz are the ideal partners to bring the world of Bloodshot and Harbinger to life,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “They understand exactly what makes these characters tick and the exciting potential that they hold. These films are just the first step in partnership with Sony to bring Valiant’s biggest heroes to new audiences worldwide.”
 
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Valiant is one of the most successful comic book publishing companies in the history of the medium with more than 81 million comics sold and a library of more than 2,000 distinct characters. Established by a brain trust of legendary comics creators, Valiant’s heroes and villains inhabit the largest independently owned superhero universe anywhere in comics. Re-established in 2005 as Valiant Entertainment, the company returned to great commercial and critical success in 2012, winning a Diamond Gem Award for Publisher of the Year and numerous industry awards and accolades. To date, Valiant’s titles consistently rate among the best reviewed in comics.
 
Valiant’s comic book universe—which includes the best-selling superheroes Bloodshot, Harbinger, X-O Manowar, Shadowman, and Archer & Armstrong, among many others—is characterized by a grounded, character-driven approach to storytelling. Its stories take place in a world only subtly removed from our own—one inspired by real-world science and inhabited by morally ambiguous heroes that often forgo capes and secret identities.
 
In March, Valiant announced that it partnered with Beijing-based entertainment company DMG for nine-figures of film financing capital for the production of theatrical films and television programs based on Valiant’s library of iconic superhero characters.
 
With over fifty films released, Neal Moritz’s worldwide box office gross exceeds $7 billion. His hits include: the Jump Street franchise, The Fast and The Furious franchise, I Am Legend, XXX, Click,Sweet Home Alabama, S.W.A.T., Battle: Los Angeles, and The Green Hornet. 
 
In addition to BLOODSHOT, HARBINGER, and HARBINGER WARS, Moritz also has several films in development with Sony Pictures, including Passengers, Christian the Lion, 23 Jump Street, Cliffhanger, Rockets Red Glare, and A Prophet.  

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Review: Harbinger #24

This is it! After two years of being manipulated and hunted by Toyo Harada, Peter Stanchek and the Renegades lay all the cards on the table and NOTHING will ever be the same again!

Joshua Dysart has been promising major changes to Harbinger with his current “Death of a Renegade” storyline and he has delivered on all accounts! After last issues shocking death of the team’s sexy fire bird, Flamingo, fans have stood slack-jawed for what would come next. Be fair warned, by the stunning conclusion of this issue, every aspect of the Harbinger series will be completely changed!

In a medium that treats death of characters with as little respect or second thought as a used tissue, Joshua Dysart is one of the few writers that takes the time for the emotional weight to register with his characters. Even amidst the chaos of Peter and Toyo’s epic battle, the individual remorse and regret felt by the rest of the Renegades is what drives this issue past the shackles of the normal “grieving issue” and into something astounding. Dysart takes the time for each character to ponder their own actions during the tragic event, brewing up a maelstrom of emotion that is rarely seen in current comics. From guilt and being overwrought with sadness to deflection and levity, Dysart makes each moment feel real and connects his characters to the reader even more so than he has in the past. That connection and depth of character development is what continually makes Harbinger one of the best reads on the market month after month. You owe it to yourself to grab it as soon as you can!

Destruction on a physical and emotional level awaits you this issue. The teacher and the student will war until the very fabric of the Valiant Universe changes and you will be on the ground floor to witness it! After this issue, I have no idea where Peter Stanchek, the Renegades or even Harada will be — but I truly cannot wait to find out!

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COVER SHOOT: The Top 5 Comic Book Covers For 3/19/2014

COVER SHOOT

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This weekly feature will take a look at THE most visually compelling comic book covers on the market today. Whether they be rare variant editions or just your standard fare, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amidst the bevy of books released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”  but these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines behind them, these covers compel you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

 

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1.  Noah (Image):  This movie adaption hardcover not only has a stunning cover by the world renowned, Niko Henrichon, but he does all the interior art as well! The linework and layout of this image exudes desolation, a single man bearing the weight of the world, no one could have conveyed that powerful of a thought more beautifully than Henrichon. This cover is so pristine and epic that it is overwhelming!

 

 

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2. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #9 (DC): From the foreground pose to the choice of illuminating the background in an onslaught of baby blue, Julian Totino Tedesco, made all the right choices to make this cover pop off of the racks! The slightly diluted painting scheme is truly beautiful and helps solidify the main character in her new role of warrior of the light. It is almost heavenly in scope and astonishing to behold!

 

 

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3. Daredevil #1 (Variant Edition) (Marvel):  This variant edition by Paolo Rivera, was originally petitioned as a color piece with Daredevil’s suit in a crimson red. I think this stark black and white version is even more eye catching than the original thought and helps to accentuate the graphic background design that Rivera meticulously laid out. While the foreground image of DD is done very well, it is the background that makes this cover great for me. Not only does it offset with the foreground image but it also represents the story well in regards to acting as a maze. It mimics DD’s disadvantage of being in a new city perfectly, making the whole book something special.

 

 

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4. Harbinger: Bleeding Monk #0 (Variant Edition) (Valiant):  Clayton Henry is a master of mixing digital and painted art to make some of the most outstanding covers on the market today. This one is no different but the layout is done so exceptionally well, that it blows everything else away! The forced perspective is amazing, making you feel as though the focal point is literally floating above you. The central image alone can sell this book, but Henry made the background colors a complete juxtaposition to the foreground, creating a solid piece that is truly stunning!

 

 

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5. Thor: God of Thunder #20 (Marvel):  Do I need to say anything about this cover? Does anyone create a Thor cover better than Esad Ribic? “I say thee, nay!” This image is pure power, pure strength and pure excitement! The detail Ribic puts into “old” Thor is astounding but just look at, even “older,” Galactus in the background!  The eye has so much to take in it’s dizzying! There is not one inch of this cover that doesn’t make the inner fanboy in me squeal with glee. ’nuff said!

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COVER SHOOT: The Top 5 Comic Book Covers for November 13th, 2013

COVER SHOOT

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This weekly feature will take a look at THE most visually compelling comic book covers on the market today. Whether they be rare variant editions or just your standard fare, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amidst the bevy of books released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”  but these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines behind them, these covers compel you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

 

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1. Coffin Hill #2 (Vertigo/DC): This stunning cover by Dave Johnson is not only beautiful but hauntingly eerie as well. The deep purple and maroon background are the perfect complement to the bright foreground figure. It makes it seem that she was cut form another work of art and overlaid to this one, each piece having merit in their own right, but together make something extraordinarily wonderful!

 

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2. X-Men Gold #1 (Variant Edition) (Marvel): John Cassady makes a classic throwback cover to the early days of the X-Men in this 50 year anniversary book of Marvel’s merry mutants! The layout has that perfect nostalgic feel of the team diving into battle, young and innocent, with no regrets. But, it is Cassady’s decision to use pop art style design for the background that gives this cover that Jim Steranko feel, and no one can beat that!

 

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3. Harbinger #18 (Valiant): Matthew Walsh creates an amazingly surreal cover that is compositionally perfect. The way Walsh “bleeds” the tendrils from the Bleeding Monk into the caverns of Peter Stancheck’s mind not only makes for an outstanding effect, but also metaphorically matches the relationship these two characters have with one another. The choice of minimal colors draws the eye away form everything else on the racks today — perfect!

 

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4. Batman: Li’l Gotham #8 (DC): I don’t even know where to begin with this one! Dustin Nguyen creates some of the most artistic and fun covers on the market today and this is just one more awesome piece! There are so many parts for the eye to enjoy, the vibrant colors, the amazingly rendered characters, mermaids, the pirate ship etc. I could go on and on! This piece is not only poster worthy, but gallery worthy. Whomever says “toon” art isn’t art, is too stuck up to know what true art is!

 

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5. Batgirl #25 (DC): As frequent readers of this article know, Alex Garner has been present on this list more than a few times. Is there any reason why he shouldn’t be? This painted and digitally enhanced cover is essentially perfect. The strain and determination on the central characters face sets the pace for what takes place in the interior of the book and helps to bring a glimpse of humanity to an otherwise dark and gloomy city! Alex we NEED posters!!
 

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Review: Unity #1

When it comes to company crossovers, fans are generally more excited by the hype of a product then the final execution of it. There is always something lacking. Weak story, exclusions of characters or just plain horrible endings make the “big event” seem minimal and contrived by the time it wraps up. But here, with Valiant’s Unity, there is no wrap up, there is no “big event” because this ongoing book IS the “big event” month after month!

Superstar writer, Matt Kindt, helms the tale of all the biggest, baddest beings in the Valiant Universe coming together to stop a single, common threat — X-O Manowar! That’s right, Valiant’s flagship character and hero(?) decides that it is time his people have reparations for the hundreds of years they have been missing from earth. He stakes his claim and the world responds with threats of their own, but mere armies are no match for the power of the Visigoth and his armor. So, in secret, other powerful beings unite to stand against such a threat, but are even they enough to overcome the sheer might of the Manowar?! Maybe!

This is how you do “big events” in comics, “Big Two” take note! Kindt lays everything out on the table, A + B =C and we are off to the races! Fans of any Valiant book will be thrilled not only because it corresponds to almost every other book Valiant creates, but because the story is so imbedded in the rich history of their entire Universe! But, the biggest draw, is that ANY comic fan can pick up this series and fully understand exactly what is happening!

Kindt is a master of storytelling, slowing the pace to inform the reader of the background of the characters (giving each their own splash page) before blasting you with all out chaos and carnage the next moment. The tale is rich enough to hold sway over the reader looking for more than just a brawl infused slugfest but not pretentious enough to know when to let go and have some amazing fight sequences. Just like the characters assembled in the book, the story is a myriad of layers that culminate in one fantastic entity that will blow you away!

With outstanding interiors by Doug Braithwaite and a perfect tale by Matt Kindt, this is THE  book every comic fan should be reading. There is no excuse to miss the further solidification of an already honed universe — the Valiant Universe! Where “big events” don’t just happen once a year but everyday!

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Review: Harbinger #12

Before you read this review you need to ask yourself,” Why do I read comics?” “Is it for the heroes in intense situations?” “Is it for the exceptional writing that makes these situations come to life before your eyes?” “Is it for the depth of character the writer builds upon so that these heroes resonate with us?” “Is it the amazing art that visually draws us into the world the writer has created?”

If you answered,”Yes,” to any of these questions, I have one more for you. “Have you been reading Harbinger?” If you said, “Yes,” then you know how great a book this has been. If you said, “No,” let me change your mind!

Harbinger #12 continues the Harbinger Wars crossover that has been waging through Harbinger, Harbinger Wars and Bloodshot for the last few months. We see Peter Stancheck’s Renegades finally come face to face with the psiots that have escaped from Project Rising Spirit, as well as how these young powerhouses have been dealing with their new found freedom. A clash between these groups is inevitable, children with power to shake the earth are not always welcoming to strangers, but it is the soul, the emotion of this book, not the action, that will truly grip you.

Joshua Dysart writes some of the most compelling characters on the market today. Teamed with the exceptional artistry of Khari Evans, Dysart has not only built visually intriguing characters, but ones that fans can empathize with. These characters have a humanity deeply rooted within their bones, something most super heroes tend to lack. They have fears, hopes and dreams as well as wield godlike powers! They are the everyman living in a scary world with the ability to change it for better or worse.

In this issue we see how manipulation, torture and a life of solitude can change a person. It is unnerving, to see Harada’s early attempts at activating psiots but, it is even worse when Peter meets Chronos and we know the same thing has been done on children! The duality of Chronos and Peter is what drives this tale. Even though Peter did not have an ideal childhood, being institutionalized and left by his mother, he eventually got to live in the outside world, while Chronos did not. Similar to a point, you can see what Peter could have become where it not for his chance for freedom and friendship. Chronos, on the other hand, had no escape until now and the world will pay for the sins committed against him. He is a fascinating character and a true image that Dysart can make every new character as rich and emotionally stirring as the rest!

So, if my little review hasn’t swayed you about Harbinger, I have another idea. For a single dollar you can get yourself the Valiant One Dollar Debut Edition of Harbinger #1. One dollar can open up your eyes to a whole new world of comic greatness. Don’t you think you can spare a dollar to broaden your horizons? I do! 

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 5/8/2013

 

The Top of the Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This is the weekly “quick pick” of the best 5 comics to hit the shelves! Whether they are riddled with action, have the best dramatic sequences, blast you with a bevy of shock and awe or make you feel like a child again, these are the books EVERYONE should be reading! This “DOC’s” prescription for having the best week possible — begins with these Top 5 books! (In no particular order!)

 

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1.  Uncanny Avengers #8 (Marvel):  Rick Remender is a repeat performer and a constant member of The Top of the Pile, and for a good reason! His amalgam team of Avengers and X-Men are not only at odds with the biggest threats to the world, but are at odds with each other as well. The deception and secrets has made these heroes question the integrity of everyone, leaving the reader with an aura of continual awe and merriment. Plus, who gets to kill a Celestial? Rick Remender — that’s who!

 

 

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2. Batman and Red Hood #20 (DC):  Peter J. Tomasi may be leaving Green Lantern Corps after this weeks issue, but you NEED to check out what he is doing for the Batman mythos as well! Since the death of Damian Wayne, Bruce has been lost, swimming in despair and rage. So, he calls upon the first Robin to have died and they take out their pain on the snipers that attacked Damian on that fateful day! But, what seems to be a reconciliation between Bats and Red Hood may end up destroying their partnership forever! A great look at the emotional side of two great characters that will never be the same again!

 

 

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3. Harbinger #12 (Valiant): The third chapter of the epic Harbinger Wars crossover, this issue shows just how brutal children with massive powers can be! Especially, since these powerhouses have been tortured, belittled and separated from the rest of humanity all their lives! This is a fantastic character piece that showcases the perfect balance of emotion and action on many levels. Stunning!

 

 

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4. X #1 (Dark Horse):  Duane Swierczynski has not only revamped the killing machine, Bloodshot, for Valiant Comics, now he has brought back the most brutal vigilante to ever grace the pages of Dark Horse as well! X is a non-stop menagerie of brutality that will ensnare you in the filthy underground world of Arcadia. Now, with a journalist on his trail, will X let up on his reign of terror he has placed on the worst criminals of the city? Hell No! Great stuff!

 

 

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5. Justice League of America #3 (DC): Geoff Johns has taken a motley crew of “heroes” and made them into one of the most interesting reads every month. This issue sees the truth behind Green Arrow’s attackers come to light and the “team” set up one of their own! Plus, Stargirl gets a dose of reality from Amanda Waller and Catwoman gets a little too close for comfort with Martian Manhunter in a great back-up story by the acclaimed writer of Mind MGMT — Matt Kindt! Two amazing writers for one low price! Who could ask for anything more?

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Advanced Review: Harbinger Wars #2

Fans were blown away with, not only the all out action of the first issue of this crossover, but with the overall ease with which the casual reader can immerse themselves into the storyline. In a market plagued with mediocre crossovers that strive more on gaining your hard earned cash instead of delivering a quality product, Valiant stands as the shinning example of how to please it’s fans! If you were enthralled with the first issue, the second in the series will utterly take your breath away!

Written by Joshua Dysart, with story conceptualization done by both Dysart and Duane Swierczynski, Harbinger Wars #2 is a tidal wave of all-out action that is stunning on all aspects. The reader is given the chance to delve deeper into the seediness of Project Rising Spirit and witness the re-birth of another long forgotten Valiant concept bound to thrill readers all over again! Though I won’t spoil any part of this outstanding tale, I will say that you will see some horrific deeds take place and the true heart of Toyo Harada will forever darken the corners of the Valiant Universe!

Masterfully crafted by Joshua Dysart and crew, Harbinger Wars is bound to become one of the most comprehensive, overtly exciting and reader friendly crossovers ever written. It is steeped in emotional duress, shockingly horrific circumstances and riddled with action sequences that will blow your mind! It is the blueprint as to what ALL crossovers should be like no matter what company employees you!

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Valiant and Image Present: Dollar Days!

That’s right, folks! Just as the dog days of summer begin to creep upon us, Valiant and Image Comics present one cool deal to help beat the heat and not your wallet! 

To help kick off Free Comic Book Day, May 4th, Valiant and Image Comics have decided to re-release some of the most sought after first issues of the past twelve months — for only a dollar each! Eleven total issues will be re-released on May 1st, five Valiant issues and six Image ones, and you can have them all for a measly ELEVEN DOLLARS! In a market that usually sells comics for $3.99, this is the perfect opportunity for anyone to inquire about books that may have slipped past them the first time around and are now fetching a hefty price for first editions! Below is a list of all the books you SHOULD be reading!

To help celebrate their one year anniversary, Valiant is actually re-releasing every first issue of all their books. Written and drawn by some of the best comic creators in the business, Joshua Dysart, Justin Jordan and Fred Van Lente to name a few, you just can’t go wrong with any of these books. I highly recommend them all, but be quick to grab as many Harbinger and Bloodshot copies as you can due to the extremely popular Harbinger Wars crossover! 

Valiant One Dollar Editions: Archer & Armstrong #1, Harbinger #1, Bloodshot #1, Shadowman #1 and X-O Manowar #1

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Although Image does this promotion every year, this group of books in particular, are some of the best series they have put out to date, including the all-ages adventure series Super Dinosaur written by The Walking Dead creator – Robert Kirkman! Be sure to grab extra copies of Mind the Gap and the insane version of Peter Pan everyone loves — Peter Panzerfaust, too!

Image Firsts: Bedlam #1, Great Pacific #1, Mind the Gap #1, Morning Glories #1, Peter Panzerfaust #1 and Super Dinosaur #1

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With Free Comic Book Day just around the corner and a bevy of comic book movies hitting this summer, there is no better time to become a comic fan! So, get out there, grab eleven books and tell your local comic shop owner, “I’d buy that for a dollar!”

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Advanced Review: Harbinger #11

The Harbinger Wars is upon us and fans have been raving! The smashing debut issue not only helped to knit more pieces of the Valiant Universe together, but it also posed an insurmountable amount of questions! Not to worry though, Joshua Dysart begins to let things unfold further in this weeks Harbinger #11 and things will never be the same again!

Mixing flashback sequences with current story lines, Dysart lets the reader peek at the history of Toyo Harada and Project Rising Securities, better known as Project Rising Spirit. We see their first real interaction together and it is a terse one to say the least! Within these sequences Dysart also let’s us see a more optimistic Toyo Harada as opposed with the opportunistic one we are more prone to. This insight creates a richer depth to the character, making the lines between hero and villain blur, leaving the reader with a moral conundrum on how to perceive his choices.

Not only does Dysart make us question our “villain”, he makes us question our heroes as well. While Peter Stancheck has been having visions of the Bleeding Monk, his Renegades have been contemplating their new found place in the world. Powerful, young and lawless, these “heroes” find themselves in a moral dilemma all their own. Do those that have been beaten down emotionally and physically now have a moral obligation to help others just because they now have the power to? Do they have the right to live above the law since they can simply choose to do so? Do they even have a choice in the matter or do their powers automatically oblige them to do what’s right? The questions posed by Dysart make these characters extremely “real” to the reader and that is what makes this book so brilliant month after month. These characters are all of us, just on a grander scale! They bicker and fight, they have fears and dream of amazing things, they are scared and powerful and they need each other even though they won’t admit it. They are as “real’ as super heroes will ever become, which in my eyes, is truly amazing!

Take the next step into the Harbinger Wars in Harbinger #11 and always remember to: Be smart, be diligent, be — Valiant!

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Review: Harbinger Wars #1

The spring’s biggest crossover has finally been released and Valiant does nothing more than completely blow you away!

The writers of the fantastic series of books, Harbinger and Bloodshot, have converged to bring you a tale of the past, present and future of the Valiant Universe. This is an in depth look at all the little secrets that have been kept from prying eyes for so long, the revelation of what Toyo Harada and Project Rising Spirit have been creating long before Peter Stancheck even knew he had powers! These revelations will lead to an uneasy alliance between Peter Stancheck’s Renegades and the assassin Bloodshot’s prepubescent gang of human weapons. Though the world of Valiant will soon become a scarier, more dangerous place, there will be a definitive winner in all the chaos — the readers!

Told as a part flashback part present story, Dysart and Swierczynski’s tale perfectly combines the current storylines of both the Harbinger and Bloodshot books while imbuing it with a completely new tale revolving around a captive group of psiots at the mercy of Project Rising Spirit. It is this fresh tale expertly rendered by fan favorite, Clayton Crain (X-Force), that is the most intriguing and carries the weight of the overall story. Through the eyes of these “new” characters, the reader can connect with the pain and degradation they endure and we can empathize with, not only them, but ALL the characters being hunted without even having to read the primary books to do so. It is this attention to not alienate the curious reader, whom may or may not know the outlining parts of this epic story, that makes it the perfect stepping stone for anyone while not disengaging from the loyal fans that wouldn’t want a “rehash” comic in their hands. A truly fantastic effort by some of the most talented creators in the industry!

It is easy to get enveloped into this magnificent world created by so many talented individuals, but I’m warning you, once you step into the Valiant Universe –you’ll never want to leave!

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Review: Harbinger #10

Peter Stancheck and his rag tag band of psiots have been compromised, beaten and imprisoned by Project Rising Spirit, but everything will be alright as long as you have Faith!

A blitzkrieg of action awaits you in this weeks Harbinger #10, the precursor to Harbinger Wars (on sale 4/3) that is going to set the Valiant Universe ablaze in it’s first crossover! The battle lines have been drawn and Peter’s crew are up against insurmountable odds, it will take everything they have in order to survive the battle and one of them will rise to the challenge in order to save them all!

Joshua Dysart is a master of melding characterization heavy stories with a bevy of action sequences in order to make one of the best comics every month! It is superbly done, rich in the development of not just the main character -Peter Stancheck- but every character brought into the book. From Flamingo, Faith, Torque, Kris Hathaway and even the pathetically manipulated Mr.Tull, Dysart breathes life into every nuance of them making the entire read a true glimpse into their destructive world. He weaves in fragility into the very essence of these powerful creations, giving them a subtlety and believability rarely seen in comics today. They are massive and weak, beautiful yet scarred, outgoing and cripplingly shy, influential and covertly influenced and broken yet godlike.

These characters resonate with readers because we can empathize with them, we are them on a base level and we want them to dominate their world. That’s exactly what this issue is about. Overcoming those things that have been holding you down, breaking free of the restraints both literally and metaphorically in order to truly live. Plus, it is such a thrill ride of bombastic action that you can’t help but get amped up for what’s next!

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 3/20/2013

The Top of the Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This is a “quick pick” look at the Top 5 comics that EVERYONE should be reading this week! Whether it’s rife with characterization, filled with emotional strife, has a bevy of high octane battle sequences or is just a plain ol’ great read — these books belong at the “Top Of The Pile!” (In no particular order!)

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1. Harbinger #10(Valiant): The Harbinger Wars storyline begins within the pages of this very book! Our heroes are beaten and overwhelmed but all you need is Faith to get you through the toughest of times. This series is one of the most compelling, action packed and emotional stories on the shelves today so, why isn’t it on your pull list? Well, if you don’t know — what are you waiting for!

 

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2. G.I. Joe: Special Missions #1(IDW): This used to be one of my favorite series back when I was a little DOC and now, thanks to IDW and -the legend himself- Chuck Dixon, it can be a favorite again! Centering on select groups of the “All American Heroes”, this series gets fans reconnected to the Joes and can focus on their individual talents. So, grab some gumbo and a Yo Joe Cola and get ready for some nostalgia!

 

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3. Superior Spider-Man #6(Marvel): The most controversial series on the stands today, Dan Slott continues to push the envelope with his hero/villain tale. This issue introduces two jokester villains, Jester and Screwball, that get a kick out of mocking heroes. Too bad good ol’ Doc Ock/Spidey isn’t a fan of a joke at his expense! Plus, this issue sees the return of fan favorite Humberto Ramos on artistic chores! 

 

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4. Constantine #1(DC): Okay, this isn’t the Hellblazer book from Vertigo that we all knew and loved, but it is the New 52 version of everyone’s favorite con man — John Constantine! What makes this series even better is the fact that it is being written by fan favorite scribe Jeff Lemire! Known for dark and completely engrossing tales, Lemire(Green Arrow, Sweet Tooth, Animal Man, Justice League Dark) is sure to get those heart rates pounding with a tale of black magic, demons and more than a little sleight of hand! Plus, no Keanu Reeves, folks!

 

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5. All New X-Men #9(Marvel): Bendis may be missing the mark with his jaunt into the cosmic realm but this series revolving around the original X-Men traveling to the future to set things right, is pitch perfect! The juxtaposition between the past and the future, young and old, hero and villain is done with astounding ease and reminds us what great comics are supposed to look like. Mystique and Sabertooth try to sway the naive young Scott Summers to take down his future (current) self in an issue that reminds me of the good ol’ Chris Claremont days! 

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Review: Harbinger #0

Before the Harbinger Wars erupts this April, you need to know what started it all!

In the days following the bombing of Hiroshima, a young boy walks the streets in search of his father. What he encounters is a broken, diseased and depraved new world that has enveloped this once simple town. It is the actions of man, prior to and after the bombing, that will forever change the life of Toyo Harada. This once innocent boy has had everything burned away, the being left standing in it’s wake — will become a harbinger of change for the entire Valiant Universe!

I have stated before how fantastic a storyteller Joshua Dysart is, with Harbinger #0, he has surpassed all previous praise. The origin story of Toyo Harada is one of the most harrowing tales I have read in recent years. It is an in depth look at how the actions of man can forever change the world, in the blink of an eye everything can be gone and something new created. Man, god and monster can become grouped into a single entity and all it takes is an action. Dysart encases his tale of the birth of a monster with an overwhelming sense of empathy. Toyo Harada is a product of the comportment of others, he never asked to become what he has, but he will never let it happen again.

Dysart convinces the reader that Harada’s actions have a plausible justice to them, creating a morality play of ones conscience. Are the horrific actions of a man justified if they are done to others that have blood on their hands? But what if he hurts innocents in his actions? Are his atrocities still justified because his own innocence was torn asunder? The grey area of what justice truly means is a hard one to discern and Harbinger #0 will leave you pondering it for a very long time.

Dysart has created a tale that far surpasses the conventional approach to the comics genre, a true case of how magnificent and personal the world of comics can be! So, be sure to add Harbinger to your MUST have list each month, you will be astounded by how thought provoking a book can be!

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile — 2/6/2013

 

The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

( A weekly quick pick of the five titles that should reside at the top of your pull list. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER! )

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1. Green Arrow #17 (DC):  Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino are the new creative team and they have completely leveled the the playing field in the world of Green Arrow! Everything begins new here — this is how it should have been from the beginning! Emotionally dismayed and financially broke, Oliver Queen has to finally deal with life like everyone else. But, not only that, he has to deal with explosions, murders and a brand new character that won’t rest until Ollie is dead. It’s one bad day for Green Arrow but an amazing one for readers! Check out my full review here!

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2. Snapshot #1 (Image):  The creative team that brought you Losers, Andy Diggle and Jock, are back again with a completely unnerving tale about leaving things that don’t belong to you alone. What do you do if you find a cell phone laying around, and what do you do when that cell phone contains pictures of a murder victim? If you are Jake Dobson, you run like hell! Amazing book that will completely unnerve you!

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3. Harbinger #0 (Valiant): An origin of one of Valiant’s greatest villains, Toyo Harada, shows just how the depravity of the human condition will exponentially change a person. It is a glimpse into humanity at it’s worst in the days following the bombing of Hiroshima and how a newly “gifted” little boy can survive it’s horrors by — becoming one of them himself. It has terrific characterization and the perfect jumping on point before the Harbinger Wars crossover!

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4. Hit-Girl #5 (Icon/Marvel): This is the bloodiest, goriest, most over the top book of the week! When the badguys come knocking at Mindy’s door and threaten her family, there is only one thing to do — kick some @$$! From silencers, knives, chainsaws, a wood chipper and the most brutal rolling pin scene ever recorded; Hit-Girl is a whirlwind of brutality that is not for the feint of heart — but we love it oh so much anyway!

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5. Daredevil: End of Days #5 (of 8) (Marvel): Brian Michael Bendis and his longtime Daredevil collaborator David Mack, have converged once again to tell one of the most compelling DD stories to date. Following reporter Ben Urich, as he tries to find out information regarding the death of Daredevil, Bendis and Mack have made the future of DD an awesome tribute for all DD fans to fall in love with! It is chock full of classic DD heroes and villains, creating a veritable “who’s who” of Marvel characters! From Elektra and Punisher all the way to Bushwacker and Bullet, End of Days will make any DD fan cringe in delight and savor the nostalgia as Urich tries to find the meaning behind the word,”Mapone.” A truly fantastic read!

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Review: Harbinger #8

Joshua Dysart is a true craftsman when it comes to immersing a reader into the emotional duress of a character. From the first issue, where we were introduced to the most powerful junkie you will ever meet, Peter Stancheck, to this week’s broken and formidable, Torque; Dysart makes these characters compelling from the moment you meet them. He gives them a sense of “normalcy,” a relatable aura that makes a reader want to follow them through their ever more chaotic world. It is the work of a true craftsman that makes this book so rich each and every month, Joshua Dysart is at the top of his craft.

Issue #8 introduces us to another new character, Torque, a backwoods hillbilly that has dreams of smashing badguys and bedding women. Such lofty dreams for one such as Torque may never come to fruition, but I will not spoil Dysart’s compelling tale by telling you why! It is a page turning journey you must take on your own in order to fully appreciate the true depth of Torque. He is an amalgam weakness and power that is reminiscent of a few other comic heroes, but taken to an entirely different level. A level of excitement and duress that may actually change the wishes of this newly “born” hero by books end. And by books end, Peter may be looking for a whole lot more recruits to his cause against Harada, not because he has the room — but because he may need replacements! 

As the Renegades continue to gain members, not only have they caught the attention of Toyo Harada, but they have also incurred the wrath of Project Rising Stars. This does not bode well for our ragtag team of “heroes,” for we all know who P.R.S’ little toy is — Bloodshot! This is the stepping stone into the upcoming “Harbinger Wars” storyline and you don’t want to miss a thing!

So, get to your local comic shop and demand a copy of Harbinger #8 — you won’t regret it!

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Valiant Announces Harbinger Wars Interlocking Covers

Press Release

 

HARBINGER WARS Unites HARBINGER and BLOODSHOT with Interlocking PULLBOX COVERS!

 

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This April, Valiant’s first family crossover, Harbinger Wars, kicks off with three all-new jumping-on points in Harbinger Wars #1 (of 4)Harbinger #11 and Bloodshot #10! To herald the brutal first collision of Harbinger and Bloodshot, each of these three entry points into the Valiant Universe will feature an interlocking Pullbox Exclusive Variant cover by Harbinger Wars artist and New York Times best-selling creator Clayton Henry!

“Valiant’s Pullbox cover program is designed to give our dedicated fans something special for supporting our ongoing series. Now, with Harbinger Wars gearing up to launch not only a standalone mini-series, but new story arcs in Harbinger and Bloodshot too, the time was right to try another first for Valiant – three interlocking Pullbox covers showcasing the true scope of the first crossover event for the new Valiant Universe,” said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce.

On April 3rd, pick up the first interlocking Harbinger Wars Pullbox Exclusive Variant as Harbinger Wars #1 (of 4) by Joshua Dysart, Duane Swierczysnki, & Clayton Henry slams into stores! Two dozen highly volatile, untested and untrained teenage “harbingers” are breaking out of Project Rising Spirt and into the world. Now, with no guidance and no place to turn, these super-powered children have decided to forge their own future – and they’ll take it by any means necessary. But when they terrorize a major American metropolis, the children of GENERATION ZERO will find themselves in the middle of three-way firefight for the fate of the Valiant Universe. Bloodshot wants to train them. Toyo Harada wants to use them. And Peter Stanchek wants to set them free. Who will reach them first? And can anyone survive the all-out fury of the Harbinger Wars?

Then, follow the fallout with new standalone story arcs on April 10th in Harbinger #11 by Joshua Dysart & Khari Evans, and on April 17th in Bloodshot #10 by Duane Swierczynski & Barry Kitson. Contact your local retailer to reserve your Pullbox Exclusive Variants for each of these milestone issues today!

Fans and retailers take note – Valiant’s printings of Pullbox Exclusive Variant covers are strictly limited, so please remember to submit your pre-orders by the Final Order Cut-Off Date.

For more information on Harbinger Wars or to follow the next great happenings in the Valiant Universe, visit Valiant on Twitter, on Facebook, or at ValiantUniverse.com.

 

HARBINGER WARS #1 (OF 4)

Written by JOSHUA DYSART & DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI

Art by CLAYTON HENRY

Cover by LEWIS LAROSA

Pullbox Exclusive Cover by CLAYTON HENRY

Variant Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN

Variant Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER

$3.99/T+/32pgs.

ON SALE APRIL 3rd (FOC – 3/11/13)

 

HARBINGER #11 (HARBINGER WARS)

Written by JOSHUA DYSART

Art & Cover by CLAYTON HENRY

Pullbox Exclusive Cover by CLAYTON HENRY

Variant Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER

$3.99/T+/32pgs.

ON SALE APRIL 10th (FOC – 3/18/13)

 

BLOODSHOT #10 (HARBINGER WARS)

Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI

Art by BARRY KITSON

Cover by MICO SUAYAN

Pullbox Exclusive Cover by CLAYTON HENRY

Wraparound Variant by LEWIS LAROSA

$3.99/T+/32pgs.

ON SALE APRIL 17th (FOC – 3/25/13)

 

VALIANT 2013: HARBINGER WARS FCBD SPECIAL

Written by JOSHUA DYSART, JUSTIN JORDAN, DUANE SWIERCZYSNKI, FRED VAN LENTE, ROBERT VENDITTI, and PATRICK ZIRCHER

Art by KHARI EVANS, TREVOR HAIRSINE, CLAYTON HENRY, CARY NORD, PATRICK ZIRCHER, and MORE
Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN (JAN130049)

Free/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 4th (FOC – 2/18/13)

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Advanced Review: Harbinger #7

A trio runs from near death at the hands of Toyo Harada, two of them are psiots while the third — a mere mortal. But it is this mortal’s cunning that has been keeping the trio alive. Her sheer will to live has given them time to escape, time to heal their wounds and most importantly — time to plan. This trio is done with being chased into hiding, they are finished with being hunted, it is time to recruit others to their cause of justice. It is time to prepare for war!

Harbinger #7 is an in depth look at the newest recruit in the war against Harada — Flamingo!  It is a harrowing look at how a young woman, Charlene Dupre, has gone from a small town ‘bad girl” to a used and abused denizen of backwoods hell. Her tale is one all to often seen in reality, making the reader instantly connect with her on an emotional level. We may not agree with her choices or lifestyle, but we can empathize with her inner turmoil and outward pain. It is tough to “watch” her tale as we are led down memory lane from her perspective, but it is these kind of stories that make this book continually a “must buy” every month! The sheer amount of depth given to this character in but a single issue is astonishing!

Joshua Dysart is a maestro at creating powerful characters. Not just with their outward psiot abilities, but with the fractured beings underneath all that power, the “human” aspect that gives great range and duality to the character. Each character is completely multifaceted, creating a world that the reader is emotionally tethered to despite all of the “super powered” things going on in it. It is the “grounding” of the characters in an insane world that makes this book completely unique in the genre and it has captured the hearts of a new generation of Valiant readers!

Sultry, stunning and completely sensational, Harbinger #7 is the pinnacle of character driven stories! So, don’t miss the debut of the next amazing character in the Valiant universe — Flamingo! Believe me, she’s totally “hot!”

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