John Cena posts an image of none other than X-O Manowar on Instagram seemingly teasing involvement with the Valiant Comics’ barbarian turned cosmic superhero. The WWE wrestler actor didn’t post anything along with the image, and Cena’s Instagram account is known to post off-the-wall stuff, so it remains to be seen if this is an …
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 …
The most ambitious crossover event of 2014 begins in ARMOR HUNTERS #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUEof an all-new, four-issue mini-series by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (X-O Manowar, Green Lantern) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (Unity, Justice)!
When Aric of Dacia returned to Earth with the stolen X-O Manowar armor of an alien race, he thought he finally found a weapon to guard the peace and kingdom he’d struggled so long to secure. But now, a relentless and surgical strike team from the farthest reaches of space – sworn to exterminate the armor and all like it – have found their final target. The ARMOR HUNTERS are coming. They will hunt. They will trap. They will kill. And they will rid the universe of the X-O Manowar’s incalculable destructive power…even if it means taking the Earth with it.
“2014 will be a year of all-new jumping-on points for Valiant, and ARMOR HUNTERS #1 is the perfect place to start. Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite are two of the finest storytellers in the medium. They’ve shaped the Valiant Universe, and we couldn’t be happier to have them architecting ARMOR HUNTERS,” said Valiant Executive Editor Warren Simons.
“X-O Manowar is about to find himself at the center of a firestorm embroiling all of Valiant’s most powerful heroes. Believe us when we say that, in an era of events, the scale, scope and intensity of ARMOR HUNTERS will be the biggest and most daring undertaking we’ve ever attempted,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.
ARMOR HUNTERS #1 (of 4) kicks off Valiant’s landmark 2014 crossover event in June. Then, ARMOR HUNTERS continues with two brand new story arcs beginning in UNITY #8 by New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT, Justice League of America) and rising star Diego Bernard(Eternal Warrior); and X-O MANOWAR #26 by Venditti and Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord(Conan). And look for even more Valiant heroes to join the fight against Valiant’s first full-scale alien incursion as the summer continues. Further details will follow in 2014.
Next summer, bend the knee…or take the head when Valiant unleashes an all-new starting point for the year’s most acclaimed comic book universe, beginning in ARMOR HUNTERS #1 (of 4) by superstar creators Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite!
For more information on Free Comic Book Day, visit FreeComicBookDay.com.
ARMOR HUNTERS #1 (OF 4)
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
COMING IN JUNE!
UNITY #8 (ARMOR HUNTERS)
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
COMING IN JUNE!
X-O MANOWAR #26 (ARMOR HUNTERS)
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by CARY NORD
COMING IN JUNE!
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI, MATT KINDT, JOSHUA DYSART, FRED VAN LENTE, and PETER MILLIGAN
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE, BRYAN HITCH, CLAYTON CRAIN, CAFU, CLAYTON HENRY, DIEGO BERNARD, and MORE
Cover by J.G. JONES
IN STORES 5/3/14
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!
1. Indestructible Hulk #15 (Marvel): Mukesh Singh creates one of the coolest Hulk covers I have seen in a very long time! This amazing, digitally enhanced image is outstanding on it’s own but when you get to take in all the little details, the veins, the sinew, the S.M.A.S.H. time — it’s perfect! I am not a Hulk fan in the least, but this cover has made me become a Mukesh Singh fan for life!
2. X-O Manowar #19 (Valiant): Clayton Crain has become synonymous with brilliant digital art, but this cover is truly bursting with energy. The exploding, the tearing down and eventual destruction of the central character is enthralling! Crain has not wasted a single inch of this cover, everywhere you look their is something going on, the eye has a virtual smorgasbord to take in — Awesome!
3. Wolverine Max #13 (Marvel): Pop Art has been making it’s way back to comic covers quite prevalently as of late and Jock is at the top of his game with this one! The bold black and white intersecting lines not only make every other book around it pale in comparison, it actually makes a vertigo effect, drawing you in with it’s complex simplicity. Jock has been creating amazing, gallery worthy covers for a long time now, but this one is cut above the rest.
4. The Shadow #19 (Variant Edition) (Dynamite): One of the best crime noir artists out there today is Francesco Francavilla and this cover is another shinning example as to why. The whitewashed background mixed with the sketch style central character makes for great juxtaposition. The line work Francavilla shows is impeccable, deviating from subtlety to intense slashes of black shadow, it makes the foreground jump off the page as well as help convey that the character is in the middle of a snow storm — something very difficult to pull off!
5. Fables #135 (DC): Greg Ruth has created my personal favorite cover of the week by painting a solemn image that is overwhelming with emotion. His use of subdued hues and subtle placement of the images on the page help to convey the feeling of loss and longing, and an overall feeling of despair. It is exquisite in it’s composition and let’s us know that sometimes you can’t come home again.
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!
By: Chris “DOC” Bushley
This weeklywill at the most visually compelling covers on today. Whether they be variant editions or standard ones, these are 5 covers that out amongst the bevy of books that are each week. They say, “A is worth a thousand words,” these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines found behind them, these covers you to at least them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to that them! Enjoy!
1. X-O Manowar #15 – Variant Edition – (Valiant): Kekai Kotaki gives a gloriously rendered cover that explodes off the racks and exudes pure energy! From background to foreground, every inch of this cover is exquisite! His sense of action and power is heightened by the choice of an angled perspective making the cover seem fluid throughout. Highly detailed and electric, nothing shows as much force as this cover this week!
2. Batgirl #22 (DC): Beautiful and haunting, this cover by Alex Garner tells a complete tale in a single image. You can feel the anguish and pain pouring out from every brush stroke, compelling the curious buyer to grab it off the racks and learn more. The use of shadow and the vibrant contrast between Batgirl and the Bat symbol, relate to the idea that the person behind the mask matters less than the overall iconic status portrayed by the symbol itself. Garner has created something pure and engaging and quite symbolic in his own right.
3. Ultimate Comics Ultimates #27 (Marvel): Michael Komarck creates a stunning digital image that is sure to get heads turning in shops all week. From the read-out screens hovering in the background to the creepy “mad scientist” image in the foreground, everything screams classic “Sci-fi” in this cover! The use of a greenish hue behind the central figure gives an overtly eerie feel to the cover, one heightened by the image of an incapacitated Tony Stark. Awesome!
4. Quantum and Woody #1 – Variant Edition – (Valiant): To begin, this is a beautiful painting of a goat by Tom Fowler! The juxtaposition between the royal blue background and the stark white of the goat makes the image stand out amongst all other comics. But, it’s not the image so much as the sheer brilliance in technology that lands it a spot on COVER SHOOT this week! This cover is also enhanced with a QR code that is found over the goat’s mouth. When using your Smartphone or Android device to activate the code you will hear the goat “speak” to you! Now, Valiant has done this before with Harbinger #1, but how cool is it to have a goat baying to you and utter “Quantum and Woody?” Cool enough for me!
5. The Lone Ranger #16 (Dynamite): This cover is simplistic yet, perfect! Francesco Francavilla does an astonishing job of breaking down a cover to the core of what it should be — eye-catching! The magnificent contrast between the overwhelming blue and the brilliance of the “glowing” moon is breathtaking, creating a total image that transcends everything else between the covers. It exudes a relentlessness, a determination that will defy all odds, and overall, it tells the tale of a lost soul seeking vengeance with only one beautiful image.
When Aric of Dacia was bonded with the Shanhara, the X-O armor, all he dreamed of was revenge against the Vine that destroyed his life. Seething from the atrocities against himself and his people, Aric vowed to wipe all remnants of the Vine’s touch from the Universe. But, what happens when his vengeance blinds him from everything else, especially since there is a secret that proves Aric may not be the last of his kind?
Continually proving that this book is more than the sum of it’s parts, Robert Venditti crafts a fantastic tale about a warrior that may lose himself in the red rage of vengeance, thus becoming the very thing he hates the most! X-O is a true warrior’s tale that focuses not only on all out action, but the journey of a man that has lost everything. With surprises, plot twists and the general evolution of the character, Venditti has transformed a sci-fi epic into an amazing opus for the ages!
The Planet Death storyline continues to astound readers as the scope of Aric’s rage changes in this issue. Could there actually be remnants of his fellow Visigoth alive even under the Vine’s oppressive thumb? Can Aric refrain from the ultimate slaughter of the Vine in order to learn from them, be worshipped by them and to eventually coexist with them? Or will he become something more horrific, more vicious than the Vine ever where all in the name of revenge?
For the answers to everything, get X-O Manowar #12 this week and prepare yourself for Revolution to unfold next month!
Planet Death is upon us and everything you thought you knew is completely wrong!
Cary Nord tantalizes readers with an artistic dance, melding the beauty of life and the utter chaos of death to form an intrinsic tale of the Vine’s origin. Stunningly rendered flash back sequences draw you in as Robert Venditti’s tale takes you back to the very moment the Vine was ‘born,” giving this overtly destructive and manipulative species a more humble begriming than ever thought possible.
Venditti actually creates sympathy for these creatures, ones so vile that deception practically drips from their spider-like maws. It is this same sympathy that drives the tale and makes you ponder the plight of our hero Aric. For once, we are privy to different ideas from those of our protagonist, ideas that not only explain how the Vine became who they currently are but why they hold some things so dear. In addition, we are not only given the origin of the Vine but that of the X-O armor itself as well!
This is a morality tale of the finest caliber! Do we become monsters do to the unspeakable deeds that are done to us, which in turn we do to others to show how powerful we are over them? Or, do we learn from what has happened before and overcome them, becoming something far better do to the circumstances thrust upon us? By tales end, Aric will have to ask himself those very questions, for his whole world is about to be turned upside down!
Undeniably one of the best cosmic stories being created today! Vendetti and Nord have created something that makes other books pale in comparison!
When a threat looms in the distance that will ultimately destroy the very fabric of your world, what do you do? Do you accept the inevitable, huddling down with your loved ones in the hopes of a savior? Do you look for solutions, rallying those of the scientific field to somehow slow down the fates? Do you pray for a change of heart in those that threaten you, leaving your future in the hands of the gods?
Or, if you’re Aric of Dacia, wielder of the X-O armor, you call down the threat and stand face to face with them. Never blinking, never questioning your abilities, you just — BRING IT ON!
That fire, that fervor, that blast of emotional rallying is exactly what Robert Venditti and Trevor Hairsine will dredge up in you with the turn of every page! It is a cavalcade of revelations, bringing things that have been brewing since issue #1 to the forefront and laying them on the table. The Vine has been embedding themselves into every aspect of the Valiant Universe and it culminates in this issue. Venditti’s prose anchors you emotionally to the tale, giving you the perfect window into all the aspects that come into play, while Hairsine’s riotous battle sequences will tantalize your senses. Where most “prelude” stories give subtle hints as to what can be expected in the upcoming arc, lulling you in with intrigue and little action; X-O #9 not only “sets the stage” it completely obliterates it!
A mingling of high intrigue and blistering battle sequences, this issue is an all out adrenaline rush that never lets up to take a breath! So, while some other books may give you a “snoozefest,” Valiant continues to amaze and delight once again!
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! )
I do the research, you reap the reward! Before you head out to your favorite shop today, be sure to add these five titles to your list of goodies! Forget that “apple a day” nonsense, this “DOC’s” prescription to good health starts with these top five books of the week!
1. The Answer #1(Dark Horse): This debut issue from writer Dennis Hopeless (Avenger’s Arena) will give you everything BUT answers! An amalgam wrapped in an enigma, this tale follows a highly intellectual research librarian as she dodges bullets after she solves a puzzle box she received for a birthday present. But it doesn’t stop there! It also contains an evangelistic proponent for world chaos, mercenaries and a costumed hero! But, what does it all mean? I have know idea, but I NEED to find out!
2. X-O Manowar #9 (Valiant): This issue is the “Prelude to Death Planet” storyline that promises to bring devastation to the Valiant Universe. But, this isn’t just a “set-up” issue that relaxes and lulls you into safety before the big event. This story sets the stage and the tone for what’s to come, bringing intriguing plot threads and all out action like you’ve never seen before! Plus, the “shock” ending will have you chomping at the bit for next month! Bring it on!
3. Masks #3 (Dynamite): Who doesn’t love pulp fiction, crime noir tales? That’s right, NOBODY! Well, you need look no further to get your gritty little hands on one of the coolest books around! Why just choose one pulp hero to follow when you can have all the greats in a single title? That’s right, Chris Roberson and, superstar cover artist, Alex Ross have come together with a great tale that brings everyone together. You get The Green Hornet, Kato, The Spider, The Shadow, Zorro and many, many more for just one low price! It’s like the Justice League with cigar stains and fedoras! So, put on your smoking jacket and nestle into your study with a copy of Masks!
4. Green Lantern #16 (DC): The “Rise Of The Third Army” tale has been slow paced at it’s worst and completely unnerving at it’s best. This week sees GL Baz finally get a little control over his ring with the help of GL B’DG! That’s right, folks, as we wait for the return of Rocket Raccoon, why not hang out with the coolest squirrel in the Universe! All kidding aside, this is a great story that solidifies Baz as a true Green Lantern and answers a lot of questions from previous issues! And you find out why he has a gun! Sweet!
5. Uncanny X-Force #1 (Marvel): Sadly, Rick Remender’s run on this fantastic book is over. So, what better way to celebrate the fantastic new creative team of Stan Humphries and Ron Garney than with a shiny new number one issue! Even though I cannot stand all the re-numberings, this issue is pitch perfect for all those X fans clamoring for some nostalgia. This new version has Psylocke, Fantomex, Cluster, Spiral, Puck and Storm rocking her ol’ mohawk! Yes, I said mohawk, kids! Like back when she was the leader of the Morlocks?! Oh well, at least Byron Brewer will know what I’m talking about! Anyway, put on your roller skates and crank up some Joan Jett, it’s about to get retro in here! Plus, the final page gives new meaning to the phrase, “You gotta love yourself” — ewwwww!
There has been a tense truce made between two completely different warriors. One has the guile and skill of the world’s top assassin, the other is a brash, brutal, headstrong warrior that barges into battle with a cry on his lips and a sword in his hand. Together they must put their animosity aside in order to do something no one else can — save the world!
Robert Venditti continues to steer Valiant’s flagship title to new heights of amazement! Issue eight is a tense, testosterone fueled cornucopia of mass destruction that will make you giddy with excitement. Secret government agents, disguised aliens, the British air force, lasers, throwing stars, a flying Visigoth, spin kicks and two sword wielding warriors! What doesn’t this book have? In a word — NOTHING! This issue is an absolute insane trip of action at it’s best and it will only get better from here! But, don’t think it is just all about devastation and mayhem either.
Venditti has sown in some very interesting plot twists amidst the chaos of battle as well. The status quo of the Valiant Universe will begin to shift due to the actions taken in this issue. Characters are evolved past their “supporting cast” roles and it will make for some very interesting plotlines in the upcoming issues. We will begin to see things develop that have been hinted at since issue one, but Aric may not be ready for the subtlety it will take to dwell in this modern world. It is about to become a much darker place in the Valiant Universe and this issue is the one that will eventually lead to the widely anticipated “Planet Death” storyline coming in 2013!
If you are ready for an action packed issue that will completely blow you away — wait no longer! Storm your local comic shop and demand for it by name! X-O Manowar! The best flagship title you can get your grubby little hands on!
VALIANT Slashes First Four TPB Collections to $9.99!
Due to popular demand, each of Valiant’s previously solicited trade paperback collections will be joining X-O Manowar Vol. 1: By The Sword TPB by Robert Venditti and Cary Nord – on sale December 5th – at the $9.99 price point. With one collection hitting stores each month through March, this is the perfect entry point into the new Valiant Universe, the critically acclaimed comic book relaunch of 2012!
Dysart & Suayan Tell Past and Future in HARBINGER #0
$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs.
DC Comics announced that Robert Venditti, currently writing X-O Manowar for Valiant Comics, is the new writer on Demon Knights.
Venditti will be taking over Demon Knights with Bernard Chang starting with January’s issue #16.
With DEMON KNIGHTS, writer Paul Cornell built a rich world and populated it with unique characters that any writer would want to get their hands on. Add to that a chance for me to work with artist Bernard Chang, and it was really a no-brainer. When editor Chris Conroy reached out to me, my first thought was, where do I sign?” Venditti told THE SOURCE.
“DEMON KNIGHTS is unlike any other series on the stands, and I’m going to do my best to continue that,” the writer continued. “For the next few issues, readers will find the team—if such a disparate band of misfits can be called a “team”—battling an enemy that reaches far back into the history of the DC Universe. And it’s going to be a battle from which everyone will emerge changed in profound ways.
Pictured: Demon Knights #1 cover