Comic Book News

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!

Comic Book News

The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 4/17/2013


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 astounding visuals, has top notch characterization, is 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!)



1. Fanboys Vs. Zombies #13 (BOOM! Studios): Don’t have enough space faring heroes in your life? Who can’t live without a little more zombie action? Well, BOOM! Studios solves all of your nagging problems this week as Fanboys Vs. Zombies takes a treck to “where no one can hear you scream!” That’s right, it’s the “all space” issue as three of our heroes get locked in an escape pod with a zombie and are jetisoned to “where no man has gone before!” A fun book laced with enough “geekisms” that no one will be disappointed!



2. Daredevil: End of Days #7 (Marvel): Bendis may have lost the battle with acquiring fans to his lackluster Guardians of the Galaxy book, but he is writing a fan favorite with this future tale of Daredevil. Is Matt Murdock really dead? All signs point to yes, so who is the hero in the Daredevil costume? This is a fantastic read that follows Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich on a case to find the truth while visiting almost every character in the Daredevil mythos! This is a real treat for any DD fan! 



3. Bloodshot #10 (Valiant): Continuing through the Harbinger Wars arc, Bloodshot must now become more than just an elite weapon of mass destruction. He must become a protector to some of the most powerful and dangerous children ever born! This is a true character piece that evolves the Bloodshot character to new heights of greatness while allowing for all the standard mayhem and bloodshed too!



4. The Black Beetle:No Way Out #3(of 4) (Dark Horse): Sometimes you need to turn the dial back and enjoy some classic pulp heroes in all their gritty glory! Well, you can’t go wrong with Francesco Francavilla’s creater owned Black Beetle series. Evocative in both prose and renderings, this is a series that is a true work of art on so many levels. So, grab a fedora and hit the streets with this amazing book!



5. Justice League #19 (DC): Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis continue to shift the Justice League into new and exciting directions. As new recruits are courted for admidtance to the team, who stole information from the Justice League? Was it one of the recruits or could there be descention in the ranks of the core Leaguers? Tempers flare and the cover says the rest! The seeds of war have been sown and this will lead directly to the Trinity War crossover that begins in July!

Comic Book News

Advanced Review: Bloodshot #10

As the Harbinger Wars runs rampant through the Valiant Universe, one man must find himself in order to preserve the lives of the most powerful children in the world. Through massive amounts of blood, bullets and rendered flesh, this man will become more than just a killing machine, he will become — a father!

Duane Swierczynski (X,Punisher,Godzilla) is a master crime novelist and an extraordinaire when it comes to dark, bloody tales revolving around hatred and vengeance. In Bloodshot #10, you will receive more than your fair share of all those things but it is the further development of the Bloodshot character and his supporting cast that will truly grip you.

Though briefly touched upon in other issues, Bloodshot’s quest for his own humanity is what drives this book. When faced with protecting some of the most dangerous and powerful children ever born, this engineered weapon of mass destruction delves inward in order to dredge up every ounce of humanity in order to guide him. Though he is beaten, berated and almost mentally manipulated, he only focuses on the safety of the children. It is this surge of “fatherhood” that shatters his visage of a one dimensional character, creating instead a hero that fans will not only root for but clamor over!

With an amazing cover by fan favorite Mico Sauyan and beautifully vicious interiors by Barry Kitson, this book will become an instant “must have” for not only Valiant fans, but comic fans in general! Plus, the final page will be enough to drive fans ravenous until the next installment of Harbinger Wars hits the stands next week!

Be bold, be determined, be — Valiant!

Comic Book News

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!

Comic Book News

Review: Bloodshot #8

As Bloodshot continues to try and find out his true name in the bowels of Project Rising Star, he has come across more than a few surprises that will turn his entire world upside down!

Swierczynski and Garcia push the limit on an all out action tale that will leave you clamoring for more just as your senses scream for it to stop! This is action at it’s finest, an unrelenting barrage that melds well developed characterization and plot lines with the intensity of a summer blockbuster!

But don’t think it’s all flash bangs and bullets. It is also character piece in self discovery and motivation. Motivation to forgo your own desires in order to preserve the needs of the many. A chance to become something more than just a victim, just a weapon and evolve into a being that has a bigger purpose in the grand scheme of things.

Swierczynski has done well in maintaining the underlying purpose of the book and infusing it into the completely chaotic and brutal action sequences in order to create a well rounded book that is intense on all levels! And the end page promises that next month will be one of the “biggest” battles Bloodshot has ever faced yet!

This tale is building up to April’s massive crossover, Harbinger Wars, and is essential to readers that want to get in on the ground floor before it begins. The future of Valiant lies at your fingertips in Bloodshot #8, don’t let it slip away!

Comic Book News

Review: Bloodshot #7

With the shocking ending to issue #6 foreshadowing events to come, Duane Swierczynsski turns back the hands of time in issue #7 and reveals to us just why Bloodshot is known in some circles as “The Bogeyman!”

Not an origin, more like a blood soaked waltz down implanted memory lane, this issue reveals to us even more of the horrific manipulation Bloodshot has been subjected to. This tale breaks the consciousness of a multi-faceted man into a singularly driven weapon, one that can be pointed anywhere with startling results! As long as he is being told that his daughter is held captive with other children, “Ray” will allow himself to be deployed into the most heinous areas of battle in order to ensure their survival. Unfortunately, him “saving” them is not always what the children want!

Swierczynski and Clark churn out one of the most action packed books month after month and this one is more of the gory same. Intense action, dramatic characterization and shocking intrigue, Bloodshot is a book that will satiate every action junkie’s need while giving enough emotional duress to keep us vested in the characters. And there are plenty of “new” characters in this issue to intrigue us all!

This issue is the one that will pave the way for the biggest crossover the new Valiant Universe has ever seen! Harbinger Wars is on the lips of comics fans everywhere, and this is where the trigger event is that will start it all!

Cast aside all those other crossovers that promise “big” things that never deliver, Harbinger Wars is coming and nothing remains unscathed!

Comic Book News

Advanced Review: Bloodshot #6

For all of the Bloodshot fans out there, we all know that there are BIG changes coming for our abused “anti-hero.” But what exactly are those changes going to be? By the final page you will know and you will be completely blown away!

This issue sees Bloodshot continue to storm Project Rising Spirit in search of his “stolen” memories, but what awaits him is a bevy of grotesque assassins known collectively as — CHAINSAW! 

Riddled with bullets, blood and mayhem, Bloodshot #6 is an action packed barrage to the senses that won’t let up until you are gasping for breath! It is a rigorous journey alongside a character that is not just a one dimensional killing machine, but rather, a complex “anti-hero” that strives to retain the humanity he once had in the face of horrors that never stop. At its core, it is an expose’ about the human condition and how all we truly need in life to be happy is to matter to someone. To be excepted and loved for who we are and how bitterly we will fight to get back that sense of “home” once it has been stripped away from us. It is an idea that is sometimes lost under the layers of blood and discord that is ever present in the pages of this book, but it is always there driving this series ever forward.

But, don’t get me wrong — there is plenty of action, surprises and revelations in this issue to more than whet your appetite for all things that go boom! Would the series really be called Bloodshot if Duane Swierczynski wasn’t going to continually assault your senses with more action than a “summer blockbuster” movie? I think not!

So, lace up your boots, check your supplies and put on a poncho — this one’s going to be messy! The battle against Project Rising Spirit and their horrific creations named CHAINSAW, has begun. The fight for one man’s humanity continues, but he just might lose what little he had left in order to get there. After this — everything changes!

Movie News

The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for July 11th, 2012


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!

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2199:]]1.  The Walking Dead #100: This book will leave you breathless with the horrific conclusion! If you thought the Governor was bad — think again! Everything changes and Rick’s world is turned upside down! Check out my full review here!

2.  Batman # 11: Snyder’s conclusion to the amazing Night of the Owls storyline is here! It is brother vs. “brother” as Bruce Wayne fights for the soul of Gotham!

3.  The Crow #1: IDW is putting out a whole new twist on The Crow mythos — with James O’Barr doing an alternate cover! Taking place in Japan, this body swapping tale is an amalgam of mysticism and advanced technology. Great book!

4.  Bloodshot #1: The nineties and Valiant are back in full swing as Bloodshot emerges from the depths of nostalgia this week! If you like espionage, bullets and “undead” soldiers getting mind wiped — you will love this book!

5.  American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #2: Dracula has escaped and the status quo has completely changed! Plus, Snyder’s shocking final page leaves Agent Hobbes in a dire situation! Awesome!

Comic Book News

Advanced Review: X-O Manowar #1

As I walked towards my desk through the CBN offices, a wave of nineties nostalgia washed over me. Recently, everything old seems new again! Variant covers are all the rage, there are superhero cartoons gracing my TV screen every Saturday and Sunday, the Age of Apocalypse is still running rampant, Soundgarden has a new single on the radio and Rob Liefeld is actually drawing comics again! But what really pushed me over the edge — the advanced copy of X-O Manowar from Valiant comics laying on my desk! One of the biggest independent comics publishers of all time, is back and ready to carve their names in the history books yet again!

New York Times best-selling author, Robert Venditti, and Eisner award-winning artist, Cary Nord, converge on an amalgam tale of sword play and sci-fi that will make any comic fan’s testosterone levels exceed maximum capacity! It begins as a savage look at life for the nomadic Visigoths and their dealings with the ever growing power of the Roman Empire in 402 A.D.! From there it progresses into a tale of revenge and eventually, delves into the world of sci-fi in epic fashion! I must say, Cary Nord is the perfect choice to portray the brutality of the battlefield and the viscousness of our young hero — Aric! Who else could bring the scope and horror of war to reality than the man who drew Conan? No one!

For fans of the original series, you will feel right at home with Venditti’s rendering of Aric and the situations that befall him in order to finally become one with the X-O armor. For those of you that are coming aboard with a fresh set of eyes, you will be astounded by how Venditti has created a character that is so rich and fleshed out in a single issue. He takes a character that is steeped in arch-types and makes him exceed them all, giving us the perfect new icon to usher in the new era of Valiant!

I don’t want to ruin any of the amazing story that Venditti and Nord will lay before you next week, so I promise you no spoilers. But I also promise you this — with but a single issue under their belts, X-O Manowar will become the next big cosmic title you need to get your hands on! From swords to laser cannons, from slaughter to sentient suits of armor — you will relish every page and yearn for more! 

The nineties will never come back! But Valiant has, and they will make the “big boys” quake! As Aric says before leaping into battle, “The time for talk has passed. It is time to fight!” and that’s exactly what they intend to do!

“X-O Manowar” #1 goes on sale Wednesday May 2nd, 2012! And look for the FCBD issue May 5th!

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