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Tag - Ivar Timewalker

Comic Bento: Is It Worth It? (+ Unboxing Video!)

If you are anything like me, which you would have to be for this generalization to work, you might occasionally see an advertisement on Facebook for a subscription service called Comic Bento.  For $20 plus shipping and handling (less if you get the three-month or twelve month plans), Comic Bento provides an assortment of graphic novels that revolve around a certain theme.  This boxes theme is “Rewriting History.”  Below we will list out the items we got in the box, and the price you can purchase them for on Amazon.

Mankind: The Story of All of Us – $14.99

Writer: Various  Artist: Various


I like watching the History Channel, especially when I am laying in bed at night.  MANKIND: THE STORY OF ALL OF US is a series of short stories detailing major events in human history from post-Ice Age through the Crusades.

Summary from Comixology: “From the producers of America the Story of Us comes the epic tale of the rise of civilization. The 12-hour series spans the first flourishing of civilization in Mesopotamia through the discovery of America. Groundbreaking production techniques bring to life the greatest landmarks and milestones of human achievement. CGI rebuilds lost worlds; large scale reenactments replay critical battles; innovative use of interactive maps dynamically illustrates the key factors that gave rise to civilization across the globe. MANKIND: The Story of All of Us emphasizes the simultaneity of the human adventure — how ancient Egypt thrived while Stonehenge was being built; China was at its zenith while Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages. HISTORY captures the danger, action, struggle, heroism, and adrenaline of MANKIND: The Story of All of Us!”


Chronos Commandos: Dawn Patrol Volume 1 – $16.46

Writer: Stuart Jennett  Artist: Stuart Jennett


The back of this book shows Albert Einstein firing a machine gun, and flipping through I saw a dinosaur eating what looked like Nazi’s.  Sold.

Summary from Comixology: “Nazis, dinosaurs, and a war for all time!

When the Nazis develop time travel technology, only the Sarge and his misfit band of Chronos Commandos can stand against them – with the Cretaceous as their battleground!

Fearsome raptors, giant spiders, and a towering Nazi nemesis: the commandos face many foes in the fight for the future. The body count is high – and few will make it back alive!

This collection of the stunning first series is packed with exclusive features – including declassified files, unseen sketches, and blueprints.”


Ivar, Timewalker Volume 1 – $9.99

Writer: Fred Van Lente  Artist: Clayton Henry


This is a fantastic series.  It’s definitely my favorite out of the books in this box.  Make sure to check out our interview with Mr. Van Lente about his work on IVAR, TIMEWALKER and ARCHER & ARMSTRONG.

Summary from Comixology: “From the dawn of the dinosaurs…to the Battle of Trafalgar…to the end of time itself…the first century-spanning adventure of IVAR, TIMEWALKER starts here!

At this very moment in Geneva, Switzerland, history is being made. A thousand meters underground inside the Large Hadron Collider, researcher Neela Sethi is about to discover time travel – and jeopardize her life in the process. But she doesn’t know that yet. Ten minutes from now, every deadbeat chrononaut, wannabe conqueror, and misguided protector of the timestream will be banging down her door. Good thing that the legendary Ivar, Timewalker, got there first… right? Now it’s down to history’s most jaded, most tempestuous time traveler to stop the worst of everything that is, was, and will be… before time runs out!

New York Times best-selling creators Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Amazing Spider-Man) and Clayton Henry (HARBINGER, Incredible Hercules) begin a clock-stopping odyssey into the distant past, far future, and every moment in between right here with the first volume of Valiant’s latest epic – intro-priced at just $9.99 for new readers!”


X-Men: Days of Future Past – $12.09

Writer: Chris Clairemont  Artist: John Byrne


This is probably the biggest book in the box.  X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is a classic that has been around since the Reagan administration.  Summary from Comixology: “Collects Uncanny X-Men #138-143. Re-live the legendary first journey into the dystopian future of 2013 – where Sentinels stalk the Earth, and the X-Men are humanity’s only hope…until they die! Also featuring an appearance by Alpha Flight and the return of the Wendigo.”

Well there you have it.  For $20 plus shipping and handling you get over $40 worth of books, so financially it is worth it.  Here’s the thing, I know that you can do a lot of leg work, hit a bunch of comic stores, and probably walk away with the same four books at about the same price, but that’s not what makes subscription boxes so fun.  The biggest selling point of the Comic Bento service is the randomness of the books provided.  It’s a lot of fun opening the box and seeing what books they curated for you.  Make sure to check out our unboxing video below!

Fancasting Valiant Comics Movies

By now most all of you have heard the news that Valiant Comics was able to secure funding with their film division, for the purpose of developing their properties to hit the big screen. And I suppose the small screen too? Comic book shows are all the rage on TV right now, for sure. Well, being that my fellow 4LN writer Cameron and I have become big Valiant fans lately, we decided it would be fun to fancast our picks for who should play our favorite characters when the come to life. We reached out to our Valiant super-cool-uncle Steven Boyd (I was gonna say “Valiant godfather”, but that would age him more than would be fair) to see if he’d wanna jump in on the fun. He did! Check out our picks below, and let us know who you’d pick!



Steve B: Thomas Jane as Bloodshot. He’s the friggin Punisher. He already knows how to act, can handle a gun and take a punch. Somebody give this guy some nanites already.

Cam: Anson Mount – If you are unfamiliar with Anson Mount, go watch AMC’s Hell on Wheels. This guy is gruff, capable of portraying a cold-hearted killer, and has the kind of square jaw, anti-hero attitude you would expect from a nanite-powered killing machine.


X-O Manowar

Steve B: Chris Hemsworth as X-O Manowar (Aric of Dacia). If Chris Evans can be the Human Torch AND Captain America, then Chris Hemsworth can be both Thor and Aric of Dacia. Solid actor, good physique and is versatile enough to play a Visigoth out of time.

Cam: Alexander Skarsgård – X-O Manowar is as Dacian from the 6th century who was captured by aliens, steals their most powerful weapon (a suit of high tech armor capable of destroying pretty much whatever he wants to destroy), and returns to modern day Earth after escaping. The character is a tall, blonde haired warrior of the North. I think Skarsgaard fits that bill perfectly.


Eternal Warrior/ Gilad Anni-Padda

Stephen: I’m going with Charlie Hunnam here. I feel like there’s a wealth of depth to that guy’s acting talents and I don’t think we’ve seen the extent to his abilities. Grow out his hair a little bit and dye it brown… I absolutely think he could be the Eternal Warrior.

Steve B: Michael Shannon as Eternal Warrior.


Toyo Harada

Steve B: Ken Watanabe – I thought this guy had the coolest voice in BATMAN BEGINS. I had never seen THE LAST SAMURAI, but when I think of Harada, I think of Ken Watanabe. Very commanding presence and a great actor in general.

Cam: I also pick Ken Watanabe – I literally cannot think of anyone else who could play the ultimate baddy of the Valiant universe. Toyo Harada is one of the most powerful psiots in the world, and hopes to use his power to force the world into peace, even if that means wiping out swaths of people along the on the way. Ken Watanabe is the chosen one for this role.



Steve B: Byung Hun Lee (Storm Shadow from G.I.JOE films) as RAI.

Stephen: I’m actually just gonna echo Steve on this one. I think Lee would make an excellent Rai. He’s definitely got the martial arts talent, and he can certainly pull of the cold, emotionless warrior persona. Plus, ever since I saw him in “I Saw The Devil”, I’ve felt like he deserves a chance to be the lead in an American film. The dude can certainly carry a film.



Cam: Tom Hardy – Ninjak, aka Colin King, is a British millionaire/billionaire(?) that also happens to be a badass ninja assassin/intelligence agent. A majority of the time his face is obscured by a mask that covers the lower half of his face. Who is a British actor that is good enough at selling emotion with facial expressions that he can wear a mask a majority of the time and still be awesome? Tom Hardy. Although Hardy would have to reduce his bulkiness back to Inception levels, but he has proven he can pretty much add mass and lose it at will.

Stephen: So, my choice for Ninjak is someone most of you have probably seen, but never knew… Scott Adkins. He’s been in films like Bourne Ultimautim, The Expendables 2, and Zero Dark Thirty. He has martial arts training in his background and was even in a movie called Ninja II. So… yeah. The dude could be Ninjak easy.


Ivar Anni-Padda, Timewalker

Steve B: Tom Wisdom as Ivar the Timewalker. My first relative unknown casting for the VALIANT Universe would be Wisdom, who played an ill-fated soldier in 300. He has a super-hero like quality about him and could probably do a great job playing a man out of time. Surround him with a great cast and you’ve got a hit.

Cam: Ewan McGregor – Ivar, the Timewalker, is an immortal time-traveler who is highly intelligent and also a bit of a sarcastic ass. Ewan McGregor could be believable as both an intelligent gentleman and a bit of a jerk in a Sherlockian sort of way. Also, if McGregor grew his hair out he would be a spitting image (I don’t actually know the origin of this phrase) of how Ivar is depicted in his new series.


Shadowman/Jack Boniface

Stephen: I’m going with Wentworth Miller (Prison Break, The Flash) for Shadowman. I feel like he’s got the chops to be the lead and he’s done action before, but I feel like one of the things that makes him stand out the most to me, is that he’s also a writer, with some darker-style work in his repertoire (Stoker, the upcoming psychological-horror-thriller The Disappiontments Room). Not only could he play Shadowman, he could write on the film as well…

Steve B: Taylor Kitsch as Jack Boniface. I thought he got Gambit’s Cajun accent down pretty good in X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE, plus he’s a very mysterious looking dude. And he’s been the lead in an action movie (JOHN CARTER). He’s your Shadowman.


Quantum and Woody

Steve B: Owen Wilson for Woody, and Michael Jai White for Quantum.  Michael has a super hero’s physique and I believe could play the straight guy in a comedy duo pretty good after seeing him in BLACK DYNAMITE. Owen Wilson is probably a little old for the role, but his Jethro Tull line from ARMAGEDDON wins him Woody’s role instantly.


Stephen: This was a tough one for me because Quantum & Woody is my favorite Valiant series. After much deliberation, I’ve settled on Beck Bennett (SNL) for Woody and Lance Gross for Quantum. Now I know he doesn’t *quite* have the look, and his sense of humor comes across more dry than sarcastic, but my reasoning for choosing Bennett is simple… Chris Pratt. If Andy Dwyer can become Star-Lord, then Bennett could become Woody.

Lace Gross is someone you probably don’t know, but he was a on a short-lived NBC drama-thriller called Crisis and he’s got the right look for Quantum. He’s not a comedian, and he can be serious, so balancing Bennett’s Woody with Gross’ Quantum would make for an excellent “world’s worst superhero team”.


Archer & Armstrong

Cam: Archer, Logan Lerman – This one took a little longer than the others. Archer is a younger character that is indoctrinated since his birth by an evil organization, but eventually realizes that he has been manipulated and teams up with the immortal hobo, Armstrong, whom he was sent to assassinate. He has the ability to mimic any ability he sees, be it physical or mental, and is in terrific shape. After seeing Lerman in both the Percy Jackson movies (the books were better, but he was good) and Fury, I think he has terrific range to play both the indoctrinated, hyper-religious assassin and the confused, burgeoning superhero.

For Armstrong, John Goodman – Armstrong is an affable, immortal hobo with a penchant for good drink and good poetry. During his long, long life he has rolled with the likes of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, but more recently has teamed up with Archer to form a buddy-cop comedy of a super-duo. I’ll admit, Goodman might be a tad old to play Armstrong, but he has the look, the humor, and the girth. He would be absolutely perfect.


Stephen: I like Dave Franco for Archer. Based on his performance in Unfinished Business, I definitely think he could capture the sheltered, naive aspect of Archer’s personality, and I think if given the chance he could hold his own in some action sequences.

I’m gonna just tag on to Cam’s choice for Armstrong here, and say John Goodman would be great, but to offer my own reasoning, I choose him because of his performance in Kevin Smith’s Red State. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking, “When did John Goodman (kind of) get in shape and become a badass?”


Got some of your own suggestions for who should star in the Valiant Comics movies? Let us know in the comments!

Timewalking with Valiant: an Interview with Fred Van Lente + a Preview of Ivar, Timewalker #2

Over the last month or so, I have been catching up (see: binge-reading) the Valiant Entertainment catalog.  One of my favorite books so far has definitely been Archer & Armstrong, written by Fred Van Lente.  It’s a great 25 issue run that is both entertaining and hilarious.  Last month, Ivar, Timewalker #1 (also written by Van Lente) hit the stands, and it was absolutely terrific (you can read our review of it here).  We caught up with Fred Van Lente to talk about how he got into the business, his work on Archer & Armstrong and Ivar, Timewalker, and more.


4LN: To help our readers get better acquainted with you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got started in the comic industry, and, more specifically, how you got started with Valiant Entertainment?

Fred Van Lente: I went to college (Syracuse University) for screenwriting and filmmaking, and ended up hanging out with the guys who were studying illustration and comic book creation instead. It didn’t take me long to figure out moviemaking wasn’t for me — all I cared about was the story. I kept creating comics with them, and when they moved out to New York City to break into the industry, I went with them. Eventually, a comic I did with my SU buddy Steve Ellis, THE SILENCERS, got noticed by Marvel, and worked for them for many years.  One of the books I was known for at Marvel was the buddy book INCREDIBLE HERCULES, which I did with Greg Pak. Because of that, Valiant approached me to see if I would write the revived ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, and we made a pretty good fit!

4LN: When working on a series like Archer & Armstrong or Ivar, Timewalker how do you balance the material from the original Valiant titles with where you want to go with the new series?

FVL: Well, the folks in the current incarnation of Valiant want everything to be accessible and as welcoming to new readers as possible. That said, I do like throwing in little easter eggs. The ninja nuns in Archer & Armstrong were in the original (though there they were men) and so were the Archies, the cult from the future that revolves around Archer. There was a character in the original Timewalker that inspired our Neela Sethi, the second main character in the series, but I can’t get into too much detail there without getting spoilery…

4LN: Armstrong seems to be a man with very famous friends. How did you decide which historical figures fit into your narrative, and how do you prepare for writing in all the different time periods? Did your work on Action Philosophers help?

FVL: Sure, Action Philosophers is probably one of the things I’m best known for, and I kind of have used it as a touchstone ever since. I made early on the decision that Armstrong was a big poetry fan, that he liked to hang out with artists and poets. He’s not really a fighter, despite of his strength. I was also inspired by this Carl Sandburg poem he quotes in #1, I saw that on a wall in the British Museum early on, I found it really inspiring.     

4LN: Ninja Nuns, Aliens, Dinosaurs, Himalayan Nazi Monks, Jim Morrison and the Church of Retrology, Time-Travel – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of things off the table as far as topics go. What’s it like writing a story with so many adventurous possibilities, and what can we expect to see in the future?

FVL: It’s been pretty awesome. The guys at Valiant really like this one character — or…race? of characters — you’re about to meet in Ivar, Timewalker #2, the Lurkers. I won’t give anything away, but it was definitely a case of a character just having a walk-on appearance and then becoming a staple of the storyline.

Also, Ivar is still pals with Amelia Earhart back in his Archer & Armstrong days, you might see her too.

4LN: In the first issue of your newest title, Ivar, Timewalker, you tackle several common time-traveling tropes (time paradoxes, butterfly effect, the necessity of not running into oneself in the future/past etc.) and throw them out the window. Are you telling the reader that the old rules don’t apply here? 

FVL: Well, there’s one very simple rule — Hawking’s Chronological Protection Conjecture, which says the rules of the universe are set up in such a way to prevent temporal tampering.  Unless, of course, one of our characters figures out a workaround…

4LN: Another 4LN writer, Stephen, and I like to “fancast” the Valiant characters. There was a panel in the early issues of Archer & Armstong, where Armstrong totally reminded me of Porthos (Oliver Platt) from the 1993 Three Musketeers. Are there any actors you would like to see portray Ivar, Archer, Armstrong, and Gilad?

FVL: Well, Ivar was first introduced in the Three Musketeers issue of the original series (#8), so that’s especially appropriate. Platt’s too old to play Armstrong now, alas, I was thinking Nick Frost, Seth Rogan or even Jack Black. For Archer I always said that kid who played King Joffrey from Game of Thrones, but apparently he’s retired from acting? Gilad and Ivar are good square-jawed types, a bunch of people could be good for them. Chris Evans for Ivar, Chris Pratt for Gilad? Vice-versa? Those two seem to be having fun palling around lately.


We’d like to thank Fred Van Lente for taking the time out of his day to talk comics with us.   Check out this preview of Ivar, Timewalker #2 below!

You can follow him on Twitter here.


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