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Tag - Robert Venditti

4LN Comic Review – Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1

Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Renato Guedes and Ulises Arreola
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Valiant Entertainment:

It is a time before civilization…

On the brink of carving out victory in the most violent battle of his life, Gilad Anni-Padda suffers a devastating injury. He awakens weeks later in a strange land, nursed back to health but with no memory of his past. A tribe has shown him compassion in an age of cruelty, and he will return their gift in kind. Now the real violence will begin…

New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps.) and acclaimed artist Renato Guedes (BLOODSHOT REBORN) lead a celebration of the Eternal Warrior’s 25th anniversary here with the second of four standalone specials honoring the most famous Valiant tales ever told!

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Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, Fist and Steel of the Earth is a farmer, and a poor one at that.  The warlord that struck the blow that took his memory is cutting a swath across the earth destroying everything in his way, and he won’t be stopped until he has the head of the Eternal Warrior atop his throne of bones.  Now Gilad must reclaim his memory, reclaim his mantle, and get to work.  If that doesn’t scream “EPIC” at the top of its lungs, I don’t know what would.

Robert Venditti’s Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is a great 15 issue run that dives into the mythos of the character’s ability to raise from the dead. Now, with Awakening, Venditti is going traveling to before to the turbulent era before human civilization.  The first 8 issue Eternal Warrior is the series that brought me into the Valiant world, so I always look forward to another adventure, and this issue did not disappoint.

The story stands on its own and provides a really cool tale about the Eternal Warrior’s past.  The tone is dark, and there is a really great interplay between that tone and the bright palette used by the color artist Ulises Arreola.  The artist Renato Guedes has worked on everything from the X-Men to Superman, and his work on this issue perfectly captures the violence of the era.  The action sequences are visceral, the characters are unique, and the desolate landscapes are beautiful.  I would love to see Guedes do more work for Valiant in the future.

Ultimately, Eternal Warrior: Awakening is a clinic in how to do a one-shot.  The creative team works well together setting an intense tone for the book, and it makes me pray to the Valiant leadership that more Eternal Warrior is on its way.  Eternal Warrior: Awakening hits the stands this Wednesday, May 10, 2017.  Make sure to track down a copy with the veracity of Alpha Hyamm.

Check Out A Sneak Peek At Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1 Below!

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4LN Interview with Writer of Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, Robert Venditti

We got the chance to sit down and talk with comic book writer Robert Venditti (for the third time) about his upcoming DC project, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, which hits shelves tomorrow! Be sure to grab Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 because we promise, this won’t be a series you will want to miss. So, without further ado, our interview with Robert Venditti!

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Are you excited to be working with former comic collaborator Rafa Sandoval?

Robert Venditti: Absolutely! I have worked with Rafa before for about 5 issues during X-O Manowar for Valiant. It was a great collaborative relationship, and he does so much so well. Especially when it comes to cosmic/sci-fi/space-oriented books. He does a lot of alien races, and a lot of ships. He’s fantastic when it comes to design, and those kinds of things. When DC told me about Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, I asked if I could have Rafa Sandoval on this book. I just love working with the guy, and DC went and got him.

How does working with Ethan Van Sciver compare to Rafa Sandoval?

Robert Venditti: Ethan is somebody that I’ve worked with in a very limited capacity. We did one issue of Green Lantern together, during my run, but he’s somebody that brings so much weight and experience to the title. He’s an artist whose synonymous with not just Green Lantern mythology, but with the concept of Rebirth. And so to be able to work with him, who literally co-created a lot of the stuff that we are going to be dealing with, he has such an enthusiasm and a love for the characters. He’s very knowledgable and easy to talk concepts with, and if you are writing a book as part of the Rebirth initiative which embraces the long legacy of the DCU. I can’t think of a better artist to have on that for Green Lantern than Ethan, because in a lot of ways he represents that legacy. Him and Rafa together are just a great 1-2 punch… I couldn’t be happier.  

How does Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps work with the theme of Rebirth? (Are you bringing back classic elements/characters while moving forward)

Robert Venditti: Absolutely! Yeah, I mean, that is Rebirth in a nutshell. It’s to embrace the long legacy of these characters, and embrace everything that has come before, but push forward and look towards the future and new directions as well. That’s exactly what we are doing. When you look at our opening arc, it’s going to be Hal and the Green Lantern Corps vs Sinestro and the Sinestro Corps. It’s green versus yellow. It’s will versus fear. These are concepts that go back to the earliest beginnings of the Green Lantern mythology. We are embracing that, but we are also doing some new things with that. If you read a lot of the books of the Rebirth books that are already on the stands, you’ll see that that is what the incentive is pretty much about. It’s a concept that I feel I am really suited for and it’s something I’m really excited about, and I hope people are excited for the stories when they see them.

 

Will Hal continue being a rogue lantern and using his  power gauntlet, or will we see the return of the iconic leader that we have been so used to?

Robert Venditti: When we open the Rebirth issue, Hal is in the possession of Krona’s gauntlet, and it has an affect on him where it’s changing him into a being of will. So what that’s beginning to do will have a profound affect on the series going forward. But what he does aside from that is he makes a decision with the Green Lantern Corps absent, he is going to reclaim his mantle as Green Lantern and be the last green lantern in the universe. He’s going to try to go find the corps, find out what happened to them, save them, and bring them back. Hal doesn’t know what the situation is yet, but he’s going to go searching for the corps and trying to protect the universe while he does it, all while being the standard bearer of the Green Lantern Corps. Coming into that at the same time, with the void of the Green Lantern Corps being absent, Sinestro parking War World in Sector Zero and becoming an established police force in the universe. So now you have Hal and Sinestro sorta on this collision and that’s where our story is going to begin.  


Are you excited to write different members of the corps besides Hal?

Robert Venditti: It’s such a diverse cast, you know? So many different lanterns who have been introduced over the years and one of the things that I’m doing is really trying to embrace that wider taprecy of DCU, with all the various planets, cultures and civilizations. And the lanterns who often times come from those cultures and civilizations. And with each of those civilizations comes different lanterns and with different character point of views. The diversity of that is what can really separate the Green Lantern mythology from a lot of other mythologies.  

With all the different characters in the Green Lantern series, will we see the return of B’dg?

Robert Venditti: [Laughs] I get a lot of B’dg and Ch’p questions. Yeah, B’dg is still there and he’s on the table, but I’m not doing a B’dg centered story anytime in the near future. But yes, B’dg is definitely still around.   


4LN: My personal favorite Lantern is Kyle Rayner, do you have any special plans for him?


Robert Venditti: Yup! Yes we do, it’s interesting. I don’t mention Kyle a lot in interviews, and we haven’t shown him in a lot of promo art, because what we are doing with him is really secretive. So when he does get introduced, it’s going to be for a very significant reason. To do something that only Kyle can do. And where the story then goes from there, it’s going to take a turn in a different direction. Kyle is definitely going to be there, but I have to be more secretive about him and other things because of what we are doing.    

4LN: What has been your favorite part about writing Green Lantern so far?

Robert Venditti: I would say just being able to work with these characters in the cosmic nature of the DCU, which is really the Green Lantern’s domain. There are so many worlds, so many different space race villains, and space race heroes, and alien cultures, and all these types of things. It’s such a rich history, and so much imagination, all these elements being introduced by different writers over the decades, so to be able to have all of that to play with and to mine for stories… It’s just a huge honor, and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it. It’s always enjoyable.

 

We’d like to thank Robert for taking the time to chat with us! Below we have some previews of Hal Jordan & The Green Lanterns Rebirth and Issue #1!

 

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Wrath of the Eternal Writer – An Interview with Robert Venditti

Since its relaunch in in 2012, Valiant Entertainment has built one hell of a bullpen.  Robert Venditti was one of the small handful of writers tasked with relaunching the Valiant universe after Dinesh Shamdasani brought it back from the void.  As of this writing, Venditti has written 46 issues of X-O Manowar (plus several other issues centered on the X-Overse), which is coming to a close with the 50th issue. He also wrote last years incredibly popular BOOK OF DEATH crossover event, and has recently taken the reins of my personal favorite character with WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR. Needless to say, I’m a bit of a Robert Venditti fanboy. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Mr. Venditti about life, the universe, and everything – or at least about his work with Valiant. Enjoy!

picture courtesy of USA Today

 

 

4LN – Now that X-O MANOWAR is coming to an end, what’s it like reflecting back on the series that broke ground for the relaunch of Valiant Entertainment and became its flagship title?

Robert Venditti – It was the first title when Valiant launched, but there were really four books that were in the first Summer of Valiant. I don’t want to say that this one book launched the Valiant Universe, because the Summer of Valiant was much bigger than that. Looking back on it, I’m really happy with it. I feel fortunate to have been able to stay with one character for this long; that’s not a common thing in any case, but even less so in the modern comics market. The opportunity to do one long-form arc of development that spans over four years is something I’m really happy with.

4LN – Looking back, are there any particular moments writing X-O that stand out in your mind as being particularly special (example: favorite kill, favorite panel, favorite issue, etc.)?

RV – There’s a variety of those things. If you’re talking favorite kill, the one that certainly became well known with Valiant fans was in issue #5 when Aric punches a grenade into a mercenary’s chest and blows him apart from the inside. I remember writing it and laughing about how crazy it was to be typing things like that into a panel description. People still come up and talk to me about to this day. But the stuff that I enjoy the most, as a writer, are the quieter moments. I really like what we were able to do with the flashback scenes of Aric, showing him as a child with his family. I’m very proud of issue #0, which I think put a different spin on his background than readers were probably expecting. There are others things I’m proud of as well.

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4LN – You are also currently writing WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR – what are some major differences and/or similarities between Gilad and Aric?

RV – I think people commonly correlate Aric to Gilad. They’re both characters that are sort of men out of time, if you want to put it that way. But I see them as exact opposites. Aric is a character who was abducted by aliens in the 5th Century and transported to the modern day, so he didn’t have the benefit of living all the days and years between. Gilad, however, is somebody who has lived every single one of those days and years. It informs them very differently in terms of worldview.

If you look the “Homeland” storyline in X-O Manowar, when Aric first comes back to Earth with the freed Visigoths and tries to conquer Romania. I think that’s a classic case of how different these two individuals are, and the difference in way in which they approach things. Gilad would have understood the modern geo-political landscape and that you can’t just plop down in a country and take it over, especially not when it’s on Russia’s doorstep. But Aric has no knowledge of those things, because he just leapt over all of that and found himself in the modern day.

4LN – In the first arc of WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR, Gilad fights through some sort of afterlife to return to the present. Is there a difference between this place and the Deadside?

RV – To be revealed! I think we’ve seen various aspects of the afterlife—or the Deadside, or whatever you want to call it—in the Valiant Universe. Whether it was in Shadowman, Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, Dr. Mirage, or various other places, there is a larger plan in place linking these things together. But it isn’t anything that I’m able to talk about.

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4LN – We just finished the “Prelude to the Labyrinth” where you worked with Juan José Ryp, and next you jump in the Labyrinth story and are back with your regular Wrath partner Raul Allen. What’s in been like working with these two incredible talented artists?

RV – It has been a real highlight of my career. They’re both phenomenally talented, but very different stylistically. Juan is more detailed and use larger images. Raul is more into paneling, page breakdowns, and has a different kind of approach to the way the story gets told. Both are extremely talented guys, and I really tried to write for them specifically with the storylines that they were going to be on. To have #5 and #6 be a really huge, widescreen action set of issues that dealt with Gilad storming an entire city by himself, it seemed uniquely suited for what Juan does. On the other side of the coin, to do a story like we are doing now, where the whole thing is set in a labyrinth, seems uniquely suited to Raul’s style. I couldn’t be happier than working with those two guys, and I certainly hope I get to cross paths with them again.

4LN – Lastly, can you give us any clues about what we can expect to see in the upcoming “Labyrinth” story?

RV – We’re going to put a new spin on a classic Valiant antagonist, somebody who was key to Gilad’s history in the original Valiant Universe. Not just update it and modernize it, but put some twists in there that the readers won’t necessarily expect. At the same time, we’re going to have some big reveals for Gilad in terms of his estranged relationship with his first-born son Kalam. What he learns in the labyrinth is going to propel us into the series’ next arc. These fourteen issues are meant to be a long-form arc about a father and a son, how they became estranged, and whether or not they can reconcile. Gilad is about to take a big step in that journey.

 

I would like to thank Robert for taking time out of his day to chat comics with us.  WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #7, which kicks off a brand new story-arc, and X-O MANOWAR ANNUAL #1 are out this coming Wednesday so plan to head out to your local comic shops to get them, and make sure you check out the finale to X-O Manowar this fall!

4LN Comic Review – 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar

Series: 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Clayton Henry, with Brian Reber on Colors
Color Art: Brian Reber with Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Comixology: “ROCKETING OUT OF THE PAGES OF 4001 A.D…the present and future of Valiant’s #1 hero come together for an essential standalone chapter at the heart of the summer’s blockbuster comics event!

How did the rise of Earth’s most powerful hero lead to humanity’s ultimate destruction? Just what was the War of the X-O Manowars…and how did its catastrophic fallout bring ruination and despair to a besieged planet? And why is the sacred extraterrestrial armor called Shanhara the one weapon Father fears more than any other?

The answers to the pivotal questions behind Valiant’s planet-shaking summer event arrive here as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH) and acclaimed artist Clayton Henry (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) blast two thousand years into the future of the Valiant Universe to reveal the never-before-told history of New Japan’s dominion over Earth…and the doomed role that the X-O Manowar armor was forever fated to play in the coming war for liberation!”

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Last week Valiant kicked off it’s much anticipated summer event, and the first issue was fantastic.  In his 4001 A.D. #1 review, my fellow 4LN writer Stephen Andrew said, “Valiant is the archetype for modern comic events,” and he’s absolutely spot on.   As with BOOK OF DEATH, last year’s event, 4001 A.D. will have four one-shots that show how some of their most popular characters are affected by the events in 4001.  The first one-shot focuses on how X-O Manowar’s legacy leads to a pivotal moment in last weeks issue (which I won’t spoil here in case you have let your self down by not reading it yet).

4001 A.D.: X-O MANOWAR was a great read made all the better by Robert Venditti’s terrific writing. It features everything from giant mech-suits to terrifying AI, or, as I liked to call it, damn good sci-fi.  Despite not being dialog heavy, this one-shot manages to fit in a LOT of setup into the previously mentioned pivotal moment of 4001. A.D. and the ending is just superb, in an unsettling sort of way.  I also enjoyed Clayton Henry’s artwork on this issue.  His art style is very clean, with some pretty great angles, and helps lighten the tone of what otherwise would have been an even more ominous story.

The Rai universe is fascinating, but it is so far ahead in the timeline that I jump at any chance to glimpse the world in between around now and, you know, 4001.  I am also not one to turn down some sweet, sci-fi action.  Plus, Robert Venditti just gets it.  He’s been in the Valiant universe longer than anyone, and his grasp of the content is prevalent in pretty much every book he writes for the company.

So far, we are only two issues into Valiant’s summer event, and it’s already been a hell of a ride.  We don’t generally give out star ratings, but this book is definitely a ★★★★★ issue.  Check out the preview below, and head out to your local comic shop this Wednesday and pick one up for yourself.

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4LN Advance Comic Review – Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1

Series: Wrath of the Eternal Warrior
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Raúl Allen
Publisher: Valiant

Summary from Valiant Database:

For five millennia, the Eternal Warrior has shaped history at the end of his sword. He’s razed empires, toppled civilizations, and broken armies as an immortal soldier in service to the Earth.

But now, the Eternal Warrior has been torn from the world he once protected and finds himself stranded in a hostile alien landscape unlike any he’s faced before. Separated from his earthly environs, can history’s deadliest soldier survive a realm far older, far deadlier, and fare more ruinous than anything he’s ever encountered? Beyond Earth lies eternity…

This November, New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH, X-O MANOWAR) and visionary artist Raúl Allén (NINJAK, Hawkeye) forge a new legend for Valiant’s master of war with an all-new ongoing series in…WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #1!

 

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Before we get started, I want to let you, the reader, know that I will do everything I can from giving anything away about the story.  Instead, I will focus on why it was so good.

I have been looking forward to the return of Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, since the end of the last three issue mini-series Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel by Peter Milligan and Cary Nord (the artist that did that awesome variant cover above).  Despite only having a total of 11 stand-alone issues, Gilad has always been one of my favorite characters and was actually first step into the Valiant Universe.

When Wrath of the Eternal Warrior was announced, I immediately began to wonder who the writer was going to be.  I was nervous at first, because I really wanted this series to hit the ground running so I could get more than a couple of issues of a stand-alone Eternal Warrior title.  Then Valiant announced that none other than the Valiant Chosen One (and Green Lantern Guru), Robert Venditti, would be at the helm.  For the uninitiated (you really should get initiated – we have hand-signals and everything), Venditti kick-started the new Valiant by writing the flagship title X-O Manowar, and is also responsible for the Book of Death event, both of which have been excellent.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is a surprisingly intimate tale that reads more like myth than it does a comic.  We have seen Gilad speak of immortality as a curse, and this issue delves in to what makes this even more tragic than we realize.  Instead of just battle after battle, we get to see the toll Gilad’s dedication to protecting the Geomancer lineage takes on him, as well as those most important to him.  He has always been this gloomy, brooding character, and we have had hints as to why, but this issue lays it out in a beautiful and powerful way.

Joining Robert Venditti is the incredibly talented Raúl Allen who puts out some wonderful work in this issue.  Allen’s landscapes are haunting at times and warm in others, and ultimately perfectly in sync with the story.  Mixed in with these grand full page spreads are series of small panels that provide an interesting look into what Gilad is experiencing and the anguish in the choice he always has to make.

Venditti and Allen put out a startlingly great first issue that looks to provide new insight into Valiant’s most noble characters.  Very few books made me feel like I immediately had to reread them, but I immediately picked up again Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1 after I set it down.  The story was intimately epic and lays the groundwork for some fascinating future issues.  While this issue is terrific, it would be good for readers to read the Book of Death and The Valiant minis before diving into it.  The Valiant sets up Book of Death which, in turn, gives rise to Wrath of the Eternal Warrior.    If you like noble heroes and epic tales with a sprinkle of Greek tragedy, then this is the book for you.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior will hit the racks on November 18th!  See below for a preview of the book courtesy of Valiant.

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4LN Comic Review: Book of Death #2

Series: Book of Death
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite
Publisher: Valiant

Summary from Comixology:

A new dark age of the Valiant Universe draws nearer as the events foretold in the Geomancer’s BOOK OF DEATH unfold!

Convinced the unnatural disasters tearing our world apart are a direct result of the new Geomancer’s arrival, the combined forces of the Valiant Universe are forced to confront the Eternal Warrior about his new charge. But to prevent civilization from falling into a new Dark Age, the Eternal Warrior won’t go down without a fight! Valiant architect Robert Venditti (X-O MANOWAR) and rising star Robert Gill (ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER) bring you the next chapter in the summer blockbuster that promises to alter the Valiant Universe as you know it! Plus: new visions of the future that awaits – illustrated by superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (IMPERIUM)!

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Overview-

As I said in my review of the first issue of Book of Death, I approached this comic event with a sense of optimistic skepticism.  I was worried that, like most events, it might seem a little contrived, BUT… I was so incredibly wrong.  After reading Book of Death #1, I could tell that Venditti was setting up something exciting, and the first few pages of the second issue proved that to be 100% true.

Book of Death #2 is about as close to perfection as a comic book can get.  Robert Venditti is a magnificent writer and his skills are on full display here.  Book of Death #1 ended with Gilad, the Eternal Warrior and protector of the Geomancer, squaring off against his former teammates in Unity (X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Livewire, and GIN-GR).  The second issue dives right into that fight, and one of the coolest fight scenes I’ve seen in a Valiant comic… or any comic for that matter.  The art by Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite is just beautiful.  The fight sequence between Gilad and Unity is nothing short of fantastic, and it was easy to follow the action from panel to panel. When the story shifts into the Book of Death prophecy the tone of the art also shifts, and it’s beautifully done.

As you can imagine with a title like “Book of Death,” this series is pretty dark, with this issue’s prophesy being particularly brutal.  Kudos to Robert Venditti for putting together such an interesting story.  I also like that Venditti really seems to get the characters he’s writing.  His Eternal Warrior is nothing short of badass.  As a matter of fact, I am not sure I have seen Gilad written any better than he was in this issue, which makes me really excited to see what Venditti has planned for the upcoming Wrath of the Eternal Warrior series.  His tactical experience from thousands of battles over thousands of years is on full display.

I am really excited to see where this series is going.  Book of Death, Legends of the Geomancer, and the Fall of Bloodshot have all been absolutely fantastic and I am looking forward to everything else this event has to offer.  Valiant has proven before that their crossover event game is strong, but with Book of Death they are putting out some of the best books on the market.  Head on down to your local comic shop and pick up everything you possibly can with the Valiant logo on it – you won’t regret it.

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4LN Advance Comic Review: X-O Manowar #39

Series: X-O Manowar
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art Team: Rafa Sandoval, Ryan Winn, and Brian Reber
Publisher: Valiant

Summary from Valiant Entertainment:

ALL-NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! “EXODUS” BEGINS NOW!

Aric of Dacia is X-O Manowar, hero to humanity, leader of the remaining Visigoths, and a husband about to start a new family. He is also the bearer of Shanhara, and tantamount to a God in the eyes of the alien race known as the Vine. Now, in the aftermath of DEAD HAND, the Vine need a new home and have chosen Earth – tearing Aric between two races that worship him, but each despise one another. New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH) and red-hot artist Rafa Sandoval (Ultimate Hawkeye) unite here to begin a bold and tragic new era in the life of X-O Manowar!

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Overview-

As my fellow 4LN writer Bill Clark said in his recent Green Lantern review, Robert Venditti is a hell of a writer.  His scope in this series has been grand, and this issue is no different.  The Vine, having barely survived the destruction of their home-world during Dead Hand initiative attempt to take refuge on Earth in order to be near their god-figure, Aric of Dacia (X-O Manowar).  Some of those that survived the Armor Hunters that nearly destroyed LA aren’t all that keen on aliens of any kind showing up unannounced leaving Aric in the middle between those that see him as their deity and those to which he has sworn his allegiance.

The art team (Rafa Sandoval, Ryan Winn, and colorist Brian Reber) does some really amazing work in this issue.  The tense standoff between the Vine and American fighter pilots with Aric caught in the middle leads to some pretty epic panels.  And, as always, I was very impressed with colorist extraordinaire Brian Reber who’s skills are utilized on a majority of Valiant’s titles. The colors are just so vibrant and unique, it’s hard to anything like it on the shelves right now.

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Like it says in the summary, this is a great jumping on point for new Valiant readers.  The title page gives you all of the context needed to understand what was going on.  If you do want to go back and read Valiant back-issues (which I would actually highly recommend), a Scribd subscription and an tablet or computer will get you access to a majority of their titles from the beginning up to about a few issues ago.  Oh, and the first month is free which gives you the chance to binge-read as much as you possibly can in a month.  There are also several Valiant fans on Facebook and Twitter that would be more than happy to help out a new fan.  That is, after all, how I ended up with an ever growing long box filled with comics from my favorite new publisher.

I know it can be really difficult to jump on a book that is hovering near 40 issues.  Luckily this issue should be accessible to anyone looking for something new to read.  X-O Manowar is a man out of time.  He is a 5th century warrior who possesses one of the most powerful weapons in the universe.  So if you are a fan of sci-fi, man-out-of-time stories, or even to a degree sword and sorcery stories – X-O Manowar might just be your new addition to your subscription list.  Head on down to your local comic shop and give X-O Manowar #39 a shot. Also take a look around, they just might have some of the Dollar Debut issues of X-O Manowar #1 lying around.

Saturday Morning Review: Green Lantern #43

Series: Green Lantern
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
Page Count: 26

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Summary from Comixology: “Renegade” continues! Hal Jordan’s at the very edge of space confronting an old adversary who may be key in helping the former Green Lantern save the universe!

Overview:
I have been absolutely loving Venditti’s Green Lantern run, since issue #21 started. I think I can speak for 4LN as a whole, and say that we all love Venditti’s work. I, of course, am reading Green Lantern, and I know that Cameron and Stephen are reading his Valiant books, X-O Manowar, Book of Death, and I’m sure they will read his next book, Wrath of Eternal Warrior. Green Lantern has been a great ride, and we have seen a few changes to the corps as a whole. With all the changes we are definitely seeing Venditti leaving his own mark on the Lantern Universe, and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

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The Green Lantern Corps is no more. Hal has gone Renegade and it trying to figure out was has happened to the rest of the corps, but he has run into a problem, Relic has returned and is looking into the Source Wall which falls at the very end of the known universe, what lies beyond the wall, is the essence of all life, and in the hands of Relic would leave the universe trembling. Besides Relic, my favorite Lantern enemy is seeing in the first few pages, Black Hand. I personally think Robert Venditti does a fantastic job at capturing the tone and feel of Black Hand. Since he has the personality of a child, if he’s not written correctly, the character can just come of as awkward. But, Venditti captures Black Hand perfectly, and I look forward to seeing more of him in later issues. Personally, I’m excited that the Green Lantern Corps is no more, because I can enjoy a break from GL crossover events, and since Renegade started in issue #41, there have been no hints to any upcoming crossovers.

This issue features artwork done by none other then Ethan Van Sciver, and I have been a fan of his work for a while now. I absolutely loved his work on Green Lantern: Rebirth, and New X-Men. I think of my absolute favorite moments in this issue, was because of his artwork. Traveling through the “farthest reaches of existence,” there was a beautiful two-page splash of Hal just staring out the window into the great emptiness of space. And, as a person who loves the idea of space exploration, I found myself just being captured by the greatness, colors, and patterns on this splash. The fight scenes between Hal and Relic were equally beautiful and well organized. There wasn’t a single panel where anything felt messy, rushed or unplanned. Also, can I just say that I love Hal with long hair. This might be my favorite version of Hal in recent years. And, it’ll be interesting to see how Hal handles all the problems that are falling into his lap. Black Hand, Relic, and a new group called the Gray Agents, looks like things are getting worse and worse for the Renegade Lantern.

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Be sure to pick up this issue of Green Lantern and let us know what you thought of it in the comments below!

Music Pairing:
I thought really hard about who you should listen to while reading this. I was jamming Gregory Alan Isakov, but his music didn’t “fit” the feel of the book. Instead, I would recommend the post-rock band, Do Make Say Think, and specifically the track “The Universe!” of the album You, You’re A History In Rust. The build up for that entire song fits the vibe of the book perfectly, and you won’t be distracted by lyrics when you read.

4LN Comic Review + Preview: Valiant’s Book of Death #1

Series: Book of Death
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite
Publisher: Valiant

Summary from Comixology:

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.”

The Valiant heroes. X-O Manowar. Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Harbinger Renegades. Unity. This is how they lived. This is how they died.

Now we know. The Book of the Geomancer has recorded it all. But only a young girl – the last in a line of the enigmatic mystics who protect the Earth known as Geomancers – has seen this future come to pass, from the coming cataclysm to the dawn of the 41st century. Alone with her sworn protector, the Eternal Warrior – a soldier battle-forged across five thousand years of combat – the duo must defy their allies to stop the Dark Age that now threatens to eclipse our world.

Together, they are the number one target of every hero and villain on Earth. Either the Eternal Warrior hands her over…or they take him down. But can even he single-handedly protect one child when the entire Valiant Universe wages war against him?

The blockbuster Valiant event of 2015 starts here as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (X-O MANOWAR) joins superstar-in-the-making Robert Gill (ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER) and visionary artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) to begin a thousand-year journey into the future of the Valiant Universe…and rain, fire, blood and war on the heroes of today.

 

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Overview-

It’s no secret that Valiant has quickly become one of my favorite publishers putting out comics.  At this point it seems that a majority my pull list is either Valiant or Star Wars related, and I am perfectly fine with that. The company consistently puts out tremendous stories with some really great characters.  I will say that I am generally a little wary of crossover events, so when I heard about Book of Death I was initially… let’s say optimistically skeptical?  But ultimately I was excited.  I mean, it features some of my favorite characters and it’s written by Robert Venditti, who is doing a great job on Valiant’s flagship title X-O Manowar.

Just a quick heads up: while this book is really good, it’s probably not the best jumping on point for newcomers to Valiant.  Book of Death looks as if it will feature the entirety of the Valiant universe lore and all. I would recommend at least reading Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt’s miniseries The Valiant before diving in with Book of Death or you might be a bit lost.

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Also there is actually a lot of death in “Book of Death”. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Let me start by saying that even though there was a tremendous amount of hype with this book, which sometimes leads to major disappointment, I thought that Book of Death was really well done.  The majority of this issue centers on the prophesy as told in the Geomancer’s Book of Death (Geomancers speak for the Earth. You know, like the Lorax).  The prophesy tells of the fall of the Valiant universe and everything in it.  Tama, the Geomancer that Gilad brought back from the future in The Valiant, is being hunted and being framed for all sorts of gruesome shenanigans like the tree of death shown above.  Instead of turning Tama over to his pals in Unity, Gilad, who vowed to keep Tama safe, is traveling from desolate locale to desolate locale trying to keep her away from friend and foe.

I was really impressed with the creative team.  Robert Venditti, Valiant’s Chosen One, writes a stark tale with plenty of action and badassery, but it also looks like he is setting the stage for what appears to be a war against fate itself.  I’ve loved his work on X-O Manowar, and this issue makes me look forward to what he’s going to do on the upcoming Wrath of the Eternal Warrior ongoing.  The art in Book of Death is also really good. Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite’s art almost has a twinge of 90’s nostalgia, or at least it reminded me of some of the art from that era.  The character designs are spot on and some of the panels are pretty brutal.

In the end, I thought Book of Death was a great first issue.  Venditti is setting the stage for an epic battle over the next three issues featuring all of Valiant’s heavy hitters.  Next issue should have a pretty awesome opening battle sequence featuring two of my favorite characters.  It will definitely be interesting to see where this series is going!  Book of Death also has four one-shots featuring the prophesies of X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Ninjak, and Harbingers, plus the four issue, limited run Legends of the Geomancer. Below I’ve attached a 9 page preview courtesy of Valiant.  Be sure to head to your local comic shop Wednesday, July 15 to pick up your copy of Book of Death!

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Make sure you pick up Book of Death #1 when it hits comic shop shelves, and Comixology, this Wednesday!

First Look: “DEAD HAND” Activates in X-O MANOWAR #34

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of X-O MANOWAR #34 – the FIRST ISSUE of the all-new story arc and brand new jumping-on point for Valiant’s alien armored hero from New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (ARMOR HUNTERS, The Flash) and superstar-in-the making Diego Bernard (Red Lanterns)! The X-O Manowar epic of 2015 starts here on March 4th as Aric of Dacia, bearer of the most powerful weapon in existence, takes to the stars for a cosmic showdown with the ultimate doomsday fail-safe…the robot army called DEAD HAND!

Born into battle, Aric of Dacia, the fifth century Visigoth now called X-O Manowar, has never known peace. Abducted and enslaved by the savage alien empire known as The Vine, Aric finally escaped his captors after stealing their ultra-powerful X-O Manowar armor and then returned to Earth…only to find that more than a thousand years had passed in his absence. Stranded in the modern day, the most primitive man on Earth now wields the most powerful weapon in existence as X-O Manowar – one of the Earth’s most formidable new heroes and a member of the international superteam codenamed Unity.

But now…in the far reaches of deep space, the ultimate fail-safe of an extinct alien race has finally counted down to zero…and the robot army called DEAD HAND has been activated. The civilization that built them has fallen…and, now, to combat the doomsday threat that destroyed their world, DEAD HAND will complete the mission that their creators could not. Soulless and brutal, this billion-strong legion is the phantom army of a dead world…and it will cleanse the universe by any means necessary.

This spring, X-O Manowar is all that stands between Earth and the relentless precision of DEAD HAND’s procession across the galaxy. Separated from his earthly allies and outnumbered a thousand to one, can one man repel a legion of single-minded killing machines and save civilization from the death grip of DEAD HAND?

Find out here on March 4th as the cosmic X-O Manowar event of 2015 begins in X-O MANOWAR #34, part one of DEAD HAND! Featuring standard covers by Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT) with specially manufactured DEAD HAND overlay cover wraps and stunning wraparound alternate covers by Jorge Molina (X-Men), discover the series that Ain’t It Cool News calls “an amazing read each and every issue” here as DEAD HAND delivers the biggest jumping-on point yet for Robert Venditti and Diego Bernard’s superhero epic!

For more information, visit Valiant online at Facebook.com/ValiantComics, Twitter.com/ValiantComics, ValiantEntertainment.Tumblr.com, and ValiantUniverse.com.

For Valiant merchandise and more, visit ValiantStore.com.

X-O MANOWAR #34 (NEW ARC! “DEAD HAND” – PART 1)
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA (JAN151661)
Cover B by JORGE MOLINA (JAN151662)
1:10 Variant Cover by DAS PASTORAS (JAN151663)
1:20 Character Design Variant by JORGE MOLINA (JAN151664)
1:25 Variant Cover by BUTCH GUICE (JAN151665)
$3.99 | T+ | 32 pgs. | ON SALE 3/4/15 (FOC – 2/9/15)

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