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4LN Comic Review – 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot

Series: 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Doug Braithwaite, with Brian Reber on Colors
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Valiant Entertainment:

“Once upon a time…in the year 4001 A.D…

Centuries ago, Bloodshot was the man called Ray Garrison. Now, in the year 4001 A.D., Ray Garrison is no more…but the nanites that once thrived inside him endure still. With their master long since gone, the microscopic machines that once drove Bloodshot through every firefight, healed every wound, and calculated every outcome have one final directive left to execute…but what could it possibly be? And how will the forces of the future react when the infamous man-turned-machine called Bloodshot returns to fight another day?

The future starts now as New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (BLOODSHOT REBORN) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) bring Bloodshot barreling into the 41st century of the Valiant Universe with an all-new, standalone tale at the epicenter of 4001 A.D.!”

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Overview:  The 4001 A.D. event has been incredible thus far.  If there is one thing Valiant knows, it’s how to pull off a great summer event, that is neither contrived or money grabbing.  Lemire’s 400l A.D. BLOODSHOT continues this tradition.

I’m not going to lie, when I first saw the new look for Bloodshot I was a little hesitant.  The amorphous, nanite body with the Bloodshot head seemed a little far-fetched, even in a world with timewalkers, hive-mind aliens, and beings with the power to manipulate time, space, and matter.  After reading it though, I have to admit that it’s pretty damn cool.  Lemire’s story is great, frequently pulling scenes directly out his work on BLOODSHOT REBORN and last years BOOK OF DEATH: FALL OF BLOODSHOT book, and even providing a sense of closure after what happened at the end of FALL OF BLOODSHOT.  As far as the art is concerned, Doug Brathwaite and Brian Reber pull off some KILLER panels throughout the course of this book.  There were several pages where I just stared at the page taking in every little detail – and there is a LOT of detail.

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Bloodshot is just such a cool character, possibly even one of the greatest in Valiant’s pantheon of heroes, and Lemire has him dialed in.  His stories are frequently introspective, which is hard to pull off with a character who’s primary purpose is murdering people to death in a variety of ways.  His run on BLOODSHOT REBORN shows us a more subdued Ray Garrison, who is still trying to find his place, and 4001 A.D.: BLOODSHOT gives this fantastic hero both closure, and a possible new beginning.

If you are a fan of Bloodshot, sci-fi, or stories about artificial intelligence, then this is the book for you.  Not that it is a contest, but I liked this one-shot even better than X-O Manowar’s, and that book was also fantastic in its own right.  Make sure you head over to a comic shop (or Comixology if you prefer digital comics) and pick up 4001 A.D.: BLOODSHOT (out June 8), as well as the rest of the 4001 A.D. event books.

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The Valiant Summit 2016

From Valiant Comics:

As revealed today during the #ValiantSummit 2016 event live from New York City’s renowned UCB Theatre, Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” – an all-new wave of ongoing series, prestige format projects and standalone events from a star-studded roster of some of comics’ most visionary talents. Beginning in July with the first, much-demanded ongoing series for the breakout hero of the year, FAITH, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” will extend throughout 2016 with a total of seven epic series – each introducing an innovative array of new concepts and characters…and firmly establishing Valiant’s place as the premier publisher of creative storytelling in comics today:
  • FAITH #1 by Jody Houser, Pere Perez & Marguerite Sauvage in July
  • GENERATION ZERO #1 by Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela in August
  • BRITANNIA #1 (of 4) by Peter Milligan & Juan Jose Ryp in September
  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4) by Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite in October
  • HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 by Rafer Roberts & Darick Roberston in November
  • SAVAGE #1 (of 4) by B. Clay Moore, Clayton Henry & Lewis LaRosa in November
  • DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine in December

“With ‘THE FUTURE OF VALIANT,’ Valiant is entering an ambitious new phase – one that will challenge not only the size and scale of the stories we choose to tell, but even the very notion of what a Valiant comic can be,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “In just a short time, Valiant has established itself as the industry’s best reviewed publisher and a creative force to be reckoned with. Now, with ‘THE FUTURE OF VALIANT,’ we’re taking the mission of creating the best comics possible even further, and expanding with astonishing new concepts, a bold line-up of new characters, and one of the most talented rosters of creative talent working anywhere today.”

“Within the past year alone, Valiant has made unprecedented strides by bringing some of comics’ most celebrated characters to the fore. But DIVINITY and FAITH were just the first salvos,” said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. “In ‘THE FUTURE OF VALIANT,’ we’re about to witness the next great Valiant heroes of tomorrow come roaring out of the gate with GENERATION ZERO, BRITANNIA, and SAVAGE. And we haven’t even revealed the full extent of what’s coming for BLOODSHOT U.S.A. and HARBINGER RENEGADES, let alone the universe of new ideas that is DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE… For new fans or old, this is a phenomenal time to find out why Valiant has succeeded in building the most acclaimed and accessible line of comics on the shelves.”

Rewatch all of “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” announcements on Twitch HERE with an exclusive live stream of today’s #ValiantSummit 2016 event, or find complete details on each series individually below:

FAITH #1
Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by PERE PEREZ and MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover by KEVIN WADA
ONGOING SERIES | BEGINNING JULY 2016

AN ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES! The high-flying hero that captured the imagination of the world is back with a colossal new comics milestone!In a city under siege by robots, aliens, monsters and even worse… celebrities, there is only one woman the people of Los Angeles can count on: the stratospheric superhero called Faith! Aspiring reporter by day and dedicated crime-fighter by night, Faith has tackled every obstacle in her path with confidence – like those crushing deadlines at work, the long-distance boyfriend half a world away, and the missing back issues that plague her comics collection! But, unbeknownst to her, Faith is about to collide with the one force she never saw coming: an up-and-coming super-villain bent on snuffing her out once and for all! But who is lurking behind the mask of her new foe…and could they just be the one person capable of rendering Faith powerless?

Jump on board now to find out why Valiant’s one-of-a-kind hero is inspiring a whole new generation! Be here as FAITH moves from her sold-out mini-series…and into the history-making debut of her first-ever ongoing series!

GENERATION ZERO #1
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by FRANCIS PORTELA
Cover by STEPHEN MOONEY
ONGOING SERIES | BEGINNING AUGUST 2016

Because you demanded it! Exploding out of the pages of HARBINGER WARS comes AN ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES starring GENERATION ZERO from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) and blockbuster artist Francis Portela (FAITH)!If you have a problem… If your parents won’t help… And if your cause is worthy… Log onto network #ZERO…because Generation Zero is listening.

Years ago, the children of the experimental strike team known as Generation Zero were taken from their families by Project Rising Spirit, a private weapons contractor, and raised to be psychic soldiers. After years of taking orders, they have fought for and won their freedom. Now, the world’s most wanted teenagers have pledged to protect each other tooth and claw, while using their extraordinary abilities to right wrongs for a generation without a future… To fight for kids, just like them.

One of those kids is Keisha Sherman, whose boyfriend just turned up dead after a suspicious car crash in Rook, Michigan – a newly booming tech town that sprang from rags to super-riches seemingly overnight. When Keisha makes a desperate plea into her webcam, the local high school suddenly finds itself with several unusual new students… But as word of Generation Zero’s presence spreads rapidly through the halls, this volatile band of teenage upstarts is about to discover that they’re far from the most extraordinary thing lurking behind Rook’s stainless-steel facade..


BRITANNIA #1 (of 4)
Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by JUAN JOSE RYP
Cover by CARY NORD
PRESTIGE FORMAT LIMITED SERIES | BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 2016

On the fringes of civilization, the world’s first detective is about to make an unholy discovery…Ruled by the Fates. Manipulated by the Gods. Commanded by Caesar. In the year 65 A.D., one’s destiny was not his own. At the height of Nero’s reign, a veteran of Rome’s imperial war machine has been dispatched to the farthest reaches of the colonies to investigate unnatural happenings… In the remote outpost of Britannia, Antonius Axia – the First Detective – will become Rome’s only hope to reassert control over the empire’s most barbaric frontier…and keep the monsters that bridge the line between myth and mystery at bay…

From comics mastermind Peter Milligan (X-Statix, Shade the Changing Man) and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp (NINJAK, Clone) comes a psychological journey into terror, temptation, and bloodshed – presented in an all-new prestige format limited series!

BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4)
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover by KANO
STANDALONE EVENT SERIES | BEGINNING OCTOBER 2016

In Bloodshot we trust! Project Rising Spirit – America’s greatest exporter of classified weapons technology – has achieved a breakthrough: a contagious, airborne nanite dispersion prototype that can turn the population of any city into an army of indestructible soldiers. A doomsday virus capable of destroying an enemy nation from the inside out. A machine-made pathogen that can completely rewrite human physiology…and hardcode every man, woman, and child with the same cutting-edge technology that created their greatest weapon: Bloodshot.

But now…Project Rising Spirit’s top-secret contagion has been released onto the streets of America’s greatest metropolis: New York City. As mayhem engulfs Manhattan, Bloodshot must lead the most dangerous invasion ever waged on American soil and keep a runaway pandemic from toppling armies and governments…and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

In the tradition of THE VALIANT, the Big Apple turns blood red in pivotal new standalone comics event from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (BLOODSHOT REBORN, Extraordinary X-Men) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS, Justice)!

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1
Written by RAFER ROBERTS
Art & Cover by DARICK ROBERTSON
ONGOING SERIES | BEGINNING NOVEMBER 2016

Anyone you know could become a psionically powered “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. Your neighbor. Your boss. Your best friend. Your kids. Six months ago, a secret team of renegade whistleblowers leaked the existence of these extraordinarily dangerous individuals to a stunned world. Today, all across the country, crude, DIY psiot activation attempts have left hundreds brain damaged…or worse. The emergence of a new psiot in a community often leads to riots and mass violence. Gun sales are through the roof.

America is terrified of what could happen next.

With this revolutionary upheaval now in motion, Kris Hathaway, John “Torque” Torkelson, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, and Peter Stanchek are about to discover their calling. Together, the HARBINGER RENEGADES are moving from town to town, building their ranks, and subverting authority one mind at a time…and setting out to prove once and for all that behind their power, there has always been a purpose.

This November, the most fearless superteam in comics is going underground for AN ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES from rising star Rafer Roberts (A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) and superstar artist Darick Robertson (Happy!, The Boys)!

SAVAGE #1 (of 4)
Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art by CLAYTON HENRY and LEWIS LAROSA
Cover by LEWIS LAROSA
PRESTIGE FORMAT LIMITED SERIES | BEGINNING NOVEMBER 2016

Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife – pregnant with their unborn child – disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by by prehistoric creatures from another time…This is the story of how they lost their humanity.

This November, acclaimed writer B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick) and explosive artists Clayton Henry (HARBINGER WARS) and Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN) present a relentless epic of survival in a cold-blooded land ruled by instinct alone as SAVAGE makes his brutal entrance into the Valiant Universe!


DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4)
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Cover by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC
PRESTIGE FORMAT LIMITED SERIES | BEGINNING DECEMBER 2016
Earth has a new god. The world you know is gone. Welcome to the Stalinverse, comrade.
So there you have it folks! All the great new Valiant series’ to get excited about through the end of the year and beyond! Most of these series were teased in the Valiant 2016 Free Comic Book Day preview comic, but there are two significant absences… Psi-Lords, and Shadowman. Both were also teased with full page ads in the FCBD issue but were not mentioned during the summit so I guess we’ll just have to keep a lookout for info on those in the future. There’s still much to be enthused about with what was announced though, so let us know in the comments below which newly announced Valiant series you’re most excited about! ¡Viva la Valiant!

4LN Comic Review: Ninjak #10

Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Doug Braithwaite & Juan José Ryp, with Brian Reber
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Comixology: ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! A SPECIAL FOUR-ISSUE EVENT! “OPERATION: DEADSIDE” STARTS HERE! In December of 2015, a covert military intelligence unit sent a team of 20 agents and one special operative into a parallel dimension. Only one came back. The purpose of their mission was classified. Now, out of options, MI-6 has recruited their most elite operative – codename: NINJAK – to follow the doomed mission’s sole witness back into the dimension called Deadside…and bring her missing teammates home. What will they find there? And who will be waiting for them? Jump on board here as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (DIVINITY) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) reunite for a terrifying journey into an unknown plane of existence…and bring NINJAK head-to-head with SHADOWMAN in the all-new, four-part epic “OPERATION: DEADSIDE”! Plus: an all-new chapter of “THE LOST FILES” begins, featuring explosive artwork by Juan José Ryp (Clone)!

Ninjak (2015) #10: Digital Exclusive Edition

Ninjak is, without a doubt, one of the absolute best comics being published right now. Since the launch of the series earlier this year, the story has been exciting and captivating, with some pretty amazing twists along the way. This brand-new story arc “Operation Deadside” kicks off with a blast. Literally. A secret MI-6 facility is attacked and a villain previously captured by Ninjak is taken to the Deadside, somewhere Ninjak has been before but isn’t really in a hurry to get back to. I mean, he’s going back, he just doesn’t want to. He’ll have some help this time, though, from the obdurate and incomparable Punk Mambo. They go together about as well as… well… about as well as an anarchist hippie and an agent of the state.

click for super-sized previews of Ninjak (2015) #10: Digital Exclusive Edition

For me, personally, Ninjak has been my favorite of the new Valiant comics from 2015. Don’t get me wrong, I like pretty much everything that they put out, but Ninjak just has something about it that makes it stand out. It’s more accessible than a lot of other current comics. What I mean is that you can very easily jump into Ninjak and it’s even easier to get sucked into the story. “Operation Deadside” picks up sort of where the previous story arc ended, but not in a way that requires you to read it. However, you should read it because Matt Kindt has been crafting an absolutely compelling plot-line that leads you all the way up to here. The way Kindt writes Colin King (Ninjak) reminds me of a mix of Bruce Wayne and Danny Rand. He’s wealthy, classy and headstrong, but still sarcastic, and even a little reckless at times. Not imprudent, just a tad careless; in a “let’s see what happens when I do this” kind of way.

click for super-sized previews of Ninjak (2015) #10: Digital Exclusive Edition

Moving on to the art… It’s phenomenal. Doug Braithwaite is a fantastic artist who has an incredible talent for drawing detail without being overly complex with his panels. A lot of artists today try to be too complicated and/or too abstract and that can make the story hard to follow. Braithwaite does not suffer from that misguided philosophy. He draws damn good comics and that’s that. Additionally, each issue of Ninjak includes a Lost Files bonus story at the end of the main story that all connects. Previously the story had been about the origins of Colin as an agent but Operation Deadside changes that and seems to be about a new Shadowman. Now, Shadowman is definitely in my top 3 favorite Valiant characters so I’m eager to see how that side story develops and connects to the larger plot, but the thing I’m most excited about when it comes to the Lost Files story is that the art is done by Juan José Ryp. I freaking LOVE his style. It’s super detailed and kind of gruesome at times. It’s just so incredible and I’m really glad that he’s doing it.

 

click for super-sized previews of Ninjak (2015) #10: Digital Exclusive Edition

If you’ve been looking to jump into a Valiant published comic, this is a great jumping on point. Hell, if you just want a really great series to jump into PERIOD, this is one I highly recommend. The writing is high caliber. The art is top notch. There’s nothing to dislike about Ninjak, and I stand behind that statement 100%. Ninjak #10, the beginning of the “Operation Deadside” arc, is a 4 star book if I’ve ever read one. Head down to your local comic shop and pick up a copy today!

 

Music Pairing –
Well if you’re gonna jam something while you read a Valiant comic, then you HAVE to make that jam A Sound of Thunder. And while reading this particular issue, that specific jam NEEDS to be the track “Punk Mambo” from their new album “Tales from the Deadside“.

Advanced Preview: Imperium #2

From the good folks over at Valiant…

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of IMPERIUM #2 – the second devastating issue of the new VALIANT NEXT ongoing series from New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart(HARBINGER, Unknown Soldier) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS, Justice)! The battle for utopia continues here on March 4th as an all-new member – the technologically enhanced soldier-for-hire Gravedog – steps into the ranks of the world’s most feared superhuman army!Newly outed as one of the world’s most powerful superhumans and wanted by every authority on Earth, omega-level telekinetic Toyo Harada has abandoned the life he once knew. Out of options and run to ground, the former head of the Harbinger Foundation has retreated to a remote corner of the globe to begin building his vision of a better tomorrow…beginning with with the superhuman force capable of fighting for it. With a coalition of the brutal, barbarous, and insane recruited to enforce his will, Harada will engineer the peace he means to give the world…by starting the war that could end it all. THIS IS IMPERIUM.A psychic dictator, an inhuman robot, a mad scientist, a murderous alien, and a super-powered terrorist are about to try and take over the world…and you’re going to be rooting for them every step of the way. The shocking first story arc, “Collecting Monsters,” from Valiant superstars Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite continues right here on March 4th in IMPERIUM #2 – featuring covers by Raul Allen(RAI), Doug Braithwaite (UNITY), Butch Guice (Captain America), and Lewis LaRosa(BLOODSHOT)!

And don’t miss each essential new series from VALIANT NEXT! In the aftermath of THE VALIANT,VALIANT NEXT continues with five blockbuster new series, starring Valiant’s biggest, most-demanded heroes alongside all-new, never-before-seen characters, throughout 2015:

IVAR, TIMEWALKER #1 by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry in January
DIVINITY #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine in February
IMPERIUM #1 by Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite in February
NINJAK #1 by Matt Kindt, Clay Mann and Butch Guice in March
BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan in April

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

IMPERIUM #1 [VALIANT NEXT]
Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A (Harada) by RAUL ALLEN (DEC141700)
Cover B (Lord Vine-99) by RAUL ALLEN (DEC141701)
Cover C (Mech Major) by RAUL ALLEN (DEC141702)
Valiant Next Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE & TOM MULLER (DEC141704)
Character Design Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (DEC141705)
Artist Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (DEC141706)
Blank Cover also available (DEC141703)
$3.99 US | T+ | 32 pgs. | On sale FEBRUARY 4

IMPERIUM #2 [VALIANT NEXT]
Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A by RAUL ALLEN (JAN151644)
Cover B by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (JAN151645)
Cover C by BUTCH GUICE (JAN151646)
Variant Cover by LEWIS LAROSA (JAN151647)
Character Design Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (JAN151648)
$3.99 US | T+| 32 pgs. | On sale MARCH 4 (FOC – 2/9/15)

And here are the various covers that will be available when the issue hits stands next month…