Friday, February 1, 2013

New Release Reviews For Valiant Entertainment, for 1 February, 2013

Welcome back to another New Release Reviews for Valiant Entertainment. I continue to be backlogged on our reviews for this fine, fine publisher. I feel really bad about this. Not just because I attended the wedding of their head of sales ages ago but because their product line is pretty solid.

It's not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination but they do something that no other publisher seems capable of which is consistently deliver solid products.  Seriously, even their weaker stuff like Bloodshot is still pretty good. A lot of credit goes to their talented writers and artists. Kudos also go to their editors for keeping things organized.

I'm going to catch up this weekend. These reviews are for January 16th, 2013. Monday there will be there January 23rd, 2013 releases. And then on Wednesday, there will be their current issues. As always … titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best possible. We take the time to read these books so your time isn't wasted.

Archer And Armstrong
- Issue 6

This was a very interesting issue. It moved in a completely different direction from both this series as well as everything else published by Valiant. Sure, the title characters were in it as they tried to survive, find the new Geomancer, and deal with Armstrong's homicidal brother.

What's different about this is the focus on the new Geomancer. It's all about how she came to the decision to accept the mantle and it's a blast. The story is a lot of fun and it manages to take its time getting there which allows the story to breathe.

Honestly, the creatives could have trimmed three or four pages from Archer And Armstrong' s story to give her more time. Their portion, though fun, could have been much more economically told. Gilad continues to get some back story which was the best aspect of their half.

The trade-mark humor of these characters are still present. The heroes are barely able to hold things together and it has all the trappings of the "buddy-cop" genre of storytelling. And the One Percent stuff would probably make most progressives laugh if it weren't so horrible and tragic.

The cover is equal parts dramatic and sexy, setting the tone of the story ahead. There were some weird perspective issues with the art but it's all manageable. Even the interior art if solid, even if anatomy is a bit off. The layouts and pacing are exciting and skillfully handles and the coloring is outstanding.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Bloodshot - Issue 7

This issue felt like a prologue to an issue. All of the themes introduced could have been presented in about three pages so things were a bit confusing here. It's not that it was bad, just that for a flash-back it took way too much page space for what little it gave us.

We knew Bloodshot was being manipulated. We knew he recovered from injuries quickly. We knew the scientist ended up turning on the program. We've been able to extrapolate the psi-children. Harbingers? Mostly, it seemed to auger the upcoming Harbinger War and give names and powers to some of the kids.  And the kids are afraid of him, hinting that he's had history with them.

Three pages.

The cover was excellent. It's very well designed and it continues to push the theme of what's coming and the Unity it will bring. The interior artwork is just OK. It does the job of moving the story forward, though there were some moments that were a bit wonky, and perspective is off at times. The coloring is nice.

Score: 7 out of 10

Definitely give Archer And Armstrong and good look. Bloodshot as a stand-alone is not a must-have but given the context within the universe, is worth looking at. Stop back in a few days more reviews for Valiant Entertainment.