Those of you who have been keeping up with Valiant may have wondered just what's in store for Bloodshot (the character who has the best, most '90s comics name of all time) in the future. He's currently teaming up with the rest of the universe (including Ninjak) in the pages of The Valiant, but that's only a four-issue miniseries, so what comes next? Well, if the art for the new Bloodshot: Reborn ongoing series is any indication, we know exactly what he's going to be doing for the forseeable future.
Richard Corben draws scary stuff. I mean, that's kind of his deal -- his work with Mike Mignola on Hellboy has produced some of the most genuinely frightening imagery in that series, including the Crooked Man, my pick for the most unsettling villain that Hellboy has ever fought. So with that said, it should come as no surprise that his new book, Rat God, is stocked up with some of the creepiest stuff I've ever seen.
We're less than a week away from the launch of Marvel's Star Wars line with the first issue of, hey, Star Wars, by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin, so Marvel has put out a couple of sneak peaks of the issue -- one lettered, one unlettered. We've helpfully brought them together so you can enjoy more of the story of fan favorite character Overseer Aggadeen and... the cast of Firefly, I think? I don't really know Star Wars; sorry.
Star Wars #1 is an officially in-continuity comic (for now, anyway!) that picks up directly after the end of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, following the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in the wake of the destruction of the Death Star. Finally, a sequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope! I can't believe they've never done that before.
When the Valiant Universe returned a few years back with some of the most entertaining and engaging superhero comics on the stands, I think we all knew that it was only a matter of time before some world-shaking calamity brought a bunch of the heroes together in a big ol' crossover event. That's exactly what's happening in the form of The Valiant, in which Ninjak and other, less important heroes are gathering to prevent a scary monster from plunging the world into a new dark age.
It's pretty exciting stuff -- five years ago, I don't think any of us would've expected to see a big superhero event comic written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt -- but the biggest draw for me is the art team of Paolo Rivera and Joe Rivera. Thanks to his work on books like Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil, Paolo Rivera is easily one of the best artists in comics today -- and when he draws Bloodshot kicking the living crap out of a door, it looks amazing. Check it out in an unlettered preview below!
Debuting later this month from Image Comics, The Dying & The Dead is the latest collaboration between Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim, following A Red Mass For Mars and Secret. I was able to read issue #1 in advance, in the form of a lettered "first draft," and it is immediately notable for three reasons in particular: The Dying & The Dead takes a decidedly more personal approach to the theme of mortality that Hickman's been exploring in epic fashion in his New Avengers and East of West projects; the artwork by Bodenheim is his career best, not just in terms of technical drawing ability, but in the sense of pure graphic storytelling; and the huge page count makes a compelling case for big first issues.
Of all the comics that I've always wanted to learn more about but never had the chance to actually read, Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese is at the top of the list. The long-running Italian adventure hero has been a massive influence on some of my favorite creators, but it's never been fully printed in English -- an oversight that will be corrected next week when IDW publishes Corto Maltese: Under The Sign of Capricorn in paperback.
Evil sorcery is a problem for the people of a certain age undreamt of, and apparently it's gotten so bad that one Hyborian hero is no longer enough to stop them. That's why in January, we're getting a team-up in the form of Conan/Red Sonja, in which a pretty fantastic creative team of Gail Simone, Jim Zub and Dan Panosian are teaming up the two heroes to stop -- you guessed it -- evil sorcery.
After almost three years, the Adventure Time tenure of Ryan North as writer alongside artists Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb will come to a close with the release of issue #35 next week. Based on the Pendleton Ward animated series about a boy and his dog at the end of the world and the beginning of fun that never ends, North and co.'s run has included multiple awards including an Eisner for Best Publication For Kids, and is regarded by fans and professionals as one of the best, most consistently entertaining comics in the American market.
For this end of an era, we join the gang as they encounter the worst thing to ever happen to anyone in the entire history of time.
One of the great strengths of DC's digital-first line of comics is that it's a showcase both for emerging talent and for some unorthodox storytelling approaches. DC's digital wing plays to the strengths of the anthology format, telling the sort of stories that the main line just isn't interested in telling. For a character like Wonder Woman, an icon beloved by a lot of people who aren't invested in the rigmarole of month-to-month continuity, the approach is especially liberating.
The latest writer to tackle Wonder Woman for the digital-first Sensation Comics series is Amy Chu, an up-and-comer who we've profiled in the past. Chu has collaborated on short stories with Larry Hama, Steve McNiven, and Janet K. Lee, and has self-published her comics through her Alpha Girl Comics imprint. Her Sensation Comics story, 'Rescue Angel,' tells a Wonder Woman tale with a focus on a different female warrior, a young combat pilot, with art by Bernard Chang and colors by Wendy Broome.
There are a lot of things that are pretty awesome about Valiant Comics -- I'm particularly fond of the way that they haven't been shying away from giving us humor-driven superheroes in the form of books like Archer & Armstrong and Quantum and Woody -- but one thing that's pretty darn appealing about them as a reader is that they're pretty keen on giving new readers books they can jump onto and get into the larger universe. Right now, they're in the middle of one of those with their "Valiant Next" Initiative, and if your tastes run towards reading about supervillains on the run, they've got you covered with Imperium.
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