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Fred Van Lente

Solve Crimes With Forbidden Knowledge That Will Surely Drive You Mad In Van Lente And Vilanova’s ‘Weird Detective’

Weird Detective #1

Honestly, Fred Van Lente and Guiu Vilanova's Weird Detective had me at "Cthulhu Crime."

Seriously, that's one of those magic combinations of words that will get me to give pretty much anything a shot even before I see anything else about it. I mean, there's so many places to go with it! Will we be seeing cultist murders? Formless voids given speeding tickets? A shambling, unknowable horror, the very sight of which can drive someone mad, stuffed into a trenchcoat and fedora, out for revenge against the Goat of the Woods With A Thousand Young that betrayed them during a jewel heist? I'm not sure, but I do know that i'm ready to read it, and the preview that we've got from Dark Horse today is just getting me more and more excited.

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‘Generation Zero’, ‘Harbingers Renegade’, ‘Britannia’ and More Revealed At Valiant Summit

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The second annual Valiant Summit just wrapped at the UCB Theatre in New York City, the Belle of the East Coast. Broadcast on livestream, the summit saw several writers and artists take to the stage to talk about a string of new books from the publisher that will fall under the banner “The Future of Valiant”, including Rafer Roberts, Jody Houser, and Matt Kindt.

The event was Valiant's answer to Image Expo, with five new titles announced, including the long-rumbled Britannia, plus the previously announced Faith ongoing. Here's the full rundown.

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The Delinquents: A Beginner’s Guide to ‘The Eternal Warrior’ and ‘Ivar, Timewalker’

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Valiant Comics‘ shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.

Last month, JAM and Steve raced round the world with the buddy-comedy duo of Archer & Armstrong, but this month the two have decided to keep it in the family as they discuss JAM’s latest assignment: Armstrong’s brothers Gilad, AKA The Eternal Warrior, and Ivar, Timewalker.

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The Delinquents: A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Archer & Armstrong’

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Valiant Comics' shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Ste...

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The Best Marvel Event of the Past Ten Years Is… ?

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The Marvel Comics line is about mid-way through its giant line-wide crossover event Secret Wars, in which reality has been rewritten by god-emperor Doom, and the heroes have been re-imagined more than a dozen times over in different domains paying tribute to stories from throughout Marvel's publishing history.

One of those domains is a version of House of M, another reality-rewriting crossover event that cast the Marvel heroes in different roles, which ran ten years ago. House of M launched the current era of Marvel events, kicking off a steady steam of universe-shaking storylines that continues into Secret Wars. To mark the tenth anniversary of House of M, and ten years of event-driven storytelling, we're asking you to determine which of these events was the very best.

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The Straightwashing of Hercules and How Marvel Keeps Failing LGBTQ Readers

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The mythological demigod Hercules is bisexual. How you feel about that fact doesn't change the fact; the myths of antiquity have told us that Hercules loved women and men alike. Lustfulness is at the core of his character, and Hercules' appetites aren't limited by gender.

Like many ancient myths, and like much of history, Hercules' stories have been bowdlerized by those who think same-sex relationships are sinful. Audiences introduced to the character through the Disney cartoon, the Kevin Sorbo TV show, the Dwayne Johnson movie, or the Marvel comics have good reason to think the character is heterosexual, because that's all they've ever seen. But that doesn't make it true. Hercules is bisexual. To deny that fact is to participate in the erasure of same-sex relationships on the grounds of a narrow and prescriptive morality.

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Building A Universe: A Guided Tour Through The Inner Workings Of Valiant Comics

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Since their first tiles appeared on comic-shop shelves in 2012, the resurrected Valiant Comics has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their new take on the characters and mythology of the original 1990s Valiant line, their pursuit of top-shelf creators, their focus on storytelling and world-building, and their gift for unorthodox marketing and promotion has drawn praise from both fans and press, led to a film development deal with Sony, and won scores of industry awards (and award nominations). They've proven themselves to be not just cashing in on past glories, but a company that's capable of pushing their stable of characters in new and exciting directions while remaining true to their roots.

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Thumbnail: Destroy This Comic!

David Hine
David Hine

Comics carry a sense of physical prestige. When you pick one up from the shelf, it usually isn’t just lying there, blowing in the wind – it’s often wrapped up in a too-tight plastic bag, boarded with a thin piece of cardboard to ensure you don’t crease a single hair on Superman’s immaculate head. The experience is designed to make you consider each comic as a precious item, something best kept mint so you can sell it and get your grandkids through college in a few decades from now.

The thing is, sometimes we need to be reminded that comics are not immaculate, and actually there’s no reason not to mess them up a little in the course of reading. Some of the most enjoyable moments in comics over the last few years have been those moment where the storytellers step back, wave an arm towards the story they’re telling, and say, “Hey, let’s take a pair of scissors to this, eh?”

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‘Ivar, Timewalker’ Is the Violent, Manipulative Version Of ‘Doctor Who’ That I’ve Always Wanted

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A few years ago, around the time that Matt Smith was gearing up to replace David Tennant, I briefly made an attempt to get into Doctor Who. Sadly, it didn't really take -- as much as I liked reading stuff about the show, and as much fun as I had with bits and pieces of it, the show never really hooked me the way that it did my friends, and I ended up being quite possibly the only person in the world who liked Doctor Who Magazine more than Doctor Who.

Last week, though, it all clicked into place with the release of Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry, and Brian Reber's Ivar, Timewalker #1 and its story of time-spanning action and underlying mystery. Basically, this was the version of Doctor Who that I actually wanted.

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Past Lives And Violent Futures Collide In Fred Van Lente’s Excellent ‘Resurrectionists’ #1

Resurrectionists #1, Dark Horse

I've been a fan of Fred Van Lente's comics work for almost ten years now, and the one thing that I love more than anything else about his work is that every time he starts up a new series, it almost always feels like something completely different. You can draw parallels between books like Incredible Hercules and Archer & Armstrong, of course, but neither one of those feels quite the same as G.I. Joe or Taskmaster. The one thing that really unites them, and the one thing that comes through pretty clearly if you ever interview that that guy about his work, is that there's a lot of research that goes into everything he writes, and it's research that comes through in very strange ways.

Case in point: Resurrectionists, a new ongoing Dark Horse series from Van Lente, Maurizio Rosenzweig and Moreno Dinisio that provides a pretty amazing vehicle for delivering that research directly to the reader, and does it with one of the biggest, weirdest high concepts I've seen in a long time.

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