If you're anything like me, then you want - no, you require --- as much Ninjak as humanly possible to be delivered into your waiting eyballs at all times, and if that's the case, I've got some good news for you. Next week, Valiant's #1 ninja --- or, you know, their #11 ninja, if we're going alphabetically --- is taking the center stage in not one, but two new stories.
First, Ninjak #6 continues the awesome ongoing series with a brand new story arc that pits Colin King and his high-tech ninjutsu against La Barbe, a mysterious French adversary who preserves his anonymity with a Scrooge McDuckian pile of money and some Ninjak-hunting laser weapons.
And if that wasn't enough, Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak jumps a hundred years into the future to see what he's up to in the post-apocalyptic world ravaged by the Armor Hunters. Can you handle that much Ninjak?!
As has become a tradition for Valiant over the last couple of years, the publisher's Free Comic Book Day offering closes with teasers for new books launching later in 2015. This year's comic teased returns for Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, and Harbinger; it looks as though Valiant is bringing it all back harder than an S Club 7 reunion tour.
While other superhero comics publishers are mining their pasts for big crossover events this spring and summer, Valiant is blasting ahead into the future, specifically, its characters' end times.
The new, four-issue event series Book of Death, written by Robert Venditti and with art by Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite, promises to reveal how characters including Ninjak, Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Toyo Harada and others will bite it, be redeemed, be replaced, or otherwise change in the future.
On the surface, Valiant's Ninjak is an almost silly fantasy character: He's a hyper-capable ninja with the word "ninja" in his name. He's also a British spy. He lives in a castle.
The first issue of the new Ninjak series by writer Matt Kindt and artists Clay Mann and Butch Guice certainly embraces those preteen wish-fulfillment elements, but adds some surprising depth, too, with character flashbacks and quieter moments that dig deep into who this updated version of Colin King really is.
We sat down with Kindt to talk about how he struck a balance between the silly and the serious in the new series, as well as the trippy sci-fi action of Divinity, his new Valiant series with artist Trevor Hairsine, which debuted earlier this month.
DATELINE: MOSCOW! The top men at the KGB have sworn to beat America in the space race, spreading the red tide form behind the Iron Curtain to a colony of Stalinist Stars! Fifty years later, their Soviet Spaceman returns from his journey to the stars with powers far beyond those of mortal men! He is a threat to worldwide democracy! He is Abram Adams! He is... SPACE COMMIE!
Or at least, that's how I would've sold it. It seems Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine opted for a slightly more subtle approach in the latest title from the Valiant Next initiative, Divinity. And sure, it might not have quite the excitement of a title like "The Super-Soviet From Outer-Space!", but it still looks pretty great. Check out a preview!
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.
2012's Dredd, based on the long-running comic about the stone-faced lawman of the future from the pages of 2000 AD, was essentially Die Hard in one of Mega City One's towering city blocks, which is to say that it was completely awesome. Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby's performances as Judges Dredd and Anderson, respectively, were fantastic, and left both long-time Dredd readers and new fans wanting to see more from them, which is why Arthur Wyatt and Henry Flint provided a comic book sequel set in the world of the movie called Underbelly, where Dredd had to tackle a new drug that gave crooks the ability to see into the future.
Underbelly was a pretty huge success. The first and second printings both sold out at the distributor level, and this October, it's getting a third, featuring a new cover by artist Trevor Hairsine.
Two classic Valiant Comics characters, Rai and Doctor Mirage, are set to make a splash in the new Valiant universe later this year, with the publisher introducing a slew of new titles in its Valiant First initiative all the while. There's a new team-up, a major crossover event, and a few spinoffs in the mix.
Valiant is planning to release seven new #1 issues between May and September. Creators include Matt Kindt, Clayton Crain, Robert Venditti, Doug Braithwaite, Jen Van Meter, Kano, Fred Van Lente, James Asmus, Trevor Hairsine, Joe Harris and more. Check out the full list of new titles and some exclusive art after the jump!
In stores tomorrow is Harbinger #11, the first issue of a new arc running throughout the duration of Valiant's Harbinger Wars. Written by Joshua Dysart and with art from Khari Evans and Trevor Hairsine, Harbinger has been the flagship title of Valiant's 2012 relaunch, and has been met with much critical praise...
On sale this week from BOOM! Studios is Higher Earth #2, continuing the new ongoing series by Sam Humphries (Sacrifice, Ultimate Comics: Ultimates) and Francesco Biagini (Elric: The Balance Lost). The book, whose first two issues have sold out at the distributor level, is a sci-fi revenge tale set across multiple Earths whose citizens serve at the pleasure of a "Higher Earth" whose rulers have conquered numerous alternates in different parallel universes...
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