Category Archives: Reviews – Valiant

Klang, Klang, Klang, Went the Folly

Quantum and Woody! v.3 #1
Writer: Daniel Kibblesmith
Artist/Colors: Kano
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover artists: Julian Totino Tedesco (regular)/Geoff Shaw, Neal Adams, Clayton Henry & Nick Pitarra (variants)
Editor: Danny Khazem
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Price: $3.99 US

I was a big supporter and fan of Quantum and Woody going back to when Priest and “Doc” bright first launched the book under the Acclaim/Valiant banner… 20 years ago?!? Jesus! Has it been that long? It’s a testament to the unique nature of the property those creators crafted two decades ago that Valiant delivers a revival now. This one succeeds in recreating the non-linear approach for which Priest is so well known, but as for the look of the book, artist Kano offers something quite different. The unconventional panel layouts matches the unconventional plotting and pacing. That means Quantum and Woody! (new and improved, I suppose, because now the title boasts an exclamation point) isn’t an easy or accessible comic book. It’s a good one, though, and if the reader is up to the challenge, s/he’ll find the experience a rewarding and amusing one.

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Future Imperfect

Faith and the Future Force trade paperback
Writer: Jody Houser
Artists: Stephen Segovia, Barry Kitson, Diego Bernard; Juan Castro, Card Nord & Brian Thies
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover artist: Kano
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Price: $9.99 US

My knowledge of any incarnation of the Valiant Universe is limited; the only Valiant-related title I ever followed with any regularity was The Second Life of Dr. Mirage in the 1990s. As for Faith, despite her significant rise in popularity as a character in the latest Valiant relaunch, I really had no knowledge of her other than her non-traditional body shape for the genre and the fact that she can fly. I’ve been curious about the character, given online chatter I’ve seen, but I generally attributed her higher profile to the fact that she’s a plus-sized character with which segments of the comics-reading audience could identify. Her titular role in Faith and the Future Force and the pleasing campiness of the title prompted me to give it a glance, and I’m pleased that I did. The book serves as a somewhat accessible introduction to the character, and I was surprised and entertained by what I found. Ultimately, some plot elements robs the story of tension, and the ever-shifting art styles found here are off-putting despite being crafted by some solid talent. Despite its flaws, though, this Faith and the Future Force collection is worth a look, especially given the affordable price, which is two thirds of the total cost of the original issues.

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Paranormal Activities

The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1
Writer: Jen van Meter
Artist: Roberto de la Torre
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Cover artist: Travel Foreman
Editor: Alejandro Arbona
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Price: $3.99 US (regular)/$4.99 US (plus edition)

I haven’t delved into the recent revival of the Valiant/Acclaim super-hero line, which offers new, fresh spins (I assume) on a variety of unconventional concepts that enjoyed a surprisingly level of popularity in the 1990s, driven in part by the speculator boom of that era. I never had much of an attachment to those characters, though I certainly tried checked out of a few of those comics. I was a major fan of Quantum & Woody, but it was the creators on that book, not the Valiant brand, that drew me in. However, I did have some fondness for one of Acclaim’s lesser-known titles: The Second Life of Dr. Mirage, featuring the adventures of a spectral hero and his still-living wife, though much of my appreciation of that comic stemmed from the work of artist Bernard Chang. Nevertheless, the name “Dr. Mirage” was enough of a nostalgia trigger to get me to delve into this latest iteration of the Valiant Universe of the first time. I liked the intensity and emotion that come out quite effectively in the script, but when I reached the end of the issue, I wasn’t all that driven to find out what happens next in the story, and that hook is a rather vital component in serial comics.

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