Thegreatmagnet's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics: The Gathering Reviews: 38
7.9Avg. Review Rating

7.0
Bloodshot's Day Off #1

Jul 5, 2017

Ultimately in judging this book, you have to consider your priorities. If you’re very concerned with hardcore Valiant continuity, the inconsistencies here might give you major pause. Although I find the continuity issues troubling, I’m so moved by the character developments that I choose to embrace the positives. On some level, I think that this issue might have functioned better as a more straightforward zero issue for these two characters, especially given that this story is so incredibly different from the original “Bloodshot’s Day Off” storyline from the 90s. I’m certainly curious how the Bloodshot Squad characters will be handled whenever we see them again in future storylines.

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10
Bloodshot: Salvation #1

Aug 14, 2017

This is a hell of a first issue, flawlessly executed on all fronts, and setting the stage for a meaty, action-packed series. They establish the stakes by showing Bloodshot at his happiest with wife and daughter, juxtaposed with future scenes where he’s about to lose it all, and we’re left to piece together the clues about how we get there from here. This series promises a compelling mix of complex character drama and larger societal themes, with a healthy (possibly unhealthy) dose of cinematic action. I’m tempted to say that the superb art is the icing on the cake, but that simply wouldn’t be fair. The art is so dumbfounding that the icing is another full cake. This book is a flawless collaboration of creators at the top of the comic game. Better grab some popcorn.

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8.0
Britannia: We Who Are About to Die #1

Apr 29, 2017

Overall, I think this was a great first issue. It’s introduced a lot of elements to build the intrigue, and we can only guess how they are connected. So far the magical elements have been fairly minimal, but hopefully they will ratchet things up in the next issue. The first series teased at a lot of ideas, including the connection between Druid magic and Roman magic, so I’m excited to see how this series builds on the ideas and hints laid down in the previous mini. Lots here for the Valiant reader and non-Valiant reader alike.

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9.0
Britannia: We Who Are About to Die #2

May 17, 2017

Overall, this is a very satisfying issue. The mystery narrative is progressing nicely, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Milligan takes the story in the next two issues. The art is gorgeous, and it’s reason enough to pick up the book on its own.

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8.0
Britannia: We Who Are About to Die #3

Jun 21, 2017

Overall I’m very satisfied with this issue. I have a few minor questions, but I will wait and see how the story is resolved in the next and final issue. I’m happy with where the series is going, and excited about what revelations still lie ahead. Among other things, I would hope that Achillia will stick around in future series, since they’ve spent a lot of time building her character. If they deliver as much in issue 4 as they’ve done with the first three, I will be very satisfied with the miniseries.

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6.0
Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1

May 10, 2017

There were some interesting ideas in this issue, but I wish that they were more specific about many things, both in the backstory and in the character moments of the issue. It’s hard to know how much weight to ascribe the story in the canon. Is it just a random story about one time when Gilad (for some reason) lost his memory, and nobody could find him? It’s not even clear when in Gilad’s overall arc this story is supposed to take place (although I would guess it’s before the events of Wrath of the Eternal Warrior). I suppose the light details allow more room for Guedes’ art to shine, which isn’t the worst tradeoff.

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7.0
Faith #11

May 3, 2017

The Faithless' plot was devised taking inspiration from classic comic book villains, which might explain why it comes across as fairly generic. It's explained in a few panels: exhaust the hero with other opponents, turn the public against the hero, and strike when the hero is at her lowest. As with many moments throughout the series, it's tough to determine if they are deconstructing superhero tropes, or if they are rehashing. How meta are they trying to be? Faith is obsessed with comic books, and she lives in a real life comic book. Does she imagine that people in another reality might read comic books about her? I wonder if she'll use her knowledge of comics to get herself out of trouble and save the day in the next and final issue.

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8.0
Faith and the Future Force #1

Jul 26, 2017

Overall, I think this is a solid first issue (and plus-size by the way) in terms of introducing the story. There are a lot of mysterious elements, as one would hope for a time travel mystery, and the overall success of the series will depend on their ability to tie those threads together. I expect big things in the next three issues, in terms of sheer scale of characters, and also in terms of Doctor Who timey-wimey narrative craziness, hopefully on par with Fred Van Lente’s excellent work with Ivar, Timewalker. I hope I’m not building up my expectations too high on this one!

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8.0
Faith and the Future Force #2

Aug 30, 2017

It’s a bit tough to know what to think at this stage of the story, and relatively little progress seems to occur within each of the first two issues. Hopefully there will be some dramatic revelations in the next two issues that pay off all of the time travel concepts and Doctor Who references. Ultimately this was a fun read, and it’s perhaps my favorite depiction of the Renegade characters since Josh Dysart’s original Harbinger run in 2012. The characters seem to be showing up, and hopefully the plot will reveal itself in all its glory. For now, I’ll have to give this the benefit of the doubt.

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9.0
Faith and the Future Force #3

Sep 28, 2017

Overall I was very pleased with this issue. It starts with a bang, featuring nearly all of Valiant’s most popular heroes, and thankfully they break the cycle that dominated the first two issues with a pretty clear trajectory towards the conclusion. As is often the case, a lot will depend on the writer’s ability to tie up the various plot threads and fill in the gaps in the final issue. Given Houser’s extensive background with Doctor Who, I’m hopeful that she is up to the task of delivering an airtight and mind-bending time-travel story. Allons-y!

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7.0
Faith and the Future Force #4

Oct 18, 2017

At the end of the day, I think that most people will argue that Faith is meant to be a fun book, and not something super heavy or profound. Taken on that level, I agree that this is a fun issue with snappy dialog. I guess that I somehow I stumbled into expecting that this story would go a bit deeper given the many sci-fi trappings and the epic storyline. It’s good fun in the tradition of Faith, but not necessarily a deep dive, and not essential reading from a Valiant continuity perspective.

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8.0
FCBD 2017: X-O Manowar #1

May 7, 2017

There's a lot to like in this issue. The two exclusive stories are great, and definitely worth the effort (and the price is certainly right). My only negative comment would be there's not too much that was new, per say. The Bloodshot story had been previewed online, perhaps in its entirety, as had Secret Weapons. The teaser ads were for books that had already been announced (Eternity, Quantum & Woody, and arguably Psi-Lords). Admittedly I was glad to see Psi-Lords get a vague release date, even if it's unclear whether it will drop before the end of the year. The new things for me were the X-O story, and also the large drawing by David LaFuente featuring a slew of Valiant characters, which was awesome. For people that don't follow Valiant news online, this is probably all brand new, and it's certainly eye-catching and well written.

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7.0
Generation Zero #9

Apr 26, 2017

Overall this issue is a pretty decent conclusion for the series, given it may have ended prematurely. The series definitely had some interesting elements, and one can only wonder what else Van Lente may have intended for the story. Ultimately it sets up a new status quo for the Gen Zero characters in the lead up to Harbinger Wars 2. I intend to re-read the entire series, and I'm hopeful that it will reveal additional insights, as with Fred Van Lente's other brilliant Valiant work.

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3.0
Harbinger: Renegade #5

Jul 12, 2017

Clearly I don't think that this book should ever be put on hold given that Harbinger is an essential tentpole, and it's building up to the massive Harbinger Wars 2 event next year. But more importantly, when you build up a massive hype, you've gotta be rock solid and I feel this issue was flawed in terms of the writing and the art. That is something that can (and should) be addressed, since I expect this title will continue for at least another year or two.

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6.0
Harbinger: Renegade #8

Oct 11, 2017

Overall this issue was OK. I wasn’t moved by any of the actual dialog, and I found the art to bit hit-or-miss. On the plus side, there seemed to be observable instances of moving the overall plot forward (unlike the previous issue), and it featured the characters who should be the focus of the book. I hope that when the series resumes, they choose to rededicate themselves to telling a coherent story and make room for the essential characters. There are a lot of people out there that want this series to succeed.

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8.0
Magnus #1

Jun 9, 2017

I think that this is a solid start for the Magnus series. It’s actually leaning into the conceptual, sci-fi considerations of A.I. servants, rather than an action-driven book about a dude who punches off robot heads. I think that the action will likely ramp up in future issues, but it may be closer to Blade Runner than Magnus of old. I certainly hope that longtime fans of the character are willing to give this series a chance, because the original Magnus concept is admittedly a bit dated and the modern audience demands a more sophisticated story. For new readers, I don’t see any obstacles to jumping on and enjoying, with the caveat that it’s not action right out of the gate.

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9.0
Magnus #3

Aug 23, 2017

Overall, this is another strong issue of Magnus as they continue to flesh out the terrorist plot of the Frederick system. They are creating such a rich world and introducing so many ideas, I just hope that the series can last more than twelve issues. This is shaping up to be one of the strongest interpretations of Magnus yet, and it vastly expands the possibilities for the character in the future. Granted, if they can maintain the current quality, this series could be very tough to top.

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9.0
Magnus #4

Sep 24, 2017

Overall, I think this was a great issue and it was a strong end to the first arc. We now have a pretty good understanding of Magnus’ past and her current motivations, and the motivations of the villain, and the war between humans and robots is already unfolding before our eyes. I think this series has shown incredible promise, and it has the potential to stack up with the best Magnus stories that have ever been told (including my personal fave, the 90s series from Valiant). The premise is compelling and pretty original, and the larger themes and concepts are meaty and sophisticated. I’d recommend this to any sci-fi fans, even if they have no prior knowledge of Magnus Robot Fighter.

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6.0
Rai: The History of the Valiant Universe #1

Jun 14, 2017

This is the greatest hits of the new Valiant, plus a few hints of cool stuff from 4001. This kind of thing would be bread and butter for a FCBD issue geared at new readers. However, for longtime readers that are expecting Rai 0, this has almost nothing new. I’ll even acknowledge that the new Valiant has already released their own version of Rai 0, in the form of the “Book of Death” mini-series and it’s “Fall of” tie-in issues. I’m just puzzled why they would compare this issue to Rai 0, when it’s clearly just a brief recap of the Valiant universe up to today. If this issue had been solicited differently, I might have had a much more positive reaction. Unfortunately, having compared this issue to the best issue of classic Valiant, I think they set themselves up for disappointment. Expectations are important.

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10
Rapture #1

May 24, 2017

Overall, this is a fantastic start to the 4-issue miniseries. We spent an issue getting the team together, and getting up to speed on the current crisis. Assumedly this sets the stage for some tasty action sequences in the next issue, but also more worldbuilding and more character development for the magical trio (Shadowman, Mambo, Tama). This is great fan service for the hardcore Valiant faithful. Hopefully the crazy magic nonsense and fabulous art would make this fun for a new reader as well. The storyline is so drastically different from almost an other Valiant story, I don’t think prior continuity should be an obstacle, as long as the characters come through.

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10
Secret Weapons #1

Jun 28, 2017

Straight up, this is a very strong issue and a very promising start to the series. The art is next level, the stakes are real, and the characters are very engaging and sympathetic. This book feels different than everything else that Valiant is putting out, and I think it could be accessible to a wider indie audience who might like an unconventional, grounded take on the superhero genre. And ultimately, I think that this title will have major ramifications to the overall universe, especially with Harbinger Wars 2 on the horizon. There’s a lot here for everyone to enjoy.

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10
Secret Weapons #2

Jul 20, 2017

Secret Weapons is quite simply the real deal. I think it has something to offer to everybody, and it’s my new go-to if I want to recommend Valiant to a non-fan. I think it may be the very best that Valiant has to offer, and that it lofty praise for a company that consistently hits home runs. I would stack this up with the best output of Joshua Dysart in the original Harbinger series, and I do not take that statement lightly. Reading this comic feels like kicking back in a leather recliner with a fine scotch and a cigar. It's a sensual, engrossing experience. Talk to any Valiant fan, and you will quickly learn that they are absolutely rabid for a Valiant movie. Dear Valiant Fans: this comic right here is the first Valiant movie, and it kicks ass.

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10
Secret Weapons #3

Aug 16, 2017

I really hope that this series is able to break through to a wide audience, because it represents the best of what Valiant has to offer, and it also boasts some very poignant themes for our times.

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10
Secret Weapons #4

Sep 21, 2017

This series has been transcendent from the start and this issue was a very satisfying conclusion to the first arc. The creators deliver the goods in terms of emotional impact, gripping action, and plot. This series accomplishes the impressive feat of appealing equally to longtime fans and new readers alike. I think at least a few people on my X-mas list might end up getting Secret Weapons trade paperbacks this December, because it represents the very best of what Valiant Comics represents. Have you heard the Good News about Secret Weapons?

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4.0
Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1

Oct 5, 2017

At the end of the day, I find myself asking why? Why would Valiant release a risky and lackluster story for a character that they worked so hard to rehabilitate and set up for a huge promotional push next year? Many Valiant fans have written off Jack Boniface (Shadowman) for years due to mismanagement of the character. This issue does not do much to instill trust that they will treat Shadowman right when he returns with an ongoing series next March. In spite of the spectacular art, I just don’t think there is $4 worth of story in this issue, especially for Valiant fans who are generally a rabid and demanding bunch. I would really only recommend this issue to fans of Rae sremmurd, which perhaps was the whole point.

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9.0
Sovereigns #1

May 20, 2017

I was skeptical when this book was announced because of Dynamite’s track record with the Gold Key characters. I’ve heard a lot of naysaying online, some of which seems to be pretty shallow: for instance some fanboys (shockingly!) can’t accept a female Magnus. So far, I’ve loved every panel of both issues that have been released. However, I do not understand how they are going to tie the Sovereigns series with the forthcoming solo series, and I’m worries that the end result may not make sense. For now, I will choose to be optimistic, and hope that Sovereigns continues to be a rewarding read.

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7.0
Sovereigns #2

Jul 4, 2017

I’m still onboard for Sovereigns, although I’m slightly concerned that they’ll deliver a story that stands up to heavy scrutiny. They’ve built a rich and compelling world, and they are clearly playing with some very heady storytelling elements. However, much like some Christopher Nolan films, I’m worried that I will love the story on first blush, but that the fabric will begin to unravel the more I try to make sense of certain plot threads. If you’re trying to tell a complicated story, the overall success depends on your ability to tie everything together satisfactorily. I genuinely appreciate artists who are ambitious, but craftsmanship and execution are also important.

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8.0
Sovereigns #3

Jul 20, 2017

I think this issue was a big step in the right direction for this series, and I am hooked. Fawkes is doing a great job unveiling the many intriguing plot threads and backstories gradually and keeping the reader engaged, even if some elements remain unclear. Desjardins continues to deliver on the art. This is a solid book and I hope it doesn’t end anytime soon.

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9.0
Sovereigns #4

Aug 9, 2017

I’m very invested in this series, much moreso than I expected to be, and I’m very satisfied with how it’s been set up and executed. This feels like pretty much where we should be with one more issue left, and I’m hopeful that they will be able to stick the landing in the final issue. I just wish that the series weren’t ending. I’m not sure that the three ongoing series will be as strong, which is not to say that they are bad. The Magnus ongoing especially is extremely interesting and promising. However, the three ongoing series will probably be entirely self-contained, and most likely smaller in scope in regards to characters and storylines. But perhaps it’s better to design a tight, fully-realized story than an ongoing story without a clear and planned ending.

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6.0
Sovereigns #5

Sep 19, 2017

Ultimately I’m a bit disappointed by this issue as a resolution to the series. I feel there are significant ideas that they set up that were not really paid off, as well as some fundamental questions about the premise and plot. I do appreciate when writers go for an ambitious story, and perhaps there was just not enough room to tell the full story while also launching the solo series. I do think it’s somewhat unfortunate that this series wasn’t allowed to stand more on its own, especially since I’m not fully sold on the Turok and Spektor series. This story showed real promise and offered a tantalizing glimpse at these characters, but unfortunately I don't think they fully stuck the landing.

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9.0
Stained #1

May 5, 2017

This is a quick read with lots of big splashes and big action but I loved it!

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9.0
Stained #2

Jun 7, 2017

I’m very satisfied with this issue, and I look forward to seeing where they take the story over the rest of the mini-series. I’m hopeful that they can continue to build on the solid foundation of the first two issues and deliver a compelling mystery story. I also still hope that they get a chance to explore the sci-fi ideas, which have so far been more of a backdrop. I would recommend this to any fans of sci-fi mystery stories, and/or cyborg bounty hunters.

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9.0
Stained #4

Aug 2, 2017

What can I say? I’m very happy with this series, and it’s not just because David Baron is a great guy whom I wish well. This has been well executed on every level, and I hope that they saved some juice for the landing. But more than that, I just hope this story continues after the final issue, perhaps in another mini-series or ongoing. I am invested in these characters, and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of their story, not to mention the larger sci-fi context of the world. This story has been somewhat grounded, as befits a 5-issue mini-series, but it’s a solid foundation for more (and possibly larger) stories in the future. I hope this is just the first taste of things yet to come.

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7.0
Stained #5

Sep 6, 2017

We've only gotten tastes of a larger world and story, and it's certainly understandable that they couldn't all fit into a 5-issue miniseries. I do think that the story succeeded in terms of its characters, and in delivering an exciting action storyline with some real-world thematic heft, and I hope they have chance to expand on these successes in future stories.

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7.0
Turok (2017) #1

Aug 2, 2017

Have I lost my way? Have I really come around on this book that, as recently as this weekend, I was planning to flame ruthlessly? Was I being too harsh and myopic about the nature of this adaptation and its possibilities? Am I so caught up in the spirit of fairness and impartiality that I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to a party (Dynamite) who by all rights should have lost that right years ago? For now, let’s just say that it’s too early to tell, but I’m not quite ready to root against the character. This issue is a decent start, but they had better continue to develop a meaningful story to go along with all the *bang bang* “Die, dinosaur!” action, or else this series will get old real quick. I just hope I haven’t been duped…

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7.0
Valiant High #3

May 2, 2017

I'd recommend this book to hardcore Valiant fans, who are always hungry for more content and who to have are not afraid to have a little fun. The story doesn't add anything to the main continuity, so it's really just a fun chance to play around with these characters in a much different environment with no lasting consequences. I would welcome more similar elseworld stories with these characters. I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to anyone who is unfamiliar with the characters, or any hardcore fans that can't handle deviations from canon. It's not a book for everyone.

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8.0
Valiant High #4

May 31, 2017

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the conclusion of the series, as I have been with the previous three issues. My favorite parts were character moments heavily reliant on mainstream Valiant continuity, so I’m really not sure how the whole story translates to new readers. At the same time, there are a lot of scenes that I can imagine speaking very well to actual high-schoolers, even if they’re not familiar with the characters. I’d be very interested how effectively this series threaded the needle with longtime fans and new readers. Speaking for myself, I would happily buy this book every month if the series were to continue.

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9.0
War Mother #1

Aug 23, 2017

I’m pretty happy with what we get here as a first issue. Admittedly I’m not yet sure where the story will go, but that’s often a positive attribute in a #1. It seems that a trap has been laid for the people of the grove, but it’s unclear if the Greenlings are behind it, or some unknown force. There’s certainly no shortage of strong character development and action, so I’m optimistic that the plot will follow in due time. I’m loving everything I’ve seen from Ana and Flaco, and their fantastic future backdrop.

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