Valiant Comeback

This week has to be this writer’s favourite week of the month when it comes to comics shipping. Dial H for Hero, Animal Man, Earth 2, Stormwatch, Swamp Thing and World’s Finest, the cream of the DCnU.

IDW continues Transformers: Regeneration One, while the second volume of Guarding the Globe hits the shelves alongside its elder brother Invincible, and the original X-Men learn about the whole new world they have created. Vampirella continues to play with the cast of Dark Shadows. I believe I am finally beginning to see why Lady Death has the fan following she does, and most importantly, Shadowman #2 is out.

If you have missed the Valiant relaunch so far, then I urge you to give them a look. Just as the ‘original’ Valiant was different from the roots of the few Gold Key characters it gave life to, and Akklaim attempted a further re-imagining of the concepts, the new Valiant possesses a vibrancy that upon reflection, the previous incarnations lacked.

Maybe they were all very much of their era, because I do recall how excited the painted issues of Valiant’s first run made me. Yet the drama of Chris Stanchek coming to term with his powers while evading the machinations of Toyo Harada contains a depth and complexity that the previous incarnation failed to reach. And while we have all enjoyed the interplay between Archer and Armstrong in the past, that same dynamic is still there, but Archer seems that much more relatable, for a guy fostered by an evil, faux-Christian ninja cult, that is.

In this season of relaunches and revamps, the most enjoyable new title I have seen was ironically entitled Comeback #1, written by Ed Brisson and illustrated in a wonderful Noir-esque style by Micheal Walsh. With a similar feel to Saga or Higher Earth, this focuses on a company that travels back in time to rescue people from their untimely deaths after receiving rather large deposits from the late victims’ families. As a set-up issue, it certainly piqued this reader’s interest but the inference of a plot does not even begin until the very last page.

And you know, that is just the way I like it. Image Shadowline is certainly putting out some excellent material these days, unafraid to stretch the boundaries of the comics market in a way that is totally new yet somehow harkens back to the world when comics could look at ANY subject matter, not just spandex. I may even be overcoming my spandex addiction!

Nah…. Maybe not.

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