Well March is over, so I’m bringing you another round-up of what was going on in the Valiant Universe. We saw the beginning of “Planet Death” in X-O Manowar as well as the lead ups to Harbinger Wars in both Bloodshot and Harbinger. These series are ones to keep an eye on this month, but Archer & Armstrong looks to be doing some exciting things, and it’s not tied into any special events right now.
Valiant also announced that they will be releasing an 8-bit inspired game based on the Harbinger Wars. It will be a free game available on iOS and Android devices featuring Bloodshot and Peter Stanchek as the playable characters. New levels will be available following the release of issue of Harbinger Wars. Other playable characters and weapons will be available via in-app purchases. (I read my comics on an iPad, so I’m pretty stoked about this myself.)
Valiant will also be doing 8-bit variant covers in June (so hit up your local comic shop to order them now!)
In other news, the World’s Worst Superhero Team, Quantum and Woody will be returning to Valiant in July.
March’s Standout Issues: X-O Manowar #11, Bloodshot #9
Doctor Mirage makes her first appearance, and that’s what had been bringing most of the press to this issue. Her ability to commune with the dead should make her a useful ally for Shadowman. I’m interested to see how Jordan and Zircher will expand her role in this series and then out into her own upcoming series. Baron Samedi (the voodoo god of death) will also be playing a role in the upcoming showdown, but how much of one has yet to be seen.
It was back in issue six that Bloodshot first infiltrated the Project Rising Spirit base in order to recover his lost memories and find out who he was. With issue number nine we finally get to see Bloodshot and his team leaving the facilities, albeit failing their original mission.
It’s a decent jumping on point before Harbinger Wars and is packed full of action. The story progresses more in this issue than it did over the past several issues, so you definitely will get your money’s worth. Swierczynski shows us just how fun Bloodshot and these Valiant books can be.
This issue wraps up the current arc as the team makes an attempt to escape their recent capture by Project Rising Spirit forces. Peter and his rag tag team need to decide what they will do with their futures. Bad things are going to keep coming, and Peter contemplates if he is the one that should be leading these kids or if they should all just go their separate ways. The team make a decision and it looks like fit is going to be hitting the shan next month.
In the first half of the issue Venditti and Nord show us the history of The Vine and the X-O armor, Shanhara. Without going into spoiler territory, past events from The Vines history are juxtaposed with the situation that Aric finds himself. Venditti has brought events full circle with a strange twist of fate and irony for The Vine; the same weapon they saved their race, could be the very same that could end up destroying them.
I like the way Venditti is setting this up. We’ve known for a while that the clergy and warriors sects of The Vine have been at odds with each other, and we continue to get more insight into this throughout the issue. To Aric they are all aliens that abducted and destroyed the lives of himself and his friends; he is non-discriminate in whom he kills. Although with a last page reveal, Aric may need to change his plans for The Vine. It would interesting to see if “Planet Death” is not the result of Aric’s revenge, but stems from a divide in Vine leadership that Aric has created by donning Shanhara.
Archer & Armstrong #8
This issue of Archer & Armstrong saw the team head off to infilitrate The Null’s secret base in Greenland. Like most issues of A&A this one continues to deliver the action and humor that is found throughout the series. We get another glimpse into the past of Armstrong and Gilad that helps to reinforce the animosity between the two brothers. McHenry is growing as the Geomancer, but as the team pushes further into The Null’s lair a new threat is introduced that could put a screeching halt to their plans. This arc will be wrapping up next issue.
What were your thoughts about the Valiant books in March? Sound off below and let us know!