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Valiant Comics FCBD 2012 Special [Review]


It wasn’t all that long ago that I got pulled in to the revival of Solar, Magnus, and Turok from Dark Horse and their Free Comic Book Day special that year. I credited (if only to myself) some of that to the retroactive nostalgia I had for the old Valiant titles, though these revivals were far closer to their original incarnations than the licensed Valiant versions from the early 1990s.

Now this year, Valiant is back, launched this very week with X-O Manowar #1. This FCBD issue proves something of a supplement to that, and while I was predisposed to at least try out X-O Manowar, this issue has me “sold” on trying the other titles as well.

This issue provides several pages from X-O #1 and next month’s Harbinger #1, and then moves much more into preview/promo material for the various pending Valiant titles. There’s a “dossier” with plenty of redactions (making the read rather frustrating) for Bloodshot. We also get single-page mini-interviews with Joshua Dysart (Harbinger), Duane Swierczynski (Bloodshot), Fred Van Lente (Archer and Armstrong), and Robert Venditti (X-O Manowar). The center of the issue is a double-page spread of the Valiant Universe (I’m tempted to pull it out and use it as a poster), and we also get teasers for two titles (Eternal Warrior, and Rai) to follow this first wave later this year in “Winter 2012” and “Spring 2013,” respectively.

As a Free Comic Book Day issue, this does a decent job–new fan or old, this is a new launch of Valiant titles, and this issue touches on the four launching this summer and successfully has me “sold” on the universe. However, I’m not all that impressed with its content in general, as this feels more like something that would have been put out ANYWAY, and I would have much preferred to see at least a half-length original story for FCBD instead.

But all in all, if you’ve any interest or curiosity in the Valiant stuff this is well worth snagging. Just be aware that it’s geared more toward selling you on other comics than being a truly stand-alone/independent issue of its own.

Rating: 6/10

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