Valiant (Re)visions Power Rankings: Month Nine

David: Oh Brandon, what a month for Valiant. There’s a lot coming up, but I think for once our lists are going to be pretty damn similar. For those that don’t know what we do here, Brandon and I rank all of the books that come out each month for Valiant, weighted for recency. Meaning, if Book A overall has been very good but it’s been bad lately, it may get rated lower than a book that is trending upwards.

At #7 for me – as we’re now up to 7 regular Valiant releases! – is fallen giant Harbinger. Once my favorite Valiant book, this book is having one hell of a Harbinger Wars hangover. Frankly, in this month’s 16th issue I often didn’t know what was going on, even if it made more sense than previous issue. Barry Kitson (and friends!) manages to bring solid art to the table, but Josh Dysart needs to bring this book back on course and get back to focusing on the characters rather these rather illogical concepts. I believe in this book, but man, let’s get back on track please.

What do you have at #7 and #6, Brandon?

Brandon: My #7 this month used to be one of my favorite Valiant books but has dropped to my last as of this month. My #7 is Harbinger. The issue this month left me severely wanting and was probably the first time I flat out didn’t like an issue of Harbinger. It was one of the first big disappointments for me this month.

Soooooo why don’t we talk about the other?! The other, my #6, is Bloodshot and H.AR.D. Corps. Bloodhsot used to be one of my favorites of the Valiant universe as well but this issue really wasn’t what I want from a Bloodshot book. The additional characters are characters that don’t feel special to me. There is nothing that really wants to make you learn about them in this issue either. Hopefully things will pick up next issue.

What’s next on your docket Mr. Harper?

David: We’re two for two, as Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps comes in at #6 for me. While much better than Harbinger, comparatively, this book is still struggling since Harbinger Wars as well. Part of that is tied to the fact that somehow – like in Harbinger – Bloodshot was abducted by Toyo Harada in what I can only describe as a plot turn of convenience. That said, I am enjoying the H.A.R.D. Corps elements, and Emanuela Lupacchino’s art is very strong. Ultimately though, if the Bloodshot elements of this book falter, this whole book does. I hope they hurry through this intro arc and roll on to something more interesting.

#5 for me is the debut of Eternal Warrior from Greg Pak and Trevor Hairsine. This book was a very interesting look into Gilad’s past, and it sets this book up to have a more serious turn on the Archer & Armstrong element of consistently showing where the lead factored into certain stories in the past, while also introducing his family. Hairsine’s art really elevated the action sequences, and his work brought energy and power to the big moments. I’d say the biggest demerit so far for this book were some sketchy parts by Hairsine (few and far between in that regard) and nothing that really was the “aha! that’s what this book is!” moment. Solid debut, but it honestly, the top four books are kicking ass for Valiant so it’s hard to go higher.

Whatchoo got at #5 and #4, Brandon?

Brandon: Let’s keep this similar train of though going! My #5 this month is Eternal Warrior. It wasn’t bad by any means and it has a lot of opportunity to function as a number of different styles of book considering Gilad’s path through history. I didn’t though feel that the first issue was very strong for me. There wasn’t a lot there besides the future potential for me. There wasn’t anything terribly memorable from the first issue. Having said all that it finishes above the previous two because it wasn’t bad and they were. I just want to be clear.

Coming in at #4 for me is Archer and Armstrong. It wasn’t my favorite issue of the series but it continues to have enough choice humor to make it a solid read. While I didn’t love some parts of the book such as Archer and Armstrong’s lady love triangle the rest of it featured cool moments like Amelia Earhart coming in like a boss. This is consistently one of the more entertaining books from Valiant comics and nothing really changed in that regard this month.

Quatro and Tres for you?

David: Bringing in 4th place this month is the still rising X-O Manowar. This book continues to just be good, and a huge part of it for me is Lee Garbett and the colors from Moose Baumann. Personally, I’m really hoping Garbett getting on one of those Marvel teasers doesn’t mean he’s off this book, but I know it likely means exactly that. Either way, it’s been really nice loving the art on this book, and Venditti’s story continues to evolve and entertain, and I love the direction he’s taken Aric. The guy is sort of a dick, and he’s embraced that into a plot point incredibly well. Really enjoying this latest arc.

#3 is another book that has really seen a lot of growth in my mind, and that’s Shadowman. Of course, series writer Justin Jordan’s run ends with this issue, but damn, I have really enjoyed how this book has developed in his hands. This most recent issue more permanently tied the relationship between the Family Darque and Shadowman (Shadowmen?), and this was another really creepy and haunting issue, with some tremendously messed up stuff happening in it. Much more in the vein of the stellar Zero issue, I’m hoping the series with Peter Milligan coming onboard will continue to build off those elements.

Take us into your top two Brandon!

Brandon My #3 this month is X-O Manowar. I continue to enjoy the development of Aric that is taking place. I love to hate the smug asshole and I can’t help but root for him as of late. I really enjoyed what was done with his people this issue as well as we see them looking to do their own thing and maybe some even trying to step up to challenge Aric’s lead in some regards. It’ll be interesting to see how Aric responds to these things moving forward. This series is on a definite hot streak and I for one hope it keeps on chugging along.

In the runner up position this month I have Shadowman. This month’s issue added some awesome depth to the Shadowman lineage and it’s origin. It adds an incredible wrinkle to the title to have these epic villains, the Darque Family, blood tied to the hero of the book. It’s a fun twist that really can add some emotional elements to the title that were sorely lacking when the title first launched. Much like X-O Manowar this book has really hit a hot streak and has come into it’s own as one of the best of the bunch from Valiant.

David: I’m liking the list this month Brandon! Liking it!

#2 for me is Quantum & Woody. Incredibly, this book has quickly come to be a masterful reimagination of everything I loved about Priest and Bright’s original series, but with some upgrades. It’s hard not to lead off with Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire’s art, Brandon, so I’m not going to attempt to not do that. I’m just going to do it. This is the best looking book at Valiant, and one of the best looking books in comics period. They elevate every aspect of this book. It helps, of course, that James Asmus is giving them gold to work with. This is a tremendously entertaining comic with a really real feeling brother and brother relationship at the core of it, and it’s just a damn cool book.

But not as cool as my boys Archer & Armstrong. Helllls yessss it’s my #1! I love this book, even as it breaks my heart. This issue is all about the end of the “Far Faraway” arc, and it finds Armstrong betraying Archer (even as he inappropriately reasons that he didn’t betray him), and it’s a sequence of events that is executed marvelously by Fred Van Lente and Pere Perez. I’m in, hook, line, and sinker, with these characters, and that absolutely was a tough moment. On top of that though, we’re given awesome splash pages from Perez, Amelia Earhart, the best damn Dodo character ever, and much more. I love this book, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Close us out, you Red Sock lover you.

Brandon: My head honcho of the month is Quantum & Woody. This book is fucking hilarious! It has superheroes, great humor and some off the wall oddball action. It’s everything I want from a book! I really enjoyed this month’s issue and this book has continued to do a great job of keeping the vibe of the previous version without coming across as a tribute comic. It has the soul but it’s in a whole new body. This is a book that keeps me laughing much like Deadpool. They both do a great job of pushing boundaries with their humor and stepping into areas that are hot button issues. This title has some big balls and it’s doing a great job of swinging them and letting everyone know what’s up.

About The AuthorDavid HarperDavid Harper mainly focuses on original content, interviews, co-hosting our 4 Color News and Brews video podcast, and being half of the Mignolaversity and Valiant (Re)visions team. He runs Multiversity's Twitter and Facebook pages, and personally tweets (rarely) @slicedfriedgold. By day, he works in an ad agency in Anchorage, Alaska, and he loves his wife, traveling and biscuits & gravy (ordered most to least, which is still a lot).

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About The AuthorBrandon BurpeeBurpee loves Superheroes, Alaskan IPA, 90's X-Men and is often one more beer away from a quotable.

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