David: And the Valiant (Re)visions team is back with the second month in Power Rankings, where myself and my Valiant fiend buddy Brandon Burpee rank all of the current Valiant books in order from most awesome to least awesome (but all awesome, because…you know, it’s Valiant).
Two things to get to before we get started though. This month, we’re having our first big Power Rankings giveaway, and it’s a doozy. Our friends at Valiant are giving us the first trade paperbacks for all five Valiant series (Archer & Armstrong, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman – once it comes out – and X-O Manowar) plus the first issue of X-O Manowar signed by writer Robert Venditti and artist Cary Nord to give away to one of our readers. How do you win? It’s easy. Share in the comments what your favorite Valiant book is, why it’s your favorite, and your email, and we’ll randomly select one of you after Friday at Noon EST, announcing the winner on Twitter shortly there after. It’s easy.
Next order of business: last month’s rankings.
Brandon had Harbinger at #1, Bloodshot #2, Archer and Armstrong #3, Shadowman #4 and X-O Manowar coming in last. I had the same for last place, but Bloodshot #4, Shadowman #3, A&A #2 and Harbinger #1.
Now, to the rankings. Brandon – what was your fifth favorite Valiant book this month and why?
What do you have my man?
David: You know me Brandon! I’m joining you in having X-O Manowar as my #5 book. It was actually a slightly better issue than last one in my book, as I thought Cary Nord excelled in this issue, especially on the intro. Really, really solid art, but ultimately I continue to be disappointed in the way Planet Death is being rolled out. This issue – #11 – effectively is half an issue about the religion of The Vine and the other half is Aric coming down and wiping out most of the religious folk of their people, before rolling into the shocking (!!) reveal at the end.
The religion part really felt like it could have been a zero issue, and separated out completely. The opening to Planet Death? Should feel completely badass. Instead, it fell flat from a writing standpoint. It’s a book that still is struggling to find an identity in my book, but the potential is there.
Brandon: Ready for a shake up? As I said at the start Valiant had a strong month for me and as a result some titles shifted here. The first of such dramatic changes is that my #4 this month is Bloodshot. While I would still consider it one of my two favorite books from Valiant the issue this month just wasn’t as good as some of the others. By no means was this month’s issue bad but when everything is this tight even a small shift in quality can result in catastrophic changes! How’s that for some hyperbole? With Harbinger Wars on the horizon this book has serious potential to be riding higher next month but it just couldn’t keep pace with the others this month.
Switching it up on you David. Any deviations for you from last month in your next two?
David: It’s like you knew I was coming with my own deviation to my top 5! I’m a little surprised by Bloodshot dropping in your ranks, but at the same time, it was a good month and it very easily could leap back up in the ranks soon enough. I have to say, I’m really excited to see Barry Kitson working on that book.
Of course, it helps that two other books had really strong months. I agree that Shadowman had an uptick this month, it’s my #2, and I’m really enjoying how Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher have developed this work. And even though this issue had an array of artists on it like Harbinger did, it didn’t impact this book as badly because a) they were all badasses and b) they were used in places that segmented their work properly. Plus, as you said, “indamndeed” was so awesome, and I really liked the introduction to the new Dr. Mirage and the Baron. This was a really, really good issue, which just makes me a little sad that Zircher is off the book going forward. I think he’s added a lot to this book.
So close it down Brandon. What were your top two Valiant books this month?
My #1 book of the month is….can you guess? Harbinger! I really enjoy this book and I felt this issue really wrapped the story that’s been told since issue one in a very organic and perfect way. It ends the solo adventures of a selfish and egotistical character and sets it up for a renewed purpose team book. It really was one of the better transitions i’ve seen for something like that in a comic. It’s not something that is easy to pull of at all. I think this is a really great book and I would be very surprised to see this book drop from the #1 spot, unless it is replaced by Harbinger Wars, next month. Although, I also would not have guessed last month that Bloodshot my second favorite Valiant book would have dropped from the number two spot so I guess anything is possible.
Bring us home David! What ever could your #1 be?!
David: Oh, you. You know exactly what it is! It’s Archer & Armstrong from Fred Van Lente and Emanuela Luppacchino! I really, really loved this issue – I thought it was hilarious and really cleverly written by Van Lente, and honestly, I think this was the best work I had ever seen from Luppacchino (proving once again just how subjective this stuff all is). I think this book has been really consistent throughout, but honestly, I love that it makes me smile. Comics can be really good and be fun too. Sure, some dark stuff happens here, but Van Lente doesn’t let us forget to have a good time.
For me, that’s going to get them the top spot for the month. I’m curious to see how things shake out next month, as we’ll be in the midst of Planet Death AND Harbinger Wars, plus we’re getting a Zero issue from Archer & Armstrong. Before we go Brandon, give me a heat check. How hot is Valiant right now, in your book?
Brandon: Right now they are Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the 66′ Batman series hot. For those who are unacquainted that’s fucking lava hot. Lava.
David: Couldn’t have said it better myself, my friend.
Don’t forget to enter our contest to win yourself some sweet swag, Valiant fans, and catch us next week for more reviews!