Valiant (Re)visions Power Rankings: Month Two

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?

Brandon: I think it will come as little surprise that my #5 this month is X-O Manowar. I just don’t feel connected to the story or the characters. I also don’t especially love the art. The beginning of the book this month looked really nice with the ornate borders and things but after that it just kind of dropped off for me personally. This is a book that was #5 last month as well and there just wasn’t anything there that would elevate it this month. Another thing working against this book was the fact that this was a very strong month for Valiant titles.

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.

Meanwhile, Bloodshot comes in as my #4. This issue was really enjoyable from a written standpoint, as Bloodshot taking proteins from one of his arms to fix his other arm to beat up a superpowered Grandma is never not entertaining. Swierczy continues to give this book a really excellent narrative drive with moments of incredible badassery, but this month, the art really threw me off. Manuel Garcia’s art throughout was a bit sketchier and sloppier than I’ve come to expect from him, and honestly it’s been building that way for a couple issues. I have to wonder if he’s struggling keeping up with the schedule based off his art and its progression. So that’s 2 months in a row for those two books at #5 and #4 for me. What’s your #4 and #3 Brandon?

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.

My #3 is Shadowman which was the best issue of the series so far in my opinion. It introduced new and cool characters and it also brought about the game changing line, “Indamndeed”. This is a line that has since been used by me more than anyone in my life ever wished it could be. Outside of the most awesome one liner in all of comics this month this issue was just awesome from beginning to end and showed the most improvement of any title this month. I felt that the story ramped up to another level that was equal parts emotion and action which is just how I like my books. I am excited to see if this book continues to rise up my charts next 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.

My #3 this month though is last month’s #1 – Harbinger. I really do love this book, but in our Power Rankings it’s at least a little of “what have you done for me lately.” This month’s Harbinger was my least favorite issue since the debut, with a hodgepodge of artists (there were actually four artists working on this month’s issue) bringing down the overall quality of work on the book, and a narrative device from Josh Dysart for lead Peter Stanchek not connecting with me. It wasn’t a bad issue by any means, it was just more on the decent side than anything.

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?

Brandon: Well, my #2 this month was Archer and Armstrong. It moved up this month because the book made me laugh out loud multiple times for a second month in a row. I don’t read any other books that cause such a thing. In the current market a book like this is sadly an exception and I appreciate it for being that. The opening scene was hilarious as was the golf cart chase. The issue was incredibly solid and all of the characters, in a rather short time, are very compelling. The art didn’t hit the mark for me as much as it did last issue but, as I said when we reviewed it, i’d still take Emaunela Luppacchino’s art over somewhere around 94% of the artists out there in comics today. She really is an incredible talent and works incredibly well for a title like this because she is so fantastic with the way in which she conveys emotion. This was a solid issue for a solid title and as a result it made the jump to #2.

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!

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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User's Comments
  • David Craig

    My favourite Valiant title is X-O Manowar. I love it because it’s such a strange premise – Visigoth abducted by an alien race, and ends up back on Earth with an alien suit in the present day fighting a ninja?! – It sounds so crazy and yet it works so very, very well. Plus, Robert Venditti’s writing is awesome, he takes his time with the series but also keeps it thoroughly entertaining which isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s always at the top of my pile of things to read and I’m looking forward to Planet Death!! X-O Manowar = Awesome 😀

  • Jason

    It’s all about good stories. Good stories will bring and keep readers. Period.

    Valiant has good stories.

  • Jacob Garvey

    All of these books were home runs this month, for me though my favorite had to be Shadowman. People were hard on the first arc, but #5 is where all the old elements of voodoo and horror start coming back into play. Let’s hope this is an upward trend and that the rest of the arc will delve into the horror and voodoo and mystery of this title more than the first arc did.

  • William David MacLellan

    Valiant kicks ass. I collect just about everything

  • Louis Marinos

    Valiant has the best stories out there now. I cannot even put them in order of most to least favorite because they are all my favorites.

  • Colin vigneault

    My favorite Valiant book right now is Harbinger. It’s not just one of the best valiant books, it’s one of the best books on the stands. It’s hard to come across something that consistently impresses and excites you, let alone a comic book. but Harbinger does it every panel.

  • Pete

    I have been loving X-O Manowar. If you guys are right and it is the bottom ranking, then I’ve got a lot to look forward to with the other titles.
    In my opinion, X-O has is all: great sci-fi story of a man lost outside of his own time, seeking vengeance for his family and people, an alien invasion, alien/human hybrid race evolved from seeded babies. Just an altogether fun, kick-ass story. What else do you need?

  • SuperbeastCraig

    I’ve really enjoyed Archer & Armstrong. The comic is hilarious at times, something I find rare in comic books. The art work is top notch. I enjoy all the Valiant titles since relaunch, but A&A has appealed to me the most. Very well written and drawn.

  • David

    All of Valiant’s titels are incredible, but X-O is my personal favorite, followed closely by Bloodshot and Shadowman. Their universe is small enough that they don’t have any near-copycat characters and are able to put more into each character. Their writers and artists don’t have to form their craft for the largest
    possible audience and continue to put out the best serial entertainment

  • pixierosa

    I read all of Valiant’s titles, but my favorite title consistently is Harbinger. Excellent writing and a good story. The ranking on the rest of them depends on the current issue or arc. Right now as we are heading into Harbinger Wars, #2 is Bloodshot. The last issue of Archer and Armstrong was great and looking forward to the #0 issue, so that’s #3. X-O Manowar and Shadowman are tied for fourth. They’re both good stories and neither of them deserves to be last on any list.

  • Riko Stan

    X-O Manowar is my favorite so far. I love how they made Aric much more accessible and likable compared to the first run. Thanks for the chance to win. riko at


    X-O Manowar all the way! Great story with alot of action. I love all the Valiant Comics!

  • Lawrence Nunn

    My favorites are as follows; #1, XO Manowar, I’ve always loved the concept of sentient armor bonded with a barbarian. #2 Harbinger, because of the relationships the characters have with each other. #3 Archer and Armstrong, well, because I like to laugh. #4 Bloodshot, the concept just doesn’t grab me, never has. Last and least, #5 Shadowman, another concept I’ve just never gotten into, mainly because of the supernatural aspects.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the line and I’m buying them all, and probably will until Valiant’s output exceeds my means and I have to cull my monthly purchases. Quantum and Woody, probably the only Acclaim characters worth bringing back, are likely going to bump Bloodshot and Shadowman down to 5 & 6, respectively…

  • gimme X-O

    I am digging the X-O love on here
    X-O MANOWAR!!!!

  • Jonathan Mercado

    My favorite is definitely X-O Manowar. First of all, it holds a place in my heart since its the first indie ongoing I’ve ever bought. The story so far is very interesting and its easy to relate to Aric. The way the book is written is also the epitome of science fiction in my opinion. Venditti is quickly becoming my favorite writer, and this book gets more exciting with every issue. Picking up this series is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

  • Thom

    I like xo man o war, his badassery knows no bounds

  • Dave Miranda

    I really enjoy the Valiant universe. I was a big fan of the original 90’s era universe and even stuck around a while after Acclaim took over. Currently my favorite title is X-O Manowar. Harbinger is a close second. Both are well written and solid comics, Harbinger, however, is a series that seems to provide a center to the valiant universe. Which will flesh out the details of the Valiant universe. This is a good thing when it is done as well as they have been doing it so far. So why did I say X-O is my favorite? Easy, I like the big guns! X-O is Valiants Superman, it will go on to be the universes strongest character. I think the story telling is very well done and it is a story where all of the details need to be fleshed out so that in the future it can be referred back to and still be relevant. This is harder to do with a book like X-O because the scope of the story needs to be bigger than the rest of the comics Valiant puts out. 10 years from now X-O fan-boys will be quizzing themselves on Vine religion and details the writers develop in their stories.

    Dave Miranda

  • Scott Swisher

    Harbinger is my favorite because of the chemistry of the characters. ..the writing is some of the best of the industry.

  • Tif Seidel

    My favorite is X-O Manowar. I always enjoy a good historical/sci-fi mash-up and the Vine are pretty damn nasty, but in a cool way.

  • bobby97801

    X-O Manowar is my favorite so far. It’s a combination of Conan and Iron Man. Now that Planet Death started, I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg on how good it will be.

  • Keith E.

    X-O Manowar is my current favorite with Harbinger as a very close second. Aric is like a cross between Iron Man and Thor. The technology of Ironman + the brutality of Thor. And you just can’t top a lightning sword!

    Venditti is doing an outstanding job writing this book.

  • zentrader

    I think it’s all about an alternative universe that has it’s appeal for Valiant. My favorite is Harbinger as it feels like a fresh x-men at times.

  • Walt Peterson

    It would have to be Harbinger for me. Joshua Dysart’s writing is incredible and should be the standard for every book on the shelf. It’s everything that X-Men wishes it could be and it pushes the concept above and beyond. I don’t mean to neglect all of the other great books this company is putting out. Along with everyone else here, Venditti is destroying it on XO and Justin Jordan knocked me on my ass with the last issue of Shadowman. Valiant has spent so much time building this foundation and they can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. They’re making the kind of books we deserve when the big 2 is busy rehashing old stories and starting over and generally drowning in laziness (with a few exceptions aside). I’m definitely glad Valiant is back and I’m in for the long haul.

  • Balakin

    Unfortunately, I can’t read month by month, so I have to wait the trades, therefor I don’t know anything about these titles but I really would like to explore them, because I hear very good things about them from everywhere.
    The one I’m most curious about is Archer and Armstrong. It seems a lot of fun (and I like marksman characters).

  • Bill Norris

    Bloodshot, its a action packed, riot of a series where the action/art and story telling is just incredible

  • Jose Montana

    Valiant returns me to my youth.
    I lean toward archer and armstrong for its unbredictable nature and great guest stars

  • Aaron Bell

    when i was real big into collecting comics in the late 80’s/early 90’s Harbinger was always one of my favorite reads. seeing it brought back has given me a chance to relive my childhood all over again. my only regret is that my kids are too young to read it as well. truth be told, all of the relaunched valiant titles are books i look forward to reading each and every month. my favorite company from my past has regained its position as my favorite of today, hands down.

  • JKromer

    So far I’ve tried Archer & Armstrong, Shadowman, and Bloodshot. I’ve enjoyed A&A the most because of the humor (I’m a Fred van Lente fan) and the art. Thanks for the contest! My email is

  • Anne Stull

    Shadowman! I love the whole Deadside/voodoo/supernatural tones, and, not that I consider myself a superhero by any means, I can totally relate to his whole “stuck between two worlds” life. I often feel trapped myself….

  • Mark Rose

    Harbinger is my favorite Valiant book. I love the unique characters and Dysart’s writing is fantastic. This book to me reads me like what X-Men would be like if it started as a Vertigo book. it’s amazing.

  • bahnay

    Liking Bloodshot and X-O the best but X-O shoots to the top during the “lets be kewl and kill kids crossover.” Not sure what to think of the artist leaving Shadowman for a shitty gig at DC and if Robert leaves X-O, I hope the Mindamudra Hindu EIC don’t get a Marvel fill-in like Christos Gage or double Van Lente.on 2 books as Fred Flintstone is also writing for shitty GI Joe relaunch with an inside Marvel guy being the EIC over there as well.