Valiant Recap 5/12/2015: Dead Drop, Handbook

These reviews were originally posted at

Another week of comics means more output from Valiant Entertainment. The week was relatively light, with releases such as…

Dead Drop #1 (of 4)

Ales Kot joins the Valiant family with this frantically paced first issue that sees X-O Manowar chase down a terrorist (maybe) through the streets Manhattan. Kot and artist Adam Gorham waste not time, dropping the reader right into the action and filling in the blanks along the way. The artwork in particular captures the feel of a race against the clock, and as a result looks nothing like anything else Valiant publishes. It’s much more stylized, with bolder color choices, than other titles such as Unity or Imperium.

If there is a flaw, it’s that Aric’s actions are fairly different from his portrayal in every other Valiant title. Here, he is more unsure of himself and wields the X-O Manowar armor with less efficiency than normal.  However, Kot makes up for this oversight by providing comic relief though Aric’s deadpan delivery of certain lines. His use of language in its most literal form serves as a reminder that this is a man out of time. Overall, Dead Drop is off to fun, if flawed, beginning. Based on the tease in the final pages, the next issue should see the hijinks ramp up exponentially.

SCORE: 7/10

The Valiant Universe Handbook: 2015 Edition

If you’ve been curious about reading Valiant but don’t want to dig catch up on 3 years of continuity, then you’re in luck. Every event and major character in the publisher’s relaunched universe is summarized in an easily digestible, $2.99 The Valiant Universe Handbook. New readers can pick this up and be prepared for this summer’s Book of Death event. It’s surprising, more than anything else, that other publishers don’t put out something like this. DC occasionally reminds fans what they consider to be their “25 Essential Graphic Novels,” and Marvel will make announcements on The View, but neither considers the daunting task of jumping into their universe of interconnected titles beyond the customary “this is a jumping on point.” Perhaps they ought to take a page out of the Valiant playbook.

New readers aren’t the only ones to benefit from this handbook. Valiant’s current readership can flip though this and take notice of what entries the publisher has chosen to give attention to. Obviously, Harada and Unity are given attention due to their prominence, but lengthy entries for Archer and Armstrong or even the Armorines – characters that have not been in the spotlight for some time – possibly provide insight as to the direction of the publisher moving forward. New reader or not, The Valiant Universe Handbook is worth checking out.

SCORE: 8/10


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