As December continues along its merry way here is another glance back over the past 12 months, this time in the form of comics covers. As in recent years, 2016 saw a variety of talented artists working in a broad range of styles. Whittling down the list, as always, is a bit a difficult, but that is how it should be. Tough choices only serve as a reminder of how much great material is being published these days.
How many stellar comic book covers were there this year? So many that instead of restricting myself to an arbitrary number like 10 or even 20, I have assembled a list of 26 spanning a variety of artists and styles. As in the past, I limited myself to one selection per artist or series.
Valiant did spend plenty of time yesterday discussing properties besides Bloodshot. They started with a plug for the conclusion of Book of Death arriving at the end of the month. They promised that it would have major reverberations throughout the Valiant Universe. While this may sound like the typical boilerplate Event language, Valiant’s track record backs up previous claims. Harbinger Wars, Armor Hunters & The Valiant all sparked future stories in ways that never felt gimmicky. They did shift the status quo. So fans were told to keep an eye on The Eternal Warrior, who just happens to have a new series launching soon. Continue reading NYCC: Valiant Book of Death and Beyond Panel→
By Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Marguerite Sauvage, Andrew Dalhouse, Dave Sharpe, Joe Quinnones
Valiant Comics’ characters can often feel like a mix of new and old archetypes, not surprising since as far as I know most are only 25+ years old at this point. While parts of the old can feel a bit cliche, its the addition of the new that makes their characters so refreshing. Faith being such a character.
Having no experience with the Harbinger section of the Valiantverse, I had no immediate clue as to what Faith’s role or powers would be. This issue does a succinct and approachable job explaining both of those aspects as well as introducing Faith to the world.
In many ways, Faith falls under the category of “Fangirl”. She makes jokes and references to characters she knows by heart from their comics (which by association goes for most of the people who read this comic), she has a youthful and optimistic attitude and its these qualitites that make her feel authentic. Not that the sunny, bubbly female personality is a first in comics, but in Faith’s case it speaks to me because I know women like Faith without the psychic powers. What is something of a first is someone of Faith’s physique appearing in a solo title. Despite all the discussions on cheesecake imagery and impossible body proportions, seeing superheroes who don’t resemble statues from Ancient Greece is still a rarity.
On the art side, Portela and Sauvage turn in one of Valiant’s prettiest books of the year. Portela captures the congested traffic of LA along with its shining skyscrapers and Sauvage injects some cartoonish whimsy into some daydream segments that captures Faith’s inner desires for heroic adventures.
Parts of Faith #1 will feel immediately familiar, but those parts are mixed in with playful satire humor as well a marked determination to bring back the heroes of old who saved people because it was the right thing to do (which is in itself a more than valid reason). This miniseries is sure to please devoted Valiant fans as well as those trying the title out of pure curiosity and inexperience with most of Valiant’s past works.