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Getting Started With Valiant Comics, Part 1

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There are many rabid Valiant fans (myself included), but there are many more comic book fans who have never read, or even heard of Valiant. Last week I published a two part series on why I read Valiant comics (Part One and Part Two) in the hopes that it would entice people to at least give one Valiant book a try. But if you’re new how would you know where to start and which books to pick up?

This guide is very simple. Below you will find only ongoing titles along with a brief description and a try if you like section comparing it to books or movies you may have heard of along with great issues or arcs to start with.

Part 1 covers Archer and Armstrong, Bloodshot, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, and Quantum and Woody. Part 2 will feature Rai, Shadowman, Unity, and X-O Manowar and will be published tomorrow.

Archer and Armstrong

After years of meditation and training, 18-year-old Obadiah Archer has been dispatched to New York City to carry out the sacred mission of his family’s sect – locate and kill the fun-loving, hard-drinking immortal known as Armstrong! But as this naive teenage assassin stalks his prey, he’ll soon find that both hunter and hunted are just pawns in a centuries-old conspiracy that stretches from the catacombs beneath Wall Street to the heights of the Himalayas. And Archer & Armstrong will have to work together if the future is to stand any chance of surviving the past’s greatest threat!

Try it if you like…
  • I don’t believe there is any other book on comic book shelves quite like this one. Part buddy comedy, part conspiracy theory, you’ll enjoy Archer and Armstrong if you like a book that is willing to take risks with its characters and stories, provides lots of action, while being lighthearted and extremely funny. Think of a better written comic book version of The Other Guys.
Must read issues
  • Issues #1-4, #0, #14-17 (Sect Civil War)

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Bloodshot

Your name is Angelo Mortalli. Your brother is trapped behind enemy lines and on the verge of — no. That’s not right. Your name is Raymond Garrison. You’ve retired from the dangers of the field, but a desperate plea from your oldest friend plunges you into a vicious firefight that — no. That’s not right, either. You are Bloodshot. You are the shade of gray that freedom requires. The perfect confluence of military necessity and cutting-edge technology. A walking WikiLeaks. A reservoir of dirty secrets that could set the world on fire. And you’ve just been captured.

Try if you like…
  • It would be easy to compare this book to titles like The Punisher or Deadpool, even though the similarities are few. If you enjoy lots of action, military-style books, but want to see a character go through a journey of finding out who he is, this may be the book for you. Think The Punisher meets Memento.
Must read isses
  • Issues #1-4, #0, #10-13 (Harbinger Wars)

Print

Eternal Warrior

Across ten millennia and a thousand battlefields, Gilad Anni-Padda has traversed the darkest, most mysterious corners of history. But the horror and bloodshed of constant warfare has finally taken its toll on the man myth calls the Eternal Warrior…and he has abdicated his duties as the Fist and the Steel of Earth for a quiet life of seclusion. But when a blood vendetta from the distant past suddenly reappears in the modern day, he must decide if he will return to the ways of war…for the child who betrayed him thousands of years ago…

Try if you like…
  • Fans of the Highlander series will feel right at home with this book. While this series is no longer being published, Gilad plays an integral part in the Valiant universe and is a major player in Unity.
Must read issues
  • Issues #5-8 (Eternal Emperor), Archer and Armstrong #5-8 (Wrath of the Eternal Warrior)

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Harbinger

Super-powered teenager Peter Stanchek is on a dangerous path. Skipping across the country in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, Peter is quickly realizing that he’s a psionically-charged “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. But Peter’s plight has not gone unnoticed. Respected philanthropist and fellow harbinger Toyo Harada is about to offer Peter the chance at the things for which the boy has always longed — family, inner peace, self-control — and induct him into the sprawling, secret network of conspiracy and subversion known as the Harbinger Foundation. Now Peter begins his long road towards a destiny that will shake the very foundations of the Valiant Universe. His first lesson? All power comes with a price.

Try if you like…
  • If you’re a fan of mutant books like the X-Men, you will love Harbinger. This book, and its spinoff miniseries Omegas and Armor Hunters: Harbinger are much more character-driven that the X books though, so be prepared for great character development and some definite tear jerkers.
Must read issues
  • Issues #1-4, #0, #0: Bleeding Monk, #11-14 (Harbinger Wars), #20-24

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Quantum and Woody

Once upon a time, Eric and Woody Henderson were inseparable. Adopted brothers. Best friends. Brilliant minds. Years later, they are estranged siblings, petty rivals, and washed-up failures. But when their father’s murder leads them into the throes of a life-altering scientific accident, Eric and Woody will find themselves with a whole new purpose – and a perfectly legitimate reason to wear costumes and fight crime. Go big or go home, folks! Quantum and Woody are coming!
(And, yes, there will be a goat too. Eventually.)

Try if you like…
  • If you’re a fan of Deadpool you will love the wacky adventures that Quantum and Woody get into. If you’re looking for an action-packed book then look elsewhere, but this book is tons of fun and highly underrated.
Must read issues
  • #1-4, #0: The Goat

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A PDF combining both parts will be available for download after Part 2 is published.

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