Kickin’ It Old School: Valiant October 1992
Kickin’ It Old School: Month in Review October 1992
Starting this week, the format of Kickin’ It Old School will be changing. There are so many VH1 books to read and it’s taking me far too long to progress through reading the 600+ books that I’ve purchased since July. From this point on, I will be reading through all of the books released in a given month and supplying a protracted summary and review of each. This way, I may actually finish reading these books someday!
Archer and Armstrong are returned from the Lost Land and back into a fight. They are abducted and taken to Italy, but escape from their confines only to find themselves having to evade sect members left and right.
Barry Windsor-Smith is a genius, and this is the book that finally made me realize that for myself. Written and drawn by BWS, this book is pretty near perfect in both regards. Archer & Armstrong are much better on their own then they were in the Unity saga, where it felt like they were lost in the mix.
Solar has defeated Erica but cannot stop her reactor and must send everybody back to their proper place and time. Meanwhile, Albert is taken down by the bims he used to abuse. Running out of time, Solar uses his powers to let everybody direct themselves back to their proper place before it’s too late. Kris’ baby gets sent into the future to become Magnus.
The previous issue was the crescendo of Unity and this issue wraps it all up. Everybody goes back to where they left off, with the exception of little baby Magnus. It’ll be interesting to see some elements from the Unity event pop up in future story lines!
The kids are returned to Doctor Heyward’s house. Once they recover from their Unity experience, they head out to get jobs and a place of their own. Once they do that, they head out looking for new psiots, finding a girl named Shatiqua… and the H.A.R.D. Corps!
Pete applies at Orb industries which, as we know, is owned by Aric! This is the first appearance of H.A.R.D. Corps, who will have their own title in the near future. Aside from these interesting tidbits, this issue feels like a transition issue, bringing the Renegades out of the drama of Torque’s death and Kris’ baby and into something new.
Gilad returns to find Jillian alluded their attackers and they get away safely, after smashing up some bad guys. Gilad gives into his exhaustion and finds himself jaded by fighting. He goes to visit his friend Astrea in Greece. She can plainly see that Gilad isn’t right, so she has Armstrong come and pick a fight with his brother to snap him out of it.
This issue did a great job illustrating the relationship between the Ani-Padda brothers, Gilad and Aram. They may be at odds with each other, but they’re still family and still willing to take a beating for the good of their brother. This was a great way to break Gilad away from the story of Unity, which happened to be the first two issues of his title. Now we can see how he operates outside of a massive event.
Aric is sent back to the life he had before he was abducted by the spider aliens. With the Manowar armor, he is like a god in his own time and wishes to use his power to conquer the Romans in the name of his uncle the king. His power is incomprehensible to his people, however, and they plot with the Romans to take Aric down. They are unable to harm Aric, but his wife is killed in the plot, giving him nothing to live for in this time. With nothing left, he buries himself.
This was a fantastic story, unveiling Aric’s past. At this point, we didn’t really know anything about him. It’s also cool to see that the names and characters used in the modern X-O followed what was used in the original iteration, with Alaric, Deidre, and Gafti all making appearances. The cliffhanger ending was great. I can’t wait to see how Aric emerges from his early grave!
Japan has crashed back to earth. Many are dead, but many have survived. Kazuyo and Makiko put their differences aside and work together to take down Seko. Once Kazuyo has recovered her living armor, she goes after Seko but has to battle Ice Spike to get to him. Once she defeats Ice Spike, her vengeance for Seko’s murder of Rai and Takashi drives her to blow off his head. Then she learns that her son has survived, while her husband has sacrificed his life so that all may have a chance to live.
Another great post-Unity issue from Valiant. We knew that this title would be the most changed since Rai was killed in Unity. There was a lot going on before he left, though, and a lot of story to tell. The political intrigue is over for the moment. Where will the new Rai come from?
Solar is back from the Lost Land. The Edgewater Nuclear Research Facility is closed due to security breaches. Seleski starts his life with Gayle, falling in love all over again. Information is stolen from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Paolo Alto. Fred Bender wants to know how Solar does it, so Solar shows him.
It felt like there was too much going on in this issue. Who stole the info from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? It’s obviously somebody pretty serious since they had no problem butchering all the innocent people there. Why is Fred Bender obsessed with Solar? This issue just seems like a rush to kick off a bunch of plot threads all at once.
The robot Talpa is wrecking North Am and nobody can stop it. It demands that Magnus be sacrificed, but the problem is that nobody knows where he is! Leeja’s telepathy mentor helps her hone in on Magnus, which allows Solar to find where he belongs and bring him there. With Magnus back, there is hope, but he’s in no shape to do much of anything. They concoct a plan to take Talpa down. After he is successful, Magnus reminds Leeja that he’s a goph now and that he killed Talpa to save people, not to save North Am.
Magnus was taken to join the team in Unity while fighting Talpa, but he’s been greatly changed by the experience before fighting Talpa again in this issue. Being able to share his experiences with Leeja gives her an insight into his suffering and sacrifice that no one else has. I would imagine this will lead Leeja to have more empathy towards Magnus and for her to truly be able to understand where he’s coming from. I’ve found this book to be odd and sort of like a melodrama. It doesn’t seem like much changes, but the characters are always finding a reason to brood. Now that Unity is over, I hope to see something from this book that will change the social and political structure of North Am.
Jack returns to the swamp and is searching Elya. When he finally give up, he finds the boat destroyed, Mr. N’Dour dead, and Nettie gone. He heads home until the next night, when he is Shadowman again, and returns to the swamp. He discovers a psychotic family that has been kidnapping and killing people has Nettie in their possession. He heads after them and gets assistance from one of the families that has fallen victim to the psychopaths.
This was a great story to get Jack back into the swing of being Shadowman. Dark and gritty, just like it should be. Seeing Steve Ditko on art is amazing. The guy who co-created Spider-man is now drawing Shadowman. How amazing is that!