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Comic Review: Harbinger Wars #1
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Harbinger Wars #1
Written by Joshua Dysart
Story by Joshua Dysart & Duane Swierczynski
Art by Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain and Mico Suayan
Color art by Brian Reber
Letters by Dave Lanphear
Covers by Lewis LaRosa, Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain, and Patrick Zircher
Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: April 3, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Harbinger Wars #1 is the first effort in a line wide crossover from the newly returned Valiant Entertainment. Now, I haven’t been keeping up like I should have or wanted to with the rest of the Valiant line, but thankfully the whole team has done a great job not to let me get lost and make it an enjoyable read.

Joshua Dysart, the writer of this series, does a nice job in the first few pages in bringing you up to speed on who’s who and what’s what in the Valiant Universe. It’s never confusing or convoluted, and flows naturally with the kind of story telling that he’s using in this issue. That said, I’m not a huge fan of first issues of big crossover story lines because the author normally DOES spend a number of pages catching the audience up with what has come before. Again, that being said, this one is quick and painless and then hits the ground running. This issue certainly gets the ball rolling bringing several of the Valiant Universe characters together in what seems is a confrontation that’s been brewing for awhile. Very cool, nicely written issue.

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Comic Review: Shadowman #6
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Shadowman #6
Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Patrick Zircher, Lee Garbett and Neil Edwards
Color by Brian Reber and Guy Major
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Patrick Zircher and Dave Johnson
Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: April 3, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Welcome to my first review of a Valiant Entertainment comic! I present to you the delightfully dark Shadowman #6. Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, it really draws on that creepy voodoo-like vibe that one feels when they visit ‘The Big Easy.’  But it’s not just drawing on the world as we know it, Shadowman also reveals to us a world that we are completely unaware of in our mundane lives. We are shown the Deadside, a parallel universe of horrific nightmares that seeks to break down the tenuous barriers that separate our two dimensions from one another.

First off, we have Jack Boniface as the new Shadowman, having had his powers bestowed upon him by a loa (keeping with the regional theme of voodoo). His current (and ongoing) job is protecting our world from the Deadside. And while he may still be learning about his new abilities, he is being kept quite busy dealing with a group called the Brethren. We learn that these powerful Brethren are desperate to restore a necromancer named Master Darque to our world, which would bring about untold horrors and destroy our very existence. Then we have a very mysterious, tattooed gunman who is working a different angle against the Brethren at the behest of an old, almost forgotten, local deity named Baron Samedi. But this demi-god is in negotiations with Master Darque–negotiations that could prove troublesome for the Shadowman. Though, as with every underworld deal, not everything is as it seems.

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Comic Review: Think Tank #5
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Think Tank #5
Written by Matt Hawkins
Art by Rahsan Ekedal
Letters by Troy Peteri
Covers by Rahsan Ekedal & Brian Reber
Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Release Date: February 6, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

The last issue of Think Tank concluded Matt Hawkins’ original story plan for the miniseries. Everything wrapped up nice and neat. Dr. David Loren got the girl, escaped his personal prison, and played the military for a bunch of fools. Or did he? The last panel of the previous issue revealed a huge swerve: Mirra Sway, David’s first real girlfriend, works for the CIA. It looks like David was the one being played.

Think Tank #5 is a dark issue. The idealistic, free-spirited Dr. David Loren is nowhere to be found. The story jumps forward two months after Mirra betrayed David and turned him over to the military. Now David’s a jaded and dejected workaholic who single-mindedly and unquestioningly pursues project objectives. Allegedly.

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Comic Review: Think Tank Military Dossier
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Think Tank Military Dossier
Written by Matt Hawkins
Art by Rahsan Ekedal
Letters by Troy Peteri
Covers by Rahsan Ekedal and Brian Reber
Created by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal
Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Release Date: January 9, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Think Tank Military Dossier plays like a behind-the-scenes episode of your favorite TV show. Obviously it’s not as good as the main story in Think Tank, but that’s not the goal. It’s just a little something extra to pique your interest for the next round of episodes.

The comic begins with a short scene of David Loren and his buddy Manish Pavi riffing on Twilight and monsters. This sets the stage for David to poke through DARPA’s personnel files, which has interesting tidbits on David, Manish, Mirra Sway, General Clarkson, Colonel Harrison, and Steven Sejic. These personnel files do include some spoilers from Think Tank #4 “” especially about the true mission of a certain character that David isn’t supposed to know about. This begs the question: is Military Dossier canon? Yeah, I’m looking way too deep into a fun, little, sidebar comic.

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Comic Review: Think Tank, Volume 1
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Think Tank, Volume 1
Written by Matt Hawkins
Art by Rahsan Ekedal
Covers by Rahsan Ekedal & Brian Reber
Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Release Date: December 5, 2012
Cover Price: $14.99

I have no qualms about deeming Think Tank one of the best new comic series this year. Think Tank, Volume 1 collects the first four issues and is the perfect spot to catch up on this smartly-written, action-packed series.

Dr. David Loren is a true prodigy-genius type who was recruited to work in a DARPA think tank when he was a naïve 14-year-old senior in high school. At 19, he was granted the elite rank of National Security Asset “” essentially he’s so valuable to the United States government that he can’t live a free life. He graduated with a PhD from Cal Tech and followed up on his agreement to join DARPA. There he dabbled with inventions like mind-reading devices, invisibility suits, and portable EMP bombs.

David is an unabashed slacker, yet even with just a small portion of his attention, he makes almost everyone else look foolishly mortal by comparison. After producing numerous inventions such as the predator drone algorithm and an electronic crowd-control gun that would never jam, he suddenly developed a conscience: he realized that he doesn’t want the blood of innocent people on his hands. David tried to leave his job, only the big wigs at DARPA didn’t much care for his change of heart.

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