REVIEW: Free Comic Book Day: Valiant 25th Anniversary Special

(W) Jeff Lemire & Various (A) Butch Guice & Various (CA) Rafa Sandoval


Ever wanted to try out some new books, but never have enough cash to buy them and your pull list? You don’t want to miss “that” issue as luck would have it, that’s the one that will be a critical issue. But you’re stuck because every website is talking up, this book or that other book.

To ease your financial quandary, Valiant have put together this little book, which serves as a part temptation and part history lesson.

The book features three of the Valiant heavy hitters, Bloodshot, Ninjak and XO-Manowar. To add to the value the teaser stories are written and drawn by series regulars. This give the feel of an actual book and not some filler quality book.

I loved the Bloodshot book, (check out my review) and I do have a soft spot for the armour wearing Visigoth. Ninjak is probably the one I like the least, but the quality of all involved can not be denied. And that’s probably the order by which I would rate the stories. Bloodshot by Jeff Lemire and Butch Guice helps create the scene from which issue one starts. Also, there is a sense of closure of sorts, showing Bloodshot making his decision is a lot more satisfying than just being told he made it.

XO-Manowar continues with another group of people wanting the armour…..again.  This is kind of an ongoing theme, whether it’s the original aliens from which the armour came, Ninjak early on and of course Aric himself. This time however the goal isn’t to capture the armour for their own use, it’s to destroy it for previous transgressions. Writer Robert Venditti and artist Rafa Sandoval are clearly in building mode which suits the feel, and the title of the story.

Finally, Ninjak which serves to introduce agent Roku. The story is also a setup, but as it’s “to be continued in Ninjak #1”, I would assume that it’s more of a preview piece, rather than an addition to the story. My Crusading colleagues will be able to confirm my supposition as Ninjak is popular book with the group.

So there you have it. A history lesson and some new material for you to enjoy and tempt you from the Big 2. The problem with the book is that is does it’s job too well, in that once you have read it, you may well want to pick up the books, which will lead to some soul searching for which books to remove from your pull list. But hey, that’s all part of being a fan.

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