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Geeky Parent Guide: Free Comic Book Day 2018 and Valiant Entertainment

As you, your friends, and family get ready for the ultimate of days (Free Comic Book Day!), it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to take in the thousands of options that are available. Along with what you’ll find regularly in your local comic shop – new releases, back issues from previous years, graphic novels, and an assortment of toys and games – there are FCBD comic books that can be a gateway to following a series you haven’t previously explored.

For fans of Valiant Entertainment or for those that might be interested in picking up one of their comics for the first time, they have a FCBD issue that leads you to three different series. Valiant’s FCBD issue contains a preview of Shadowman (2018) #1, X-O Manowar #14, and Harbinger Wars 2 Prelude.

Let’s cross into another “Deadside” of comics and explore the vast expanses you’ll travel when exploring Valiant Entertainment.

Shadowman a92

Shadowman (2018) #1
Age Group: 12+
Creators: Andy Diggle (writer), Stephen Segovia (artist), Tonci Zonjic (cover), Ulises Arreloa (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer)
You’ll Like This If You Like: Constantine (film)

The first issue of Shadowman grabs your attention with bold imagery and an in-your-face cover that draws you into its pages, and then heightens the intrigue by showing one of the main characters, Alyssa, getting ready for something. It’s intriguing because she grabs her handgun, loads bullets with special markings into a magazine, and wears a special necklace that makes her look mystical.

Alyssa’s trip into the bayou of New Orleans turns into a less-than-ideal situation in a hurry, especially when a gigantic, demon-like monster hopes to crush her into oblivion. As she fights back, Jack, also known as Shadowman, returns from the Deadside, and this otherworldly plain sounds exactly like it is. Alyssa doesn’t let his reappearance in her life sway her emotions, as she navigates his intentions and her role in a world with the Shadowman.

If you pick up the Shadowman FCBD edition, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself leaning toward that strong female character, the complexities within the story, and the amazingly detailed artwork, which means you or your teens will want to follow this series moving forward. In case you’re wondering, Shadowman #2 is currently available, too.

X-O Manowar (2017) #14
Age Group: 15+
Creators: Matt Kindt (writer), Ariel Olivetti (artist), Kaare Andrews (cover), Dave Sharpe (letterer)
You’ll Like This If You Like: A cross between Iron Man and Thor

In similar fashion to Shadowman, Aric finds himself returning to Earth after an extended absence. After flying into a star to seemingly eradicate himself (That’s a topic you and your family might want to dive into depending on age.), Aric realizes it’s time to head home after receiving a distress call.

Issue #14 takes readers on a journey into the Man of War’s past, with detailed illustrations of a youthful stroll through the Roman Empire. This flashback paints a broader picture for our main character’s psyche, as he learns the value of life and the resulting consequences that come with wearing his powerful suit.

This chapter of X-O Manowar is a gritty look at mental health and the fatigue that can occur when dealing with tragedy and being alone, despite having a suit that can talk to him. If you’re starting the series with this comic book, it gives you a great deal to think about. There’s concern over the main character and his emotional state, and yet Aric shows incredible strength when dealing with a shocking revelation later in the comic.

Harbinger Wars 2 Prelude
Age Group: 12+
Creators: Eric Heisserer (writer), Raul Allen (artist/cover), Patricia Martin (artist/letterer), Borja Pindado (colorist/inker)
You’ll Like This If You Like: X-Men/Uncanny X-Men

Valiant takes charge with another solid female character, Amanda, also known as Livewire, leading the way in Harbinger Wars 2: Prelude. She lives in a world where covert agencies are seeking gifted individuals called “Psiots.” The initial picture painted in this comic is grim, as these government officials only hope to control these beings or eliminate those that don’t comply with their rules. Fortunately for those with powers, Amanda’s only concern is to keep her friends safe – and that doesn’t mean following along.

In the span of all super powers in comics history, Amanda’s own abilities are something worth sticking around for. Not only is it amazing to witness her power come to life, you’ll soon wonder how far reaching they can go. Prelude clearly depicts both sides of good and evil and definitely heightens the level of intrigue in this story, since it looks like there are many more evil than good.

I want to extend a big thanks to Mel Caylo and Valiant Entertainment for participating in this year’s coverage of Free Comic Book Day on Fanbase Press. If you’re interested in any of these titles, or perhaps you want to explore what else Valiant Entertainment has to offer, you can find out what’s available and explore their digital catalogue.

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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