During Free Comic Book Day in 2014, Valiant, as a part of their new unveiling, released a highly detailed handbook of the many characters within the Valiant stable, fresh with backstories, art, and various other inside information regarding recommended reading and such. It was a wonderful pick up and really allowed a new reader to Valiant a choice glimpse into the some of the more unique and original characters that have come out during the last couple of decades of the company’s existence. Now it was a great resource if you could get it. But as for me during that time, I unfortunately was not. I am pretty sure that I was not the only one either. It seems that whatever copies were out there got swallowed up rather fast. Oh well, that is the way it rolls sometimes.
Well, fast forward to here and now in May 2015. Free Comic Book Day has come and gone with no repeat Valiant offering of the handbook. They had a 25th Anniversary Special this time around. But for those of us who missed out last year, the good news that an all-new Valiant Universe Handbook has been released. And it appears to have much of the same look as the previous one. The only big big difference with this release compared from last year is that it will cost you. But at $2.99, for what you get, the price is pretty minimal. This is a quintessential reference guide to the whole of Valiant’s titles, all neatly organized and presented in a very tidy and reasonable 35+ pages of facts and figures.
Are you interested in X-O Manowar? How about Toyo Harada? Maybe Ninjak is more in your realm of curiosity. Or perhaps Rai? All of them are here in this handbook to include newbies from recent releases like Divinity too. In fact, all of Valiant’s characters are represented with additional updates to groups like Unity, Bloodshot and others being updated to current storylines. Shoot, they even have a blurb regarding the crazy pairing of Archer and Armstrong with Quantum and Woody in The Delinquents and their battles with Mr. Meat (Goat included). It’s all here.
Now it is hard to really apply a score to a handbook as there is no real comic action going on to really review. But as far as resources go, I believe that Valiant’s little Handbook really covers a diverse and impressive universe in small bite sized pieces. I have seen other such reference books that read more like encyclopedias and are way low on the entertainment function. Maybe if you are writing a paper or something, those types will work. But for sheer enjoyment or entertainment, not so much.
With Valiant’s offering though, you get nice and neat summaries that are well written and QUICK. You won’t get lost for weeks here. The writers hit the high notes and offer support books to allow the reader to maybe go and experience things for themselves. And that is it. It really makes for a nice insight into the universe that will be beneficial to both novice and expert alike into the world of Valiant.
For $2.99, this handbook is about as much detail as you will ever get for such a small prize. Most handbooks of this sort come in with heavy hardcovers and even heavier price tags. Not so here. You get it all with a very nominal fee. It is well worth the investment.
So, if you happen to be out and about this coming new comic book day or any other day for that matter. I would highly recommend that you give this one a go. You will be very glad that you did and can even dazzle your friends with your incredible knowledge of the Valiant Universe. Now how cool is that?
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Valiant Universe Handbook 2015 Edition #1 Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $2.99 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital