The Not So Long, But Kinda Winding; Road to Unity ~ What'cha Reading?

The Not So Long, But Kinda Winding; Road to Unity

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Unity, the new team book from Valiant hits shelves Wednesday November 13th, and its going to hit hard. The culmination of two years of storytelling and character progression across the whole Valiant line reaches it deadly climax, brought to you by the superstar team of comics lastest wunderkind Matt Kindt, and industry vet Doug Braithwaite.

When Toyo Harada, whose public personality of philanthropic CEO of Harada Global Conglomerates, sees a threat to his power-seat, he responds. Hiding the ulterior motive of using his Harbinger foundation to recruit young psiots into a superhuman army he can use to shape the world as he sees fit, has always been a priority to Harada. That is, until Aric, 5th century Visigoth and possessor of the XO Manowar alien super armor returns from space with a group of time lost humans. Now Harada, who at this point was the most powerful psiot in the world, manipulating whole countries and economies with his psionic powers, sees a threat in the barbarian king who claimed a part of Europe as his own.

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Thus Unity is formed. A group of superhuman assassins and warriors, with one goal… take down X-O Manowar!

To kill a king, Harada created an army.

UNITY_crop

But who is Harada? Or the Eternal Warrior? Who is that hot chick with the dreads? When Valiant relaunched and started putting out titles, each one very independent of the other, it did not seem they were linked in any real way. But slowly, over time, threads were woven throughout storylines, titles crossed over in mighty wars, and revelations made that started building towards….UNITY!

Here is a run down of the Valiant Universe from the very beginning. A trade by trade breakdown, high-lighting key points that pertain to the Unity storyline, and the further connecting of the Valiant titles.

Be you completely new to to the Valiant Universe, or maybe you have only been collecting one or two titles, I hope this guide, presented in somewhat chronological order, helps you to better understand the epic in the making that is Unity! Keep in mind, as each of these story arcs contain much more story than my meager bullet points let on, and I implore you to read the originals in anyway you can, don’t just rely on my rehashing. Go to a library, read them digitally or support your LCS and go buy some trades. Hell, if you don’t have an LCS you can use mine. I’m inserting links (whenever possible) to Valiant trades for sale from royalcollectiblesonline.com (as well as amazon.com)

xo-manowar-vol1-coverUntitled-2X-O Manowar TPB Vol. 1: By the Sword

Issues #1-4

– 402 A.D., Aric, Visigoth prince is abducted by Vine aliens and taken as slave along with other Visigoths.

– Spends years as a slave.

– Leads rebellion, and storms Vine church thinking its an armory. Bonds with X-O Armor, a powerful sentient armor the vine worship as their god Shanhara.

– Any past attempt by a Vine alien to bond with suit resulted in aliens death, Aric first to wear armor in millenia.

– Aric escapes alien ship in armor and directs it to return him home to Rome. Aric returns to earth only to find 16 centuries have passed.

– Attacked by Roman police and Italian air Force, escapes unharmed and goes into hiding.

– Revelation of Humans being abducted and replaced by Vine hybrids who stay in contact via telepathy and have been “cultivating” earth and humanity for 1600 years.

x0 vs armor

Royal Collectibles: Link  Amazon.com: Link

Harbinger TPB Vol 1: Omega Rising2818102-har_tpb_vol_001

Issues #1-5

– Powerful psiot Peter Stanchek is on the run from Project Rising Spirit, a shady agency with government ties, that has hounded Peter since his powerful psionic powers came into play. Pete has stolen meds to dull his vast psychic powers, and hiding out with fellow aslyum escapee Joe.

– Toyoa Harada, survivor of Hiroshima, philanthropist, influential world business leader and the world’s most powerful psiot, recruits Peter to his secret Harbinger foundation after disastrous battle with PSR agents. The Harbinger  Foundation is Harada’s own psiot training organizition filled with superhumans under the his dictatorial leadership.

– First appearance of LiveWire ( issue #3 ), psiot with ability to control electronic machines and devices, and right hand woman to Harada himself. Future member of Unity.

– Revelation from Bleeding Monk, an ancient psiot with prophetic abilities, that Peter is “The Great Destroyer” and will wreak havoc on earth.

– After repeated attempts at manipulation, including using Peter to unlock powers in others,  Peter rebels against Harada and the Harbinger Foundation, but not before they arrange for Joe’s death at one last attempt to keep Peter under Harada’s control.

– Realizing Harada’s meglomaniacal tendencies, Peter escapes, after barely surviving a psionic battle with Harada.

Royal Collectibles: Link  Amazon.com: Link

 

Bloodshot-Vol-1-Setting-The-World-On-FireBloodshot TPB Vol.1: Setting the World on Fire

Issues #1-4

–  Bloodshot, a nanite enhanced killing machine is on loan to the U.S. goverment, from Project Rising Spirit, the shadow agency that created him.Impossible to kill due to the nanites regenerative powers, Bloodshot is manipulated into seemingly heroic events using false memory implants of family members and coaching my his military handlers.

– Dr. Kuretich, former lead scientist on PSR’s project Bloodshot has gone rogue, and kidnaps a damaged Bloodshot while on a mission. Kuretich downloads all of Bloodshot mission memories and logs, and reveals to him the false memories that have been used to manipulate him, as well as all the atrocities he committed on these missions.Bloodshot is set free by the Doctor, bent on vengeance and wanting to know the truth of his identity; which, if any, of the memories are real.

– PSR uses a EMP emitting psiot girl named Pulse to take down Bloodshot by scrambling his nanites. Bloodshot is save by  an EMT Kara and vows to hunt down PSR with the help of both Pulse and Kara.

Royal Collectibles: Link  Amazon.com: Link

Archer and Armstrong TPB Vol.1 The Michaelangelo Codeaa_tpb_vol_001

Issues #1-4

– Trained as a holy assassin by his adoptive parents secret organization; the Sect, Obadiah Archer is sent into the world to kill the Sect’s immortal enemy, Aram Anni-Padda, better know as Armstrong.

– One of three immortal brothers (Gilad, the Eternal Warrior & Ivar the Time Walker; shown in flashback) the hedonistic Armstrong is currently bouncing in bar when he is identified and attacked by Archer. Both Archer & Armstrong are taken captive by rival secret society.

– While imprisoned together Armstrong reveals the truth, that the Sect and other societies are after him for a piece of the Boon, a powerful alien artifact from a time lost dimension, which granted the Anni-Padda brothers immortality, but at a great cost.

– Archer escapes, leaving Armstrong behind, only to over-hear his parents at a secret meeting confirming everything Armstrong said as truth. Archer frees Armstrong and the two team up to stop the Boons activation just in time, but accidentally killing this era’s Geomancer, a mystical servant of mother earth, in the process.

– Revelation that Archer was adopted, from an unnamed compound in the Nevada desert

Royal Collectibles: Link  Amazon.com: Link

XO_TPB_VOL_002X-O Manowar TPB Vol. 2 Enter Ninjak

Issues #5-8

– Vine aliens, in the guise of high-ranking government officials, send a black ops team to take out Aric and the X-O armor. Team is led by Alex Dorian, a Vine replacement who has grown to love humanity. X-O makes quick work of team and captures Alex.

– Vine high command decides to invade earth, but pushes earthbound Vine to attempt another capture of X-O. Vine disguised as British official in MI-6 hires professional assassin.

– First appearance Ninjak (issue #5) future Unity team member and master Assassin. Ninjak successfully takes out Aric and separates him from Armor. Alex contacts Vine command to report success through telepathic council, but they refuse to stop invasion of earth.

– Alex betrays Vine and escapes with Aric and X-O Armor. Ninjak places tracers on them and follows them to hideout. Aric and Alex prove to Ninjak that he is working for aliens bent on invading earth.

– Aric and Ninjak storm MI-6 headquarters, infested with Vine replacements, and stop their earth-side preparation for Invasion. Ninjak and X-O part as temporary allies.

Harbinger TPB Vol. 2  Renegades9371464-harbinger-vol-2-renegades-tp

Issues # 6-10

– Weakened from his battle with both Project Rising Spirit and Toyo Harada, Peter recuperate with help from Zephyr, the overweight fan-girl he successfully activated as a flying psiot. Harada continues to hunt for Peter using his Harbinger foundation to keep eyes on Kris Hathaway, Peter’s longtime friend.

– LiveWire’s been exiled by Harada for her part in letting Peter escape.

– Peter, Zephyr, and Kris go on the run, after robbing a bank and blackmailing Harada. They begin to recruit psiots the Harbinger foundation rejected, including a crippled boy with bodymorphing psychic projection powers named Torque, and an abused stripper with pyrokinetic abilities named Flamingo.

– PSR is made aware of Peter’s location and sends an attack team to capture him and his Renegades, getting them all except Zephyr who flew away.

– Zephyr frees Peter who destroys the attack team PSR sent and kills the agent who has been hunting him since the beginning. Kris finds out it was Harada who tipped off PSR to their location.

Amazon.com: Link

 

BS_TPB_VOL_002_CVRBloodshot  TPB Vol. 2 The Rise and the Fall

Issues #5-9

– Project Rising Spirit hunting down Bloodshot, Pulse and Kara to clean up loose ends after Bloodshot’s escape and Dr. Kuretich revealing PSR mission where Bloodshot murdered a whole town to cover up a government secret.

-Kara and Pulse captured by PSR as part of Bloodshot’s plan. Now working with Kuretich, Blooshot storms a PSR station named “the Vault”to rescue Kara and Pulse as well as find his true identity. Attacked by PSR Cyborg battalion Chainsaw.

– Bloodshot finds containment room filled with psiot children instead of Vault of secret information. Children recognize Bloodshot and are terrified of him

– Bloodshot revealed to be Psiot hunter, built to hunt down and retrieve superpowered children on behalf of PSR.

– After defeating the Cyborg group Chainsaw and the evil “nanny” Gamma, Bloodshot escapes after convincing the children he is no threat. Other children escape on their own in the confusion. Bloodshot vows over Kara’s dying body to protect the children.

-Kuretich revealed to be working for Harada

bloodhsot-0-crop

Amazon.com: Link

Archer & Armstrong  TPB Vol. 2  Wrath of the Eternal WarriorAA_TPB_VOL_002_CVR

Issues #5-9

-First appearance in modern era, future Unity member Eternal Warrior. Gilad Anni-Padda is immortal brother of Armstrong and Fist and Steel of the Geomancers, a legacy of earth mages, given powers by Mother Earth in her defense, of who Gilad has protected and avenged over the centuries.

– Eternal Warrior is hunting down Archer to get revenge, blaming him for death of last Geomancer.

– First appearance new Geomancer Kay Mac Henry, employee of Zorn Industries. Zorn is Leader of 1% , another secret society, and worshiper of the Null religion. Null is a cult dedicated to destroying all life everywhere and has been at war with the Geomancers and Gilad for centuries.

– After some explanations, Eternal Warrior teams up with Archer & Armstrong to find new Geomancer, who was just left for dead at the bottom of the bay by her boss Zorn when he discovered her listening to his secret meeting with the 1%.

– Kay MacHenry is saved by Mother Earth and has role as Geomancer explained to her. Works with Anni-Padda Bros and Archer to stop Null cult from destroying all life on earth by altering the universes source code.

– Revelation by Kay that Archer contains “infinities” within him when she reads him with her new Geomancer powers. She is able to pull the phrase “Rising Spirit” from his subconscious.

– After defeating 1% and Null Cult, and saving the world, Eternal Warrior tells Archer about Project Rising Spirit and the secret base they have in Nevada.

Amazon.com: Link

XO_TPB_003_CVR_PLANET-DEATHX-O Manowar TPB Vol. 3 Planet Death

Issues #9 -14

– Advanced attack force from Vine invasion fleet arrives on earth, complete with Wolf Class Commandos with armor that mimics Shanhara, the X-O Armor.

– Through X-O, Aric is able to join group telepathic conference of Vine high command. Learns of advance force and goes to engage them.

– Vine have fellow Visigoth and friend of Aric’s, Gafti, hostage, and used as leverage against X-O.

– X-O defeats Vine advance force, and gives Shanhara to a near dead Gafti to heal him. Gafti, beyond healing takes the armor into orbit and sacrifices his life destroying invasion fleet. X-O armor returns to Aric.

– Aric takes scout ship and heads to Vine home planet of Loam to exact revenge. Lands on Loam and swears to destroy planet. Approached by Priesthood who worship Shanhara, the X-O Armor, as a god. Shown humans who have been captured by the vine and there descendents are living on Loam as slaves to the Vine.

– X-O vows to save them and attacks the Vine Command center. Knocked unconscious in a multi-pronged attack, Aric is separated from the X-O Armor.

– Aric spirited away to human slave camps by Vine defector, while armor is held in stasis field by Vine military Command.

-Vine Command decides to send in army to wipe out all life in human slave camps in desperate attempt to kill Aric and keep X-O out of human hands. Aric uses physical and mental connection to armor to call it forth, shattering the stasis field and joining with Aric just in time to defeat and turn back Vine army.

– Aric learns other races besides humans are slaves on Loam. X-O frees them all and leads assault on Vine command. Revelations of Shanhara’s true, unkown origin are revealead after X-O destroys the vine high council and assumes command of the planet.

– Aric leaves Loam in the care of the peaceful priesthood and leaves loam in a vine carrier ship filled with humans who were former slaves, heading to earth.

xo011variantrivera

Amazon.com: Link

Harbinger Wars

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hwtrade1 harbinger vol 3 bloodshot 3 hw

Harbinger Wars TPB Vol. 1
Issues #1-4

Harbinger TPB Vol. 3
Harbinger Wars
Issues #11-14,0

Bloodshot TPB Vol. 3
Harbinger Wars
Issues #10-13
– Project Rising Spirit using captured psiot children as super-powered Black Ops teams, against their will due to explosive implants in their brains.

– Bleeding Monk, adviser to Toyo Harada, contacts Peter via psychic visions, to warn him of the dangers of Bloodshot and to save children who escaped from PSR. Peter and the renegades head to LasVegas, when they see group of Psiot children have taken over the Bellagio on the news.

– Harada meanwhile tracks the children who have escaped with Bloodshot to abandoned base on outskirts of Las Vegas.Tries to convince him to join him and help the children.

– The Harada Protocols, a series of programs buried deep in Bloodshot’s mind, activate when Harada is recognized by his nanites. An epic battle ensues. Both Bloodshot and Harada are seriously injured, Bloodshot needing rescue by the psiot children, and Harada taking to low earth orbit to psionically heal himself.

-Bloodshot and the psiot children head to Las Vegas to join there fellow escapees. Meanwhile Peter and the Renegades make contact with other psiot children, now calling themselves Generation Zero. Due to Peter’s vision, and an interupted psychic conversation, both Generation Zero and the Renegades believe Bloodshot is evil and holding the psiots against their will.

– Project Rising Spirit sends in HARD Corps to kill and/or contain Generation Zero psiots. HARD Corps is a advanced black ops group who are able to download superpowers via implants, and specialize in taking out other superhumans.

– Revelations of Harada’s antagonistic history with Project Rising Spirit.

– HARD Corps engages Generation Zero in bloody battle, while Peter and Bloodshot battle to near death. Harada returns from healing with a vengeance, taking over control of the generation Zero children, and forcibly recruiting them to his Harbinger foundation. HARDCorps quickly retreats after the death of a member and freeing the hostages from the casino.

– Peter and The Renegades seemingly escape, while Bloodshot is captured and contained by the Harbinger Foundation.

Harbinger Wars Vol. 1 – Amazon.com Link

 

vol3Archer & Armstrong Vol. 3  Far Faraway

Issue #10-13, 0

– Origin of Anni Padda Bros, finding of spider-legged cyborg in ancient Mesopotamia, spurs adventure to time lost land  called Faraway, where The Boon is found.

– Present Day Armstrong and Archer sneak into Project Rising Spirit base inside Area 51, following up on clues from Eternal Warrior of Archer’s true origin.

– After hacking computer, Archer finds all information pertaining to him is stored in a base located in Las Vegas known as the Nursery. Archer & Armstrong get caught up in battle with Area 51 guards and Mary Maria, Archer’s adopted sister and the love of his life, who is possessed by both his dead parents. Archer and Armstrong and Mary Maria fall into portal that eads to Faraway. Have adventure with timelost people such as Ambrose Bierce and Amelia Earhart, battling General Redacted and his Army of Grey Aliens alongside the descendents of Roanoke Island.

– Archer finds Ivar, Armstrong’s Time traveling brother, held captive in time sphere. A confused Ivar hints at Archer destroying Bloodshot sometime in the future.

– Archer and Armstrong split up after Amstrong sleeps with Mary Maria during drunken celebration, and Archer steal Ivar’s Time Arc Map and returns to earth.

Amazon.com: Link

SM_TPB_VOL_001 9781939346056_p0_v1_s260x420


Shadowman TPB
Vol. 1 Birth Rites
Issues #1-4

Vol. 2 Darque Reckoning
Issues #5-10

– Jack Boniface returns to New Orleans to find himself possessed by the Shadowman, a curse he inherited from his father.

– Battles Master Darque, a 19th century black sorcerer, who is trapped in the Deadside, raising an army to invade earth

SM_ZERO_WRAPAROUND_LAROSA-640x3231

– No real links to Unity or other Valiant titles as of yet, except for small appearance in Harada’s holographic display in the Unity preview art, which shows there may be a future for Shadowman in the Unity storyline.

harada-unity-Doug-Braithwaite

Volume 1 Amazon.com: Link

Volume 2 Amazon.com: Link

QW_TPB_001_COVER

Quantum and Woody Vol.1 World’s Worst Superhero Team

Issues # 1-4

–  Eric Hendersen and adopted brother Woody  receive super powers, linking the odd couple together, after breaking into their father’s research lab while investigating his murder.

– No real links to Unity or other Valiant titles as of yet

 Amazon.com: Link

XO_TPB_VOL_004_COVER_HOMECOMINGX-O Manowar Vol. 4  Homecoming

Issues #15-18

– X-O returns to Earth with shipful of humans, settles in ancient homeland of his birth Dacia, which is now moderna day Bucharest in Romania.

-Aric meets up with Eternal Warrior in Bucharest. The two warriors know each other from the past, when Gilad trained Aric as warrior and was involved in the battle against the Romans in the 5th century,  right before Aric was abducted by the Vine.

– Eternal Warrior warns Aric of the possible ramifications he faces from the nations of the world for forcibly settling a military force in a sovereign nation. A fight erupts between Gilad and Aric, leaving a pride wounded Aric to contemplate his actions.

-Alex Dorian, an Earth-sympathetic Vine replacement human, with connections high up in the governement, is sent to his friend Aric witha proposal from the U.S. government to resettle on U.S. land.

– Russian military recieves orders to fire missle at Aric’s settlement in a ploy to get him away from the encampment while a ground force invades. Aric intercepts missile while his people fight off ground force with Vine weaponary.
– Revelation that orders to fire were given through channels leading back to Toyo Harada.

Amazon.com: Link

Thus the first salvo was fired, leading to UNITY #1

STK623786 comics-unity-variant-cover-2 3225851-unity2 unity-luge-cover 3236232-unity001_covers_wstar_searswm UNITY_001_VARIANT_ADAMS UNITY_001_PULLBOX_CRAIN-194x300 UNITY_001_COVER_BRAITHWAITE_1 UNITY_001_PULLBOX_FOREMAN UNITY_001_PULLBOX_HITCH

Who will win? Who will lose? We’ll all find out November 13th with the launch of
Unity#1

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About Author

Trained by the Four-Color wizard, Hagan, in all things comic-booky, young Robert took to the streets of New York, dragging his large bespectacled head from comic shop to comic shop, absorbing, learning… knowing…. Until a very delayed pubescent spurt in his early thirties when the tumescent lump of comic knowledge burst forth, rupturing into nonsensical rants about Jack Kirby, superhero related tattoos, questionable cosplay activities, worshiping Jim Starlin as a prophet, and courting the young lady working in his local comic shop. Now he is just mad…roaming the streets late at night while walking his dog, plotting and preparing to unleash more comic-booky goodness on an unsuspecting world. He likes bread. The food. He thinks the band is crap. *Hey wanna freak Bob out? Come follow him on twitter (@dyrewolf1218), he's totally new to it and suspects it may be black magic...* - Chuck the editor monkey

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