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Graphic Breakdown: ‘Black Hood’, ‘X-O Manowar’, ‘Britannia’, ‘Rough Riders: Riders on the Storm’

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

It’s Friday so let’s talk about some comic books not in the DC Universe!
Black Hood Season 2 #3 
Written by Duane Swiercynski
Illustrated by Greg Scott
Published by Dark Circle Comics

Man, it feels like a long wait between issues! That’s because it has been! But that’s okay…this is one of those comic books that is totally worth the wait. This is part three of the storyline “The Nobody Murders” and things are really heating up here!

Where The Nobody goes, death follows! But Greg Hettinger, a.k.a. The Black Hood, has no choice but to trail the psychotic assassin all the way across the United States, hoping to stop him before the body count climbs any higher.

Greg steels himself for the worst — but nothing can prepare him for the shock waiting for him back in Philadelphia.

Swiercynski is one of my favorite writers in the field. His stories always go into places I never expect and he nails this character perfectly.

Greg Scott is a good artist on this as well. I just wish it came out faster. Still, this is pretty great and I’d rather wait for each issue if they are this high in quality.

RATING: A
Britannia TPB 
Written by Peter Milligan
Illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp and Cary Nord
Published by Valiant Comics

Well, this is a nice surprise. Peter Milligan has always been a good comic book writer.

Putting him in the Valiant Universe is a very smart move. He always has interesting m stories and strong characterizations. And this comic series is no different.

On the fringes of civilization, the world’s first detective is about to make an unholy discovery… Ruled by the Fates. Manipulated by the Gods. Commanded by Caesar. In the year 65 A.D., one’s destiny was not his own. At the height of Nero’s reign, a veteran of Rome’s imperial war machine has been dispatched to the farthest reaches of the colonies to investigate unnatural happenings… In the remote outpost of Britannia, Antonius Axia – the First Detective – will become Rome’s only hope to reassert control over the empire’s most barbaric frontier…and keep the monsters that bridge the line between myth and mystery at bay.    

The story is well crafted. The art by Ryp and Nord complete the package and round it out. This is a very good comic book series and I enjoyed every second of reading it. Pick up the trade as it is well worth your time.

RATING: A-
X-O Manowar #1  
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Tomas Giorello
Published by Valiant Comics

How cool is it that Matt Kindt is writing X-O Manowar?

It’s super cool! Kindt has a flair for the Valiant Universe and we are lucky he is creating in it. This was one of the books I’ve been eagerly awaiting…and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a well written book from start to finish!

Now, far from home on a strange and primitive new world, Aric has begun a new life. Liberated from his past, he tends to his crops. Free from war. Free from violence. Free from the armor.

But the machinery of death marches his way once again. Conscripted into an alien army and thrown into an unforgiving conflict, the fury inside him finds voice as he is forced to embrace the armor once more.

With it, he will decimate armies, topple empires and incite interplanetary warfare.

The art by Giorello is top notch as well. Looking to get into Valiant’s line of books but not sure where to start? Here is your opportunity. This is one of the top releases of the year thus far.

RATING: A
Rough Riders: Riders on the Storm #1
Written by Adam L. Glass
Illustrated by Patrick Olliffe
Published by Aftershock Comics

It’s good to see Patrick Olliffe drawing comic books this good again.

I loved his work years ago and kind of lost track of where he’s been. His work is as fine as ever on this title.

It’s beautiful to look at and he’s a consummate professional.

Led by a young Theodore Roosevelt, a motley crew of soon-to-be American legends must work together to solve a mystery that threatens life itself. Harry Houdini — street magician and master of misdirection. Annie Oakley — a washed-up entertainer, eager for a chance to prove herself in a real war. Jack Johnson — an undefeated brawler and the son of ex-slaves, determined to get his shot at the heavyweight championship…When a terrifying alien technology destroys the USS Maine, these unlikely allies set sail for bloody Cuba, into the heart of a brewing conflict, to wage a shadow war against the greatest threat mankind has ever known. Before they were famous, they were…ROUGH RIDERS.

Glass writes a hell of an inventive tale as well. This is a great start to what is sure to be a good time. There are a ton of creative touches in this. Pick it up. You’re sure to love it as much as I did.

RATING: A

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