Sovereigns #0

The beginning of an epic tale that will change everything you know about some of comicdom’s greatest and longest-tenured heroes! Solar, Magnus, Dr. Spektor & Turok! Apart, they’ve saved countless lives a hundred times over. Together, they form a team that has protected the world in the past, present and future. Now, they will be reunited one last time to face a threat that will forever change their legacy and bring them face to face with their final destiny!

Plus! Three backup features introducing the all-new, all-different, never before seen heroes, Magnus, Turok and Dr. Spektor. Wait-what?!

Okay I did get a tad confused when I first opened this book.  Even though it said Dynamite on the cover I thought this was a Valiant book because well it has Solar, Mangus, Dr. Spektor and Turok in the book. And well Valiant was and is built on those characters.

So a fun history lesson on these characters is needed for these –

Gold Key Comics was created in 1962, when its parent company Western Publishing switched to in-house publishing rather than packaging content for branding and distribution by its business partner, Dell Comics

They did do various versions of established properties from Star Trek to Popeye, but over their history they create their own characters from Magnus Robot Fighter to Dr Spektor.  Western struggled through the 1970s and eventually closed shop by 1984.

Then years later, Jim Shooter, former Editor in Chief of Marvel comics tried to buy Marvel and when their bid was beat out by businessman and controversial figure Ronald Perelman.  So Jim Shooter and crew went and started Voyager Communication and Valant comics was its imprint.  Valiant was a mixture of original creations and Western Publishing’s old characters like Turok.

By 1994 Valiant is  bought out by Acclaim and video game manufacture who used the various characters to make new video games.  They continued to make comics under the name Acclaim Comics.  By 2004 Acclaim files for Chapter 7.

In 2005, the rights to Valiant/Acclaim’s original characters such as Archer and Armstrong, Rai, and Quantum and Woody were auctioned off and bought by Valiant Entertainment in 2007, while the rights to the three licensed characters (Solar, Magnus and Turok) reverted to Classic Media (then-owner of the Gold Key Comics properties), which was bought out by DreamWorks Animation SKG in July 2012.

So the current Valiant has all the characters created in the 1990s by the original Valiant and now Dynamite has the license for the characters that Valiant had borrowed from Gold Key/Western.  This isn’t the first time Dynamite has licensed a similar character to leverage the success of another publisher.

When Dark Horse Comics successfully relaunched the character of Conan in comics, Dynamite followed suit with launching a line of comics of the character Red Sonja.  Red Sonja had a similar odd history of ownership because while she was created as a mash up on several Robert E Howard characters and stories, she was technically created for a Marvel comic when they had the Conan license.

Suffice to say Dynamite are pretty good at splitting legal hairs and getting ahold of characters attached to pretty successful brands.

That all said, my personal opinion of the new relaunch of the Valiant books wasn’t much.  Considering how hidebound comics can be toward nostalgia (just look at Super Hero Comics at their worse), hearing about a couple of rich fan boys bringing back Valiant didn’t exactly excite me.  That said they were pretty smart and hired the right people and gave those creators the room to create good comics that has cut out a piece of the comics market share for Valiant.

And now finally I get to Sovereigns, Dynamite new book and line of their twist on the old Gold Key characters.

If you wonder why I had to do hundreds of words of backstory about this book, first I do love the history of comics but also because this helps provide context of where I am coming from about this particular book.

These characters have been bouncing around for so long in so many different versions that honestly there is a bit of fatigue toward them for an outsider to their comics like me.  Nostalgia doesn’t work if you never read them in the first place.  Reboots just become tedious if you’ve never read them.

That all said I really enjoyed the whole of the 0 issue of Sovereigns.  It’s basically an anthology book of short story intros to the various books they have coming out.  Overall the different writing and art was great and I was really interested of what was coming.  The only complaint would be the last story for Dr Spektor.  The other stories were a bit more serious, so the slacker loser mage angle of Dr Spektor was just boring and uninspiring.

So overall I’d recommend to keep an eye out for these new books except for Dr Spektor.  That type of story has been done better.

I give this book a 3.5 out of 5.  It would have had 4 if it wasn’t for Dr. Spektor

If you like this comic and are interested to learn more go to – Dynamite

Sources –

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>