Sometimes the best ideas in the comic book industry don't come from heavy-hitters like Marvel or DC; instead, they come from the smaller publishers that lurk just below the mainstream. And in the latest example of indie innovation, Valiant Entertainment will debut the first ever QR code-augmented talking comic book cover on May 2. The technology will be featured on the cover of X-O Manowar #1, written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Cary Nord.  

"We want fans worldwide to know that something special is happening in their local comic shop during the build-up to May 2nd and the launch of the new Valiant Universe," said Valiant Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "Valiant's QR Voice Variant is not only a new innovation in comics and a true incentive for retailers, but an enhanced and immersive experience for fans as well. By merging elements of print and digital, we've hopefully created something that fans will just have to see in person!"

Comic book stores all around the country will begin receiving promotional QR Voice posters for the issue as early as Wednesday. All fans will have to do is walk up to it and use their smarthphones to hear a message directly from X-O Manowar himself. The poster will be illustrated by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, scripted by Robert Venditti, and animated by New York's Continuity Studios.

X-O Manowar was created by former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and former Iron Man artist Bob Layton in 1992. Since then, the character's books have sold over 8-million copies worldwide and he even starred alongside Iron Man in the 1996 video game, Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal.