DEATHMATE IS COMING! At least according to a cryptic teaser from Valiant Comics sent out earlier today, announcing a new series or possible summer event from the publisher in the vein of their previous Armor Hunters and Book of Death crossovers. What’s interesting about Deathmate, however, is that it shares its name with a Valiant crossover from the early 90s with Image Comics.

The original Deathmate series came out in 1993 and 1994, and almost everything about it was confusing as heck. To start with, the issues weren’t numbered, and instead were designated with a color, with Valiant publishing Deathmate Prologue, Yellow and Blue and Image releasing Deathmate Black, Red and Epilogue. There were also preview issues titled Deathmate Green, and Orange & Pink, that were released through various magazines.

 

 

The creative teams for the original Deathmate were pretty stellar, and had rare collaborations, such as Jim Lee inking over Barry Windsor-Smith pencils, and Marc Silvestri and Joe Quesada sharing art duties. Each issue contained multiple stories featuring Valiant and Image characters like Ninjak and WildC.A.T.s or Solar and Supreme.

Unfortunately, the publishing schedule was thrown off completely on Image’s side, with Deathmate Red shipping after Deathmate Epilogue and causing headaches for fans and retailers alike.

Bob Layton, former editor-in-chief of Valiant, later referred to the project as an “unmitigated disaster,” and noted that it sounded the beginnings of the problems that  would plague Valiant at a time when the comics industry bubble was about ready to burst.

 

 

It’ll be interesting to see what form this new Deathmate takes, and if it is indeed another crossover with Image, what crossovers are we likely to see? Archer & Armstrong vs Sex Criminals? X-O Manowar vs Saga? Faith vs Cry Havoc? We’ll just have to wait and find out.

 

But Hey, Every Publisher Has Its Share Of Troubled Event Series...