In January 2015, Valiant plans to expand its line with a wave of new series, including an ongoing Ivar, Timewalker title from the acclaimed team behind the new Archer & Armstrong book, Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry.

Ivar was created by Barry Windsor-Smith as a supporting cast member in the 1990s Archer & Armstrong series, the third part of Valiant's "immortal trio" along with Armstrong and The Eternal Warrior. He made his debut in the new Valiant Universe in the opening pages of Van Lente & Henry's Archer & Armstrong #1, as a schemer whose plans gave all three brothers the power of immortality – and destroyed an entire world in the process. And as the new series begins, Ivar has made his way to the present day, hoping to atone for his wrongs and keep the past, present, and future from colliding. We spoke to Fred Van Lente to learn more about his plans for the series.

 

Raul Allen

 

ComicsAlliance: Were there elements of the original Timewalker story that especially struck you, and drew you to this character? Will this new series include nods to the previous continuity?

Fred Van Lente: The OG Timewalker is probably my favorite from the Valiant 1.0 era, mostly because I love time travel stories and historical fiction. And yes, there should be some familiar enemy or enemies in there for OG fans, but I won't explain more, because spoilers.

CA: You and Clayton have had a successful run on Archer & Armstrong, so you've presumably had a while to settle into a working relationship – are you finding ways to specifically play to each other's strengths while working on this? 

FVL: There's a heavy element of romance in this series, and Clayton's greatest strength, for me, is the subtlety of his expressions and the acting of his cartooning in general that serves him so well in the humor of Archer & Armstrong and the high drama of Harbinger. The book opens with a scene between Neela, the female lead, and Ivar that wouldn't sing the same way under an artist without Clayton's skills.
CA: What's the work process like between you two? 
 

FVL: I work the same, generally speaking, from project to project – the curious can check out my script format at my web site. Clayton and I also chat quite a bit on the phone during the course of a book, and that's very helpful too.

 

Archer & Armstrong #0, art by Clayton Henry and David Baron

 

CA: The modern-day Valiant U has a long and complex history that's being unraveled bit by bit, and Ivar has literally been there since before the beginning. Are you treating this series as a way to fill in some of the world's backstory, or just looking at it as a fun stand-alone project?

 
FVL: Well, not in a History Lesson sense; the suspense and the characters are always more important than that, but it is terrific that the Valiant U's history and its future are so integral to it, through characters like Armstrong and Eternal Warrior and Rai. And Timewalker will definitely be taking advantage of that.
CA: Given the time travel premise – any eras or periods that you were eager to include?
 
FVL: The second issue is called "Let's Kill Hitler!" and I'm pretty damn pleased with it, if that gives you any hint.
CA: Now that you've reestablished this character in Archer & Armstrong, and are spinning him off into his own series, do you have more plans for him, and ideas for where you're going to take him next?
 
FVL: Ivar shows up at an unsuspecting physicist's door, and tells her he has to save her because she's about to invent time travel, and from that moment on, she – and the reader – is whisked on an incredible adventure from the beginning to the end of time, and all the points in between. How long will that adventure last? Well, with Ivar Anni-Padda, time is fluid, right? So the best thing is to stick around and see...
Ivar, Timebreaker #1 design variant cover by David Aja
Ivar, Timebreaker #1 variant cover by Jorge Molina