Valiant Comics‘ shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.
In March, JAM and Steve delved into the handsome hunk brothers Ivar, Timewalker and Eternal Warrior, heading to the past and then the future and back to the past and, well, you get the idea. This month the pair have returned to discuss JAM’s latest assignment: the “monthly event” series Unity, which is wholly entwined within the ongoing stories of the Valiant Universe… as well as the almost completely disconnected events of Divinity.
It's been a while since we've talked about Ninjak --- unquestionably the single greatest character in the entire Valiant roster, which you can tell because he's basically Batman plus Snake Eyes and his name is Ninjak --- but if you haven't been keeping up, Colin King has been having a pretty rough go of it. Not only has he been dealing with the kind of standard hassles that you get when you're MI-6's go-to ninja, but in his last adventure, he had to journey through the supernatural dimension called Deadside, with the kind of horrifying consequences that you'd expect from that sort of adventure.
Now, though, when Ninjak #14 hits shelves next week, it's time for Ninjak to head back to the literal castle he calls home for some rest, relaxation, and an explosion that blows up his house on page four. It's the start of the next arc, "The Siege of King's Castle," and you can check out a preview below!
Following the end of his widely acclaimed Dark Horse series Mind MGMT, creator Matt Kindt decided to try something completely different for his next project --- a claustrophobic thriller set in 'real time'. Each issue of the upcoming Dept H is set during a 24-hour period in an underwater science lab that is slowly flooding. As the series moves on, time quickly runs out for the people inside as they try to work out who sabotaged the base --- and try to stay alive.
A spy series that starts as a murder mystery and quickly tightens into a tense race against time, the series sees Matt Kindt joined by his wife, watercolor artist Sharlene Kindt, on colors. Having worked on sections of MIND MGMT, this new series marks her first ongoing comics work for a major publisher. To explore the depths of Dept H further, ComicsAlliance spoke to both Matt and Sharlene Kindt about their work. We also have an exclusive reveal of their cover for issue #3.
Valiant Comics has been on a roll with itsevent comics since returning to publishing several years ago, with hits like Harbinger Wars, Armor Hunters, and Book of Death, which manage to stay controlled and contained while bringing all of your favorite Valiant characters together for the summer. This year, Valiant goes back to the future, all the way to the year 4001 A.D., to see what the future holds for the heroes of the Valiant Universe.
One character with very specific ties to 4001 A.D. is Rai, who serves as the spirit guardian of New Japan, a mechanical metropolis that orbits the Earth. In a brand new story arc beginning in Rai #13, Matt Kindt and Cafu promise to reveal the never-before-told story of how New Japan rose to power, and the creation of the first Rai, and we’ve got preview pages from the issue to show off.
Rai #12, by Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain, brings an end to current storyline "The Orphan," and promises to send the cyborg Rai off into the next chapter of his adventures. While robots rampage on the giant space station that is New Japan, Rai is hanging out on Earth with Gilad the Eternal Warrior, who in Rai's time has come to look a lot like Gandalf.
Valiant Comics' shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.
Over the last month Steve has introduced JAM to the superpowered Harbinger team and the brainwashed assassin Bloodshot. For the next assignment, though he set JAM homework of a more cosmic nature --- the flagship Valiant series X-O Manowar. If that wasn't enough, it's also finally time to talk about the British Enigma that is Ninjak. She gamely accepted the mission --- and now they're back to talk about it!
There are a lot of ways to end a comic book series, but when the book is built around superheroic action, that's usually the way it goes out. Big explosions, superhero punch-outs, and at least one dramatic death tend to be the elements in the big final issue formula. But when Unity comes to an end in December with #25, following the world-shattering events of Valiant's big Book of Death crossover, that's not how it's going out.
Instead, they're doing an oversized All-Comedy special, featuring Valiant mainstays like Matt Kindt and James Asmus, and bringing in The Daily Show's Elliott Kalan, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's Daniel Kibblesmith, and the comics writing debut of Steven Universe's Tom Scharpling --- and that's just the tip of Unity's final issue iceberg.
If you're anything like me, then you want - no, you require --- as much Ninjak as humanly possible to be delivered into your waiting eyballs at all times, and if that's the case, I've got some good news for you. Next week, Valiant's #1 ninja --- or, you know, their #11 ninja, if we're going alphabetically --- is taking the center stage in not one, but two new stories.
First, Ninjak #6 continues the awesome ongoing series with a brand new story arc that pits Colin King and his high-tech ninjutsu against La Barbe, a mysterious French adversary who preserves his anonymity with a Scrooge McDuckian pile of money and some Ninjak-hunting laser weapons.
And if that wasn't enough, Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak jumps a hundred years into the future to see what he's up to in the post-apocalyptic world ravaged by the Armor Hunters. Can you handle that much Ninjak?!
Since their first tiles appeared on comic-shop shelves in 2012, the resurrected Valiant Comics has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their new take on the characters and mythology of the original 1990s Valiant line, their pursuit of top-shelf creators, their focus on storytelling and world-building, and their gift for unorthodox marketing and promotion has drawn praise from both fans and press, led to a film development deal with Sony, and won scores of industry awards (and award nominations). They've proven themselves to be not just cashing in on past glories, but a company that's capable of pushing their stable of characters in new and exciting directions while remaining true to their roots.
While other superhero comics publishers are mining their pasts for big crossover events this spring and summer, Valiant is blasting ahead into the future, specifically, its characters' end times.
The new, four-issue event series Book of Death, written by Robert Venditti and with art by Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite, promises to reveal how characters including Ninjak, Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Toyo Harada and others will bite it, be redeemed, be replaced, or otherwise change in the future.
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