Back when they first announced it, Valiant referred to Matt Kindt and Cafu's upcoming Rapture as "Lord of the Rings for the Valiant universe." It's designed as a fantasy epic sprawling across four issues, building on the mythology of the Deadside and exploring a shadowy world of demonic fantasy and a war against Heaven itself. But if we're going to be real here, I think there's a chance that it might actually end up being better than Lord of the Rings.
I mean, Lord of the Rings doesn't have Ninjak jump-kicking skeletons, now does it?
Since its resurrection earlier this decade, Valiant Entertainment has rebuilt its roster of heroes into powerhouse franchises, and this year seems set to take advantage of that well-earned iconography. The publisher has teased a new initiative for 2017 titled Icons which seems to be a celebrating of the most, well, iconic characters under the Valiant banner.
If your problem with the Valiant Universe has been that it just hasn't been heavy metal enough, then folks, I have some good news, and it comes in the form of Ninjak jump-kicking a skeleton's head off while also chopping that same skeleton in half with a katana.
In May, Matt Kindt and Cafu are launching Rapture, a new crossover that teams up Ninjak and Shadowman, focusing on an ancient war that threatens to destroy both Heaven and Earth.
Shadowman had his own ongoing series with a new take on magic and mysticism early in Valiant's relaunch back in 2012, but after that title ended, he's been conspicuous by his absence. Now, with Divinity III rewriting the Valiant universe with a new history where the Soviet Union took over the world, the stage is set for Shadowman's return and a supernatural battle for the fate of New Stalingrad --- or as we might know it in this timeline, New York City. Check out a first look below!
The Valiant Universe of 1,985 years in the future is an ever-more fascinating place. That's clearer than ever in 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1, written by Jody Houser and Rafer Roberts, with art by Robert Gill and colors by Michael Spicer. It seems that there's a city on this future Earth occupied by the dead, a last outpost left behind from a war between the dead and the living. The city of the dead has been at peace with its human neighbors for centuries, but that piece is falling apart.
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.
Last time, Steve introduced JAM to the four main story types in the Valiant Universe: political (books like Harbinger and Bloodshot), sci-fi (X-O Manowar), comedy (Quantum & Woody, Archer & Armstrong), and supernatural (Shadowman, The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage). He set JAM the task of reading the first sixteen issues of Shadowman and The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage --- and now they're back to talk about it!
When it comes to shared comics universes, most people turn their mind straight to Marvel and DC, publishers that have mastered the concept over several decades. But a few years ago, Valiant Comics came roaring back, relaunching themselves for a contemporary audience, and providing a simpler superhero universe to get to grips with. Yet even a small shared universe can feel like a lot to learn about, and readers may have held back from taking the plunge.
To help those readers whose curiosity has been piqued, we've assembled our own team of 'delinquents' to break things down. Steve Morris knows the Valiant Universe inside out; J.A. Micheline is completely new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, like what exactly is a "psiot", and who is that bloke in the blue and yellow helmet, and why is everybody so afraid of a goat; and Morris has answers. We hope.
X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Shadowman. These are the heroes of the Valiant Universe. In the 1990s, they were some of the hottest properties in all of comics. With top-notch talent and huge amounts of buzz, Valiant became a legitimate challenger to the dominance of the big two publishers, Marvel and DC. Their first issues (along with their fancy-schmancy chromium covers) became enormous collector’s items, and their series dominated the sales charts. Valiant was eventually sold to Acclaim, who later shuttered the imprint, but in 2012 Valiant returned from a new publisher with relaunched series and it’s been steadily growing ever since. So it’s next area of growth, naturally, is movies.
It's a very interesting time to be a Valiant comics fan. While the company's roster is made up of titles that revive the classic Valiant properties of the 1990s, they've proving to be anything but predictable in terms of content and presentation. Over the last six months alone, they've launched insane promotional campaigns, kicked off major crossover events, brought back long-time favorite creative teams, announced new projects from major creators, and gained acclaim for a publishing approach that seems more or less like "bring in topnotch talent, let them work their magic, and have fun".
Later this year, the company will release its first book named for an character that didn't have a counterpart in the '90s Valiant line: Punk Mambo #0, a special one-shot issue written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Robert Gill focusing on the mohawked voodoo priestess first introduced in the pages of Shadowman. Described by Valiant as the story of how Punk Mambo migrated from crusty British high society to the dark world of American voodoo, and how she returns to her origins to discover "the punks and the voodoo priests she used to know have cleaned themselves up, and she’s a loud, belching ghost from their past, come to break in the new furniture…and break some faces!"
ComicsAlliance readers are getting the first look at three different covers to issue #0, and an exclusive conversation with writer/creator Peter Milligan about his plans for the character and her
Following the successful launch of a Valiant Comics roleplaying game on DriveThruRPG.com, the publisher announced this week that it will partner with the RPG site's sister site, DriveThruComics.com, to offer its entire comics library -- the old and the new -- DRM-free, as PDFs. New comics will be available day-and-date.
Not only that, but for the next 30 days, Valiant will offer eight of its number-one issues for free through the DriveThruComics website; Archer and Armstrong, Unity, Bloodshot, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Quantum and Woody, Shadowman and X-O Manowar.
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