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.
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.
On the surface, Valiant's Ninjak is an almost silly fantasy character: He's a hyper-capable ninja with the word "ninja" in his name. He's also a British spy. He lives in a castle.
The first issue of the new Ninjak series by writer Matt Kindt and artists Clay Mann and Butch Guice certainly embraces those preteen wish-fulfillment elements, but adds some surprising depth, too, with character flashbacks and quieter moments that dig deep into who this updated version of Colin King really is.
We sat down with Kindt to talk about how he struck a balance between the silly and the serious in the new series, as well as the trippy sci-fi action of Divinity, his new Valiant series with artist Trevor Hairsine, which debuted earlier this month.
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.
This summer, Valiant Comics is releasing a whole bunch of new number-one issues in their Valiant First initiative, but dig down into it and you'll see that quite a few of those books all tie into the same crossover: Armor Hunters.
The first issue of the Armor Hunters series by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite hits stands in June, and it'll have big ramifications for the Valiant universe. To that end, we spoke with Venditti and Matt Kindt, whose superhero team book Unity will tie into Armor Hunters and who is also writing the new Valiant series Rai, which debuts in late April, about the big event and more stuff coming from the publisher.
In a move similar to putting a talking goat on one of the covers of Quantum & Woody #1, Valiant Comics has teamed up with Cinefix for a "fully animated," 8-bit variant cover to November's Unity #1.
Of course, the cover itself isn't animated. Smartphone owners can scan a code on the cover to watch a two-minute-and-thirty-second video that uses Super Mario Bros. 3 graphics to explain the premise of the series.
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