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 with relaunched series, and it’s been steadily growing ever since. So it’s next area of growth, naturally, is movies.

Deadline reports that Valiant will follow Marvel and DC into the film world with an attempt to engineer its own “cinematic universe” of interconnected titles. The publisher already had a few comics in Hollywood development, including Bloodshot (about a super-powered, chalky-skinned assassin) and Archer & Armstrong (following a pair of immortal buddies). Now they will partner with “Beijing-based studio and production company DMG Entertainment to develop their properties for motion pictures, television, publishing, and licensing.” DMG “co-produced and co-financed” Iron Man 3, and they also had a hand in Looper and the upcoming Point Break remake.

DMG CEO Dan Mintz said in a statement, “Comic superheroes are the most lucrative and sought after IP for movie franchises, so taking a stake in the last independent massive comic universe is a strategic investment for DMG that will produce movies and TV that are both appealing and relevant to a global audience.”

Children of the the ’90s like myself fondly remember Valiant, but their characters are still pretty obscure to mainstream audiences (and several of their most popular books from that era, including Magnus: Robot Fighter and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, were licensed from other companies). But they do still have some fun concepts (X-O Manowar is basically Iron Man piloted by an ancient warrior) that could make for some very cool movies. Or universes.


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