It’s no secret that Valiant Comics is one of my favorite publishers. Ever since their revival in 2012, Valiant has succeeded in producing some of the best comics on the market, bringing us strong creative teams that, for the most part, have stayed unaltered over the past two years.
This past week, Valiant announced a new initiative known as “Valiant First.” Under this plan, Valiant will publish a new #1 every month, starting in May and continuing until the end of 2014. I figured I’d give my thoughts on these new proposed series, and talk about my hopes, excitement, and even some fears surrounding these upcoming releases.
Rai was one of Valiant’s original heroes back in the 90s, and fans knew he’d return in the revived Valiant, especially thanks to the teaser at the end of Unity #1. The new series launches in May and will help flesh out Valiant’s future, one aspect of which fans have already seen in the current arc of Eternal Warrior. Honestly, I’m not big into futuristic stories, but this one caught my eye for one reason: artist Clayton Crain on interiors. Crain, who is also one of Judge’s favorite artists, is an absolute master and is a perfect fit for drawing the beautiful world of Neo-Tokyo in the year 4001. Rai’s story focuses on a figure who protects modern Japan from threats, while questioning his role in society, and even his potential humanity.
Verdict: I’m on board for this title, if for no other reason than Crain’s artwork.
Valiant’s big crossover of the Summer is titled Armor Hunters and will bring together X-O Manowar, Unity, Bloodshot, and Harbinger (more on those two in a moment). A team of powerful individual from across the galaxy come to Earth to hunt down Aric of Dacia and the Armor of Shanhara he wears. This series was announced some time ago, and thus didn’t surprise me at all when I heard it was part of “Valiant First.” Still, the team of Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite will no doubt make this a strong series full of high-energy sci-fi action.
Verdict: I was already planning to buy this a few months ago, and am still very excited to read it.
Armor Hunters: Bloodshot
Starting in July, Bloodshot joins the battle against the Armor Hunters. To be blunt, I’ve got no interest in this series. I’m not familiar with Joe Harris, but I’m not really a fan of Trevor Hairsine nor of the character of Bloodshot. My guess is that this mini-series will replace the main Bloodshot title (which, sadly, hasn’t had great sales since the end of “Harbinger Wars”). Perhaps, moving forward, Bloodshot will just star in various mini-series (which I think is probably going to be the model for Shadowman as well). This could work, as new fans are more likely to try new #1 issues that are part of a short story line.
Verdict: No interest whatsoever. I’m sure it won’t be a bad series, given Valiant’s track record, but it just doesn’t interest me.
Armor Hunters: Harbinger
Harbinger has seen ups and downs as a series, but overall has been quite strong. It seems this mini-series will run alongside the main Harbinger title and instead focus on Generation Zero, a group of young Harbingers who escaped from Project Rising Spirit. It seems these Psiots will fight directly against the Armor Hunters as well. I like Harbinger, but feel Joshua Dysart’s writing works better when read in sequence, so I’ll wait to pick this one up.
Verdict: Sounds good, but I’ll wait for the trade.
Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! I love Quantum & Woody and I love Archer & Armstrong so smashing those two series together is sure to be loads of fun! Honestly, this is probably the “Valiant First” title I’m the most excited for, since it’s going to be a barrel of laughs. Sadly, the release of this series makes me think Archer & Armstrong is probably going to end, and maybe Quantum & Woody as well. Still, if the characters stick around and continue to make me laugh each month, I can’t complain.
Verdict: I eagerly await the first issue!
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage
Valiant’s first book headlined by a female hero is finally here! I thought Dr. Mirage was pretty cool when she showed up in Shadowman, and I’m intrigued by the potential of a solo series. Roberto de la Torre is an amazing artist and perfectly suited for this dark, magically-focused title. The series focuses on Dr. Mirage trying to revive her dead husband by journeying to the Deadside…I get the feeling Master Darque can’t be far behind!
Verdict: Very excited, and will definitely purchase at launch.
Well, there you have it everyone! “Valiant First” looks like it holds a lot of promise, and there are still three more series to be announced in the coming month. Currently, my money is on a Ninjak solo series and possibly a launch of another Shadowman mini-series. What are your thoughts on this new initiative? Are you excited for any of these titles?
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