Written by Gary Sellers
Welcome to the world of Valiant….Again!!
A coworker of mine, who has been getting into comics as a result of the influx of movies and TV shows, recently asked, “Are there any comic companies out there with a more fluid continuity?” I couldn’t help but laugh and say, “Welcome to comics, where time travel can fix any problem, and no one stays dead. If the story gets too confusing…bring on a company-wide reboot every 2 years or so.”
But then, one company came to mind…Valiant.
Valiant was founded in 1989 by former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and former Marvel Comics writer/editor Bob Layton among others. In 1994, after a period of tremendous growth, Valiant’s venture-capital investor, Triumph, sold the company to video game developer Acclaim Entertainment…and that would have been the end…But…
In 2005, they restarted the company with some ambitious investors, along with several executives from both Marvel Comics and Wizard Entertainment. Their lineup of heroes was given a much-needed update from the 1990s extreme treatment that everything had once been washed in.
At a time when Marvel and DC were both doing similar company-wide crossover resets, I became bored with the same tired writing and asked my local comic shop owner what he’d suggest. He pointed to a poster on the wall for THE VALIANT and said it was a great place to start.
This story introduced me to some of Valiant’s prominent characters. One such character was BLOODSHOT; a nanite-blood filled, self-healing killing machine who was brainwashed and sent on impossible missions for a secret organization. He’s a tortured soul who gets flashbacks to events from his life before he was BLOODSHOT. You can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.
Another character was THE ETERNAL WARRIOR; an immortal, master tactician, and one of the greatest warriors on the planet. He has guarded Earth and its Geomancers (shamans who speak with the Earth and protect it) for over 10,000 years, while chasing down the main antagonist for most of that time.
…And those are just two of the characters!
I have since gone back to read everything that leads up to the current story arcs.
One thing I’ve noticed in Valiant Comics is how well these stories are written and put together. The endings are satisfying and thought-provoking.
So, after I finished reading THE VALIANT, my next read was BOOK OF DEATH and the rare BOOK OF DEATH: LEGENDS OF THE GEOMANCER – only released as single-issue comics while telling the history and origin of the Geomancers. It will never be re-released in TPB form, or reprinted. So if you find them, keep them! BOOK OF DEATH was a tremendous success. It went on to become one of the best-reviewed comics of the year, and the biggest-selling indie crossover event of the decade.
BOOK OF DEATH, which summoned memories of carefully reciting the words “Klaatu..Varada..(cough)Necktie,” is a foreshadowing of what WILL happen many years into the future of the Valiant universe. This is not an alternate timeline or other dimension. This IS the future of the Valiant characters.
It’s a very interesting move from Valiant Comics to skip ahead like this. What I’m enjoying right now is the road there, and let me tell you, it’s going to get bumpy ahead…so buckle up!
The Valiant universe is coherent, and the characters from one book will often appear in another book. References to other characters will be made, and so on. This is a regular occurrence (with Valiant Comics) even outside of crossover events.
I’m excited since Valiant signed a nine figure, five-picture movie deal with Sony, featuring two of their biggest characters Bloodshot and Harbinger (an Omega-level telepath who is still discovering his powers, such as mind-control, telepathy, telekinesis, and more.) There are a lot of X-Men parallels in Valiant Comics. If you’ve enjoyed the tales of Marvel’s mutants, you’ll love the Valiant books.
The next time that you find yourself wandering the aisles of your local comic book store, looking for something new to read, grab something by Valiant and it will remind you of why you love reading comics in the first place.
Gary Sellers is a lifelong fan of graphic literature, a First edition AD&D enthusiast, a talented performer, a recording artist, a fisherman, a kayaker, and really just one of the nicest fellows you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.