Comics company goes head-to-head with giantsWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Living up to its name, Valiant Comics went head-to-head with the biggest comics companies in 1992 and came out on top. After only three years in the business, the Little Company That Could was selling books in the millions of copies, matching DC and Marvel, and garnering acclaim throughout the industry for its revamping of old Gold Key Comics characters and its edgy original heroes. But, by 1996, due to internal strife, the comic mill ceased production and Valiant was relegated to the dustbin of comics history.
Flash forward. A new group of investors has bought the name and the Valiant library of properties and within one year has made great strides in reasserting the Valiant brand of strong stories and industry buzz. With the loss of legal rights to the Gold Key concepts, the new firm has taken to publishing new versions of Valiant original characters. Ed Katschke of Monarch Cards & Comics said it is an “honest delight” to have watched the comeback unfold during the past year.
“One of Valiant’s primary strengths has been the diversity of genres spanning its repertoire while still grounding itself firmly in superheroic serialized fiction,” he said. “X-O Manowar, featuring the time-lost adventures of a barbarian from ancient Rome wielding a fantastical suit of alien armor, covers those with an appetite for science and fiction. Archer and Armstrong is a charming buddy-action tale wrapped within a time-spanning conspiracy that would give novelist Dan Brown’s fans a thrill and a chuckle.
“Harbinger is the traditional superhero comic, featuring a cast of super-powered teenagers on the run from a power-mad villain out to suborn their abilities for his own purposes. Bloodshot is the widescreen action/adventure saga following the exploits of a government-created super soldier gone rogue. And Shadowman, the newest reboot of the bunch, covers the supernatural/horror genre nicely and makes good use of its New Orleans location.”
Katschke said that while Valiant’s artists fall into the “B-list” category, the visuals on the books are dynamic and strong and complement the solid writing. In all, he said, this new iteration may even surpass the original output. Interested parties will find that the first trade collections of the first few Valiant titles are now available.