Every day this week, Valiant released teaser images and previews of major new arcs, impressive new creative teams, title changes, revelations and new ongoing series.
Here’s a glance of what is surely going to be a summer to remember:
Quantum and Woody #1
Written by James Asmus Art by Tom Fowler
Quantum and Woody was an instant classic when first released during the Acclaim era of Valiant publishing. Written by Christopher Priest and drawn by M.D. Bright, Quantum and Woody was an exciting superhero buddy book that was both deep and introspective as well as flat-out hilarious.
James Asmus, a stand up comedian besides being a comic book writer, seems a good choice to fill big shoes. His work over at Marvel showed a deep respect and knowledge of the characters he was writing, especially his Gambit run, and an ability to work them into fun action-centered stories with ease. Fowler’s art is reminiscent of a more humor oriented Paul Pope, with the nuances to pull off the depth M.D. Bright put in his characters expressions and body language, a skill very integral to the characterization of the cast of this book.
Plus they’re using Vincent the goat! and keeping the white-typeset–on-black-background chapter titles ala Clerks and Fraiser. This promises to be the pee-your pants with laughter sleeper hit of the summer.
Quantum and Woody #1
Writer: James Asmus
Penciler: Tom Fowler
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook, Marcos Martin, Andrew Robinson, Tom Fowler
Editor: Jody LeHeup
Variant covers: (click to embiggen)
On Sale: July 10, 2013
X-O Manowar #15: The Road to Unity starts here, guest-starring the Eternal Warrior
Written by Robert Venditti Art by Lee Garbett
Yes! Thank you, guys! Finally, the magic word… UNITY. What is sure to be the lead in to Valiant’s next event book, X-O Manowar # 15 is the beginning of a whole new era for Valiant. So far most of the VU books have remained independent of each other. While Harbinger Wars brought the Harbinger and Bloodshot worlds much, much closer together, and hints in Archer and Armstrong started connecting them to X-O and Bloodshot, Unity, if it lives up to its predecessors impact, seems to be the unifying event VU will use to bring over a years worth of writing to a beautiful crescendo.
The Eternal Warrior (more on him further down) has met Aric before, thousands of years ago, and not surprisingly there seems to be bad blood between them.
X-O returned from his rampage in space, with an army of Visigoths at his back, claiming Rome for his own. With his advanced sentient suit of armor, who can deny him his claim?
Maybe a UNITY (ahem) of the Valiant heroes. In the hands of two Valiant Vets like Venditti and Garbett, I’m sure this is going to be a bumpy road.
X-O Manowar #15
Writer: Robert Venditti
Penciler: Lee Garbett
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Cover Artist: Trevor Hairsine, Clayton Crain, Ladrönn, Kekai Kotaki
Editor: Warren Simons, Josh Johns
On Sale: July 10, 2013
Written by Matt Kindt Art by ChrisCross
Bloodshot has run around wreaking havoc and killing his way through Project Rising Spirit to find out who he truly is. This August we find out the truth. Matt Kindt ( of Mind MGMT fame ) and ChrisCross are the surprising creative team behind Bloodshot #0, telling the origin of our titular hero, a story he doesn’t even know.
Is he a soldier? A family man? A cold-blooded killer? All is promised to be revealed in this landmark issue.
(Editor’s Note: Matt Kindt is kind of a favorite around here, we spoke to him at NYCC this past year. Check out the interview here)
(Editor’s Note: No covers released yet. Release date? The site says August)
Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14
Written by Joshua Dysart and Christos Gage Art by Emanuela Lupacchino
This September sees two new writers come on board and a title change for Valiant’s most popular character. Harbinger veteran Joshua Dysart joins with Avengers Initiative and X-Men Legacy scribe Christos Gage taking Bloodshot to the next level post Harbinger Wars by sharing his title and book with H.A.R.D.corps. It seems to me we have a crossover even with long-term ramifications. What a novel idea! Harbinger Wars has been the blockbuster it has promised to be so far, and it looks like some of the sides chosen in the war are a little more permanent than others. With fellow veteran Lupacchino on art ( of Archer and Armstrong and X-Factor fame ) Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps are in pretty talented hands.
(Editor’s Note: Again no covers, release date? September)
Eternal Warrior #1
Written by Greg Pak Art by Trevor Hairsine
Honestly, I’m looking forward to this title more than UNITY itself!
What an awesome team for my favorite Valiant character. Greg Pak, you know…Incredible Hulk, World War Hulk, Incredible Herc…with co-writer and Valiant vet Fred Van Lente (hmm…doesn’t he write Archer and Armstrong? Aren’t Armstrong and the Eternal Warrior brothers? I smell tight continuity folks!) is taking Valiant’s version of Highlander and putting him right where he belongs, in the thick of it. With art by the intensely talented Trevor Hairsine, who has done wonders for Valiant on both X-O and Harbinger, this book guarantees to be a hit, simply for the talent involved and the subject matter they’ll be covering. And check out that cover by Clayton Crain, looks a little Conan-by-Frazetta-ish, a testament to Crain’s digital painting skill.
(Editor’s Note: No covers, no hint at a release date.)
Valiant’s inaugural year was a success, not only for themselves but for their fans as well. We got quality monthly books, magnificent creative teams, thrilling story arcs, and most importantly, a fan responsive company! With new titles coming out with fresh talent and long-timers coming in for a change in story-arcs, it looks like year two is going to be just as exciting. The Valiant Universe is expanding folks, all you other publishers… get ready to make some room on the new book shelves.