Harbinger #17, due out this October, will have bridged the original Valiant Universe to the current books being published now in a pretty classy way.
It will sport the first of Valiant’s Signature Series covers by superstar artist Sean Chen. Chen, a Marvel staple for years drawing Wolverine, Iron Man and X men: The End, started his career drawing Rai and the Future Force, X-O Manowar, Bloodshot and many more during Valiant’ first incarnation.
Following him, on a different title each month, a fellow Valiant Veteran will be contributing a Signature Series cover; including art by Bob Hall, Mark Moretti, Kevin Van Hook and Sal Velluto. With more to follow in the future.
I really like this idea. Each cover will be the artist’s interpretation of the current Valiant’s title character and design. Not only is this a cool homage to the VU that started it all, it is a welcome sight to see these creators acknowledged and appreciated for their contribution to the field. Or as Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamsani put it:
“These are the guys who helped build the house we live in”
That statement alone makes me smile.
That and the risk. With the exception of Sean Chen, most of these guys aren’t comic book shop names. This isn’t Barry Windsor Smith or Joe Quesada. This doesn’t seem like some “look who we got to draw this 1 in 700 variant you can’t afford and your LCS has to go bankrupt to get” move. This was done almost solely out of respect for these guys and what they helped create. Something that’s often missing at times in this industry.
Bob Hall, then and now:
Not just respect and apparent admiration for the artist, but for the fans as well. Many new VU fans are old VU fans ( if we can get the access-a-ride to drop us off at a comic shop after bingo ) and we were there when these guys were making comic history. Remember: Rai and the FF #9 sold 900,000 copies. Amazing Spiderman #700 sold just over 250,000.
Mark Moretti, then and now:
My other reason for loving this: Getting to see the changes ( if any ) in an artists style or skill over a long period of time or absence. Even considering the changes just around the penciling, with today’s digital inking and coloring , as well as paper quality dwarfing the processes of yesteryear. Keep in mind the original VU, from its inception, was at the forefront of the advancement of the comic medium in terms of art and coloring.
All around it’s a good idea for fans and retailers alike. I can’t wait to see who follows the inaugural signature series artists and hope this leads to for more work and industry presence for the artists who participate.
Hope you enjoyed the look at some of those artist’s covers, then and now, who do you think should be included in the next “Signature Series”?