|Headquarters||New York City|
|Key people||Peter Cuneo, Chairman
Dinesh Shamdasani, CEO & Chief Creative Officer
Gavin Cuneo, CFO & Head of Strategic Development
Warren Simons, Executive Editor
|Parent||Voyager Communications (1989-1994)
Acclaim Entertainment (1994-2004)
Valiant Entertainment (2008-present)
Valiant Entertainment, Inc., commonly referred to as Valiant Comics, is an American company that publishes comic books based on the Valiant Universe of characters. The company was founded in 1989 by former Marvel Comics writer/editors Jim Shooter and Bob Layton. In 1994, Valiant's venture-capital investor, Triumph, sold the company to video game developer Acclaim Entertainment for $65 million. Acclaim shut down in 2004 and ceased activity in all divisions including comic book publishing.
The company was restarted in 2005 as Valiant Entertainment by entrepreneurs Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari. In 2011, former Marvel CEO and Vice Chairman, Peter Cuneo was brought on board as Valiant's Chairman and an investor in the company. Valiant Entertainment launched its publishing division with four new ongoing titles as part of an initiative dubbed the "Summer of Valiant" in 2012 to great commercial success, winning Publisher of the Year under 5% Market Share and being nominated for Book of the Year at the Diamond Gem Awards.
- 1 History
- 2 Staff
- 3 Awards and recognition
- 4 Universes
- 5 Titles
- 6 Characters
- 7 Trading cards
- 8 Logo
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In 1988, former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics Jim Shooter, former manager of the Allman Brothers Band Steven J. Massarsky, and a group of investors attempted to purchase Marvel Entertainment. They submitted the second highest bid, with financier Ronald Perelman submitting the highest bid and acquiring Marvel. Shooter and Massarsky instead formed Voyager Communications in 1989 with significant venture capital financing from Triumph Capital. Valiant recruited numerous writers and artists from Marvel, including Barry Windsor-Smith, creator of Wolverine's "Weapon X" storyline, and Bob Layton, a long-time writer of Iron Man. Valiant launched an interconnected line of superhero comics featuring a mixture of characters licensed from Western Publishing and original creations.
In 1992, Valiant released its first set of original titles, including Harbinger, X-O Manowar, Rai, and Shadowman, followed by a major crossover event called Unity, during which Eternal Warrior and Archer & Armstrong were launched. Harbinger #1 was listed on the top ten list of Wizard Magazine for a then record eight consecutive months and was eventually named "Collectible of the Decade" while Rai #0 appeared on Wizard's top ten list for a new record nine consecutive months. In 1992, Valiant's Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for co-creating the Valiant Universe in a ceremony that also honored Stan Lee for co-creating the Marvel Universe.
Valiant also pioneered a number of marketing innovations, such as the issue number zero "origin" issues, the gold logo program, coupons redeemable for original comic books, and chromium covers. Following the "Unity" crossover, Valiant released Bloodshot, Ninjak, H.A.R.D. Corps, Second Life of Dr. Mirage, and Timewalker, among other titles.
In 1994, Triumph Capital decided to exit their investment, and after extensive negotiations with a number of major entertainment firms including Paramount Pictures, Valiant was sold to video game developer and publisher Acclaim Entertainment in 1994, who subsequently cancelled and relaunched all of the Valiant titles in order to revamp the characters and make them more suitable for video game adaptations. From 1996 to 2002, Acclaim created a number of successful multi-platform Valiant video games, such as the Shadowman and Turok franchises, Armorines, and Iron Man/X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal, which featured Valiant's X-O Manowar alongside Marvel's Iron Man.
In 2003, Acclaim Entertainment's video game business was taking significant risks, including limited diversification. After losing a major sports video game license, Acclaim became financially insolvent and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2004.
In 2005, a group of entrepreneurs led by Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari raised financing and acquired the rights to the Valiant Comics library from Acclaim Entertainment's estate, forming Valiant Entertainment (VE). A dispute arose over the rights to several Valiant comic book trademarks as a rival group, Valiant Intellectual Properties LLC (VIP), announced that they had made a number of placeholder filings. Valiant Entertainment won and former Valiant Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter was hired to write new short stories that would accompany hardcover reprints of classic Valiant Universe stories. Two of these collections were named among the "The Ten Best Collected Editions" of their respective years of publications.
Valiant Entertainment began publishing new monthly comic books based on the Valiant Comics universe of characters in May 2012.
The Summer of Valiant 2012
In an event dubbed The Summer of Valiant 2012, Valiant Entertainment launched four ongoing titles, X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong, one launching each month, beginning in May. X-O Manowar, premiered May 2, 2012 by writer Robert Venditti and artist Cary Nord. Harbinger, launched in June 2012 by writer Joshua Dysart and artist Khari Evans; Bloodshot, launched in July 2012 by writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Manuel Garcia; and Archer & Armstrong, launched in August 2012 by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Clayton Henry.
X-O Manowar #1 received over 42,000 preorders, making it one of the largest new publisher launches in over a decade. Valiant won Publisher of the Year under 5% Market Share, and was nominated for Book of the Year at the Diamond Gem Awards.
To coincide with the launch of publishing, Valiant introduced a number of marketing initiatives. Most prominent of these is the Pullbox Program and the QR Voice Variant or Talking Cover. The Pullbox Program, encourages readers to start a pullbox subscription for the title being launched with their comics store in order to obtain an exclusive alternate cover version of the comic. The QR Voice Variant utilizes a QR code that is printed onto the comic book cover. The reader scans the QR code with their smart phone and places the phone over the mouth of the figure on the cover. The phone then plays a video of the figures mouth giving the impression that the figure has come to life and is talking to the reader. The company also published the entire first issue of X-O Manowar online for free.
Valiant Entertainment extended the The Summer of Valiant 2012 and added a fifth ongoing title with Shadowman in November 2012 by writer Justin Jordan and artist Patrick Zircher. Once again, the comic book debuted as the number 1 non-Marvel and/or DC comic of the month. Again, Valiant also garnered critical acclaim for the title.
At the end of 2012, Valiant won a number of Publisher of the Year awards, most prominently winning Publisher of the Year under 5% Market Share and was nominated for Book of the Year for X-O Manowar #1 at the Diamond Gem Awards.
In January 2013, Valiant announced that Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder, Dinesh Shamdasani, was promoted to CEO & Chief Creative Officer.
The Summer of Valiant 2013
In May 2013, Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer announced The Summer of Valiant 2013, during which the company would launch two new ongoing titles, Quantum & Woody and Eternal Warrior; change the story direction of X-O Manowar and Bloodshot; and reveal the origin of Bloodshot in a special zero issue.
Editors-in-Chief, under the original Valiant Comics
Under the revived Valiant Comics, 2012–present
- Dinesh Shamdeshani - CEO & Chief Creative Officer
Awards and recognition
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (October 2013)|
- Archer & Armstrong: First Impressions and Harbinger: The Beginning were both named among The Ten Best Collected Editions of 2008 by Diamond Comics Distributors.
- Publisher of the Year 2012 by Diamond Comics Distributors in the Diamond GEM Awards.
- Best Publisher of 2012 by Ain't It Cool News.
- Best Publisher of 2012 by Comic Impact.
- Best Publisher of 2012 by Mania.
- Best Publisher of 2012 by Mind of Scott.
- Comic Book Movie named the Valiant launch one of the Top 15 Comic Book Moments of 2012.
- "Harbinger" was named Best Superteam 2012 by Ain't It Cool News.
- Harbinger was named one of the "12 Best of 2012" by A Comic Show.
- X-O Manowar and Harbinger were named among the "Top Twelve Titles of 2012" by Mind of Scott.
- Comic Book Therapy named X-O Manowar one of the 12 Best Comics of 2012.
- Comic Impact named X-O Manowar Most Improved Book 2012, and series writer Robert Venditti Best New Writer 2012.
- Truthful Comics named X-O Manowar #7 to their list of the Top 10 Comics of 2012.
- Aric's battle against members of the Vine Members in X-O Manowar #5 was named among the Best New Comic Book Battles This Year: 2012 by Comic Vine, with an honorable mention given to Bloodshot and Chainsaw's battle.
- X-O Manowar was named "Best Comeback" in 2012 by Geekadelphia.
- X-O Manowar was named "Best New Series" in 2012 by Why So Blu.
- Bloodshot and X-O Manowar were named in the Nerdage "Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012".
- X-O Manowar was given the 2012 Diamond GEM Award for Best Book of the Year over $3.00.
- Archer & Armstrong was nominated for the 2012 IGN People's Choice Award for Best New Comic Series.
In the beginning, the Valiant Universe was a reflection of Jim Shooter's vision for an ideal comic book universe: character-driven, strong continuity with an emphasis on science fiction, long-reaching consequences and internal consistency.[original research?] Valiant was the first company to attempt to follow a real-world timeline, in which events in the comics occurred at a pace similar to their publication schedules.[original research?] The company writers adhered to real-world science as much as possible.[original research?] No matter how powerful the characters became, they were still affected by friction, Newton's Laws of Motion, Einstein's laws of relativity, etc.
While the Valiant Universe had its share of aliens, the writers never employed such popular science fiction conventions as universal translators or faster-than-light travel. All Valiant Universe superheroes had powers derived from psionic awareness, technology, or magic. Most Valiant heroes were not as moral as average comic book heroes, with many having more in common with 1940s pulp adventurers than traditional superheroes.[original research?] Valiant Comics titles were set in a tight, carefully integrated fictional universe, where events in one title could have indirect effects on other titles. In several cases, major characters debuted in established titles before their own titles were launched.
The Valiant Universe was created by Solar as the result of his attempt to recreate his universe after he accidentally destroyed it. Due to Solar's childhood memories of comic book heroes, a universe similar to his own emerged, except it was now populated by various superhumans and alien races. It was discovered that several times during the Valiant Universe's history, Earth was attacked by a race of Spider Aliens who sought to use the human race as slave labor and food, with their efforts being indirectly responsible for the creation of X-O Manowar and Shadowman.
The early 1990s saw the rise of psionically empowered humans called Harbingers. They were led by Toyo Harada, a powerful psionic businessman with a Messiah complex. While on the surface he operated in a benevolent manner, he actually sought to use Harbingers to take over Earth, in order to "save the world from itself", with himself as leader. The history of the Valiant Universe's super-powered community was greatly influenced by Geomancers, humans who had the ability to psychically communicate with the Earth itself.
From the beginning, all Valiant Comics titles were divided into two groups:
- Titles in the 20th century (the present)
- Titles set in the 41st century (beginning with 4000 A.D.).
Heroes from the present were not aware of heroes in the future until the "Unity" crossover. Four heroes from the present - Solar, Gilad the Eternal Warrior and his two brothers, Ivar the Timewalker and Aram (Armstrong from Archer & Armstrong) - survived into the 41st century, but their experiences through the centuries had made them different from their contemporary counterparts.[volume & issue needed]
Following Jim Shooter's departure, the Valiant Universe changed under the creative direction of Bob Layton and Kevin VanHook. In 1994, Valiant trimmed their comics line while moving to a two-issues-per-month schedule for their more popular titles (Bloodshot, Harbinger, Ninjak, Shadowman, X-O Manowar etc.). Soon after, Acclaim Entertainment, who had bought Valiant several months before, restarted the comics line with new versions of the heroes which could be used as video game properties.
Armada and Windjammer divisions
In 1995, Valiant Comics created two new division imprints, Armada and Windjammer. Armada focused on licensed properties, such as a series of comic books based on the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game, while Windjammer focused on creator-owned material such as Neal Adams' Knighthawk, Samuree and Valeria the She-Bat, & Mike Grell's creator owned Starslayer and Bar Sinister.
When Acclaim Entertainment bought Valiant Comics, the universe was completely restarted. In 1996, all previous Valiant Universe titles were canceled and Fabian Nicieza, a former editor and writer from Marvel Comics, was hired as senior vice-president and editor-in-chief and given the task of revamping Valiant Comics properties.
As editor, Nicieza oversaw the new version, dubbed VH2 by the company, which re-imagined all of the Valiant characters such as Shadowman, X-O Manowar and Ninjak, using the top comic book writers of the period including Warren Ellis, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek and Garth Ennis. The line also introduced new titles such as Troublemakers, Trinity Angels and the hit comedy Quantum and Woody. The most successful titles during this period were the re-imagined Turok and Shadowman, which sold well. Several of the titles, such as Shadowman, Turok, and Armorines, were later developed into successful video game properties by Acclaim's parent company, Acclaim Entertainment.
Acclaim Comics met with initial success but by early 1999 most of the line had been cancelled. Acclaim Entertainment suffered huge losses on a number of video game titles and were cutting costs on their non-core businesses. Nicieza eventually left and staff levels were cut. The next year Acclaim attempted to merge the two universes with Unity 2000.
Jim Shooter's Valiant Universe
In 2000, during Acclaim's Unity 2000 crossover, writer Jim Shooter introduced yet another alternate universe, unofficially called VH-0 by fans. In essence, it was his vision of what the Valiant Universe would have been if he had stayed with the company. According to Jim Shooter's plot, at the end of the crossover the VH-0 universe was destroyed and most of its characters killed; VH-1 and VH-2 were fused together into a new universe.
In 2005, the rights to Valiant and Acclaim's original characters (such as Archer and Armstrong, Rai, Quantum and Woody etc.) were auctioned off and bought by Valiant Entertainment. The rights to the three licensed characters (Solar, Magnus and Turok) reverted to Classic Media (then-owner of the Gold Key Comics properties), which was brought out by DreamWorks Animation SKG in July 2012.
- Archer & Armstrong
- Eternal Warrior
- H.A.R.D. Corps
- Magnus, Robot Fighter
- Psi Lords
- Rai/Rai and the Future Force
- The Second Life of Dr. Mirage
- Secret Weapons
- The Visitor
- X-O Manowar
- Eternal Warriors
- Killer Instinct
- Magnus, Robot Fighter
- Quantum and Woody
- Trinity Angels
- X-O Manowar
- Archer & Armstrong
- Bloodshot/Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps
- Eternal Warrior
- Harbinger Wars mini-series
- Quantum & Woody
- X-O Manowar
During the trading card boom of the early 90s, Valiant Comics, through licenses with the major trading card manufacturers, produced a number of trading card sets and promotional cards to highlight the comics and characters of the Valiant Universe. The major trading card sets include:
|Title||Year||Producer||No. of Basic cards||No. of Chase cards|
|Unity card set||1992||Comic Images||90||6|
|Valiant Era series 1||1993||Upper Deck||120||20|
|Valiant Era series 2||1994||Upper Deck||140||27|
Valiant's first logo appeared on licensed products by Nintendo and Wrestling comics, before appearing on its superhero line. The logo made its first appearance on a superhero comic in May 1991, on Magnus Robot Fighter #1 (but without a comic box). The logo first appeared in a comic box on in May 1991, on Solar #5 and Magnus #8.
After the sale to Acclaim Entertainment Inc. for $65 million, the logo was completely revamped. The compass logo was replaced by a large letter "V" that appeared above the wording "Valiant", which appeared in a new type face (the same went with both the Armada and Windjammer imprints).
To coincide with the Acclaim Comics relaunch in 1996, another completely revamped logo was created. This logo signified the synergy between Acclaim and Valiant, merging the letters "A" and "V" into one logo with the wording "Acclaim Comics Valiant Heroes". More recently, following the formation of Valiant Entertainment, the compass logo has reappeared along with a variation of the original type face.
On August 15, 2007 Valiant Entertainment hired corporate identity consultant Henry Steiner for a re-design of their logo which was used in all media. This logo made its debut on the Harbinger: The Beginning hardcover. In 2012, Valiant Entertainment unveiled its new logo, created by Rian Hughes, which is currently used in all media.
- Feldman, Curt (September 1, 2004). "Acclaim bankruptcy now official". Gamespot.
- Carrie, Stephanie (May 16, 2012). "Valiant Comics: Two Students Did Not Want to See Their Favorite Comic Book Brand Die. So They Bought the Company". LA Weekly.
- Fleming, Mike, Jr. (June 2, 2011). "Valiant Relaunches Comic Imprint With Ex-Marvel CEO Peter Cuneo In Charge". Deadline Hollywood.
- Sunu, Steve (March 8, 2012). "'Summer of Valiant' Wraps With 'Archer & Armstrong'". Comic Book Resources.
- Johnston, Rich (April 26, 2012). "X-O Manowar Hits Over 42,000 Pre Orders". Bleeding Cool.
- Johnston, Rich (February 27, 2013). "Diamond Gem Awards 2012 Awarded – With A Couple Of Surprises". Bleeding Cool.
- Thomas, Michael (October 6, 2000). "JIM SHOOTER INTERVIEW: PART 1". Comic Book Resources.
- Smith, Zack (October 23, 2012). "Memories of Comic Book 'GIMMICKS' Resurface". Newsarama.
- "Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.". giantbomb.com.
- "Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal". www.ign.com.
- "Acclaim Officially Files For Bankruptcy". gamasutra.
- "Newsarama - Valiant Marks Not Part Of Acclaim Sale?". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "ValiantFans.com - VALIANT IP FIGHT OVER - Press Release - Dec. 28, 2007". Valiantfan.com. 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Jim Shooter Returns To Valiant Universe". Comic Book Resources. June 6, 2007
- "The Best Collected Editions of 2008". Scoop. January 15, 2009.[dead link]
- Esposito, Joey (December 7, 2009). "Your First Look at the New Valiant Comics". IGN.[dead link]
- "EXCLUSIVE: Venditti & Nord Relaunch 'X-O Manowar'". Comic Book Resources. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Gerding, Stephen (22 February 2012). "VALIANT LAUNCHES PULLBOX VARIANT PROGRAM". Comic Book Resources.
- "Read Valiant's X-O MANOWAR #1 - the Whole Damn Thing". Newsarama. December 5, 2012.
- Rosenberg, Scott A. (October 10, 2012). "A Valiant debut at the New York Comic Con". amNew York. pp. 12-13
- John Jackson Miller (December 20, 2012). November 2012 Comic Book Sales Figures. Comic Chronicles.
- George Bufron (November 28, 2012). Shadowman #1 Reviews. Comic Book Roundup.
- "Valiant Entertainment Appoints Dinesh Shamdasani to CEO, Jason Kothari to Vice Chairman". Valiant Entertainment. January 16, 2012.
- Charles Webb (May 16, 2013). Interview: The Summer Of Valiant Might Be Paving The Road To 'Unity'. MTV Geek.
- Sunu, Steve (March 26, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: Asmus & Fowler Resurrect 'Quantum and Woody'. Comic Book Resources.
- Sunu, Steve (May 10, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: Pak Launches "Eternal Warrior" Series For Valiant". Comic Book Resources.
- Hildebrandt, Greg; Scrocco, Jean L.. "Biography of Joe Quesada". Spiderwebart. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- Mark Miller (February 25, 2013). "AICN COMICS 9th Annual @$$IE AWARDS Day One". Ain't It Cool News.
- Sheldon Lee (January 3, 2013). "Best of 2012 Winners". Comic Impact.
- Joel Rickenbach (January 3, 2013). "Comicscape: The Best Books of 2012". Mania.com.
- Scott Stewart (January 6, 2013). "Looking back at the year in comic books". Mind of Scott.
- Chris Sims (January 1, 2013). "ComicsAlliance Presents the Best Comics of 2012 (Master List)". ComicsAlliance.
- "The Top 15 Comic Book Moments of 2012". Comic Book Movie. December 18, 2012.
- Jennifer Cheng (December 31, 2012). "CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2012". Comic Book Resouces.
- Aaron Haaland (2013-07-01). "A COMIC SHOW: 12 BEST OF 2012". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Valerie Gallaher (2012-11-30). "MTV Geek's Best Comic Series Of 2012". MTV. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- Agent Burgos (December 31, 2012). "The best superhero and mainstream comics of 2012". AV Club.
- Agent Burgos (December 31, 2012). "The Best 12 Comics Of 2012!". Comic Book Therapy.
- Manuel A. Carmona (December 25, 2012). "Top 10 comics of 2012". Truthful Comics.
- Gregg Katzman (December 31, 2012). "Best New Comic Book Battles This Year:2012". Comic Vine.
- David Goodman (2013-07-01). "Best of Comics 2012". Geekadelphia.com. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Gregg Senko (2012-12-14). "Best Comic Books of 2012". Why So Blu. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
- Matt Price (2013-04-01). "Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- Rich Johnston (January 23, 2013). "Diamond Announces Nominations For 2012 Gem Awards". Bleeding Cool.
- Joey Esposito (December 7, 2012). "IGN: Best New Comic Series". IGN.
- Solar: Man of the Atom (#0-10)
- Verrier, Richard (July 23, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation buys 'Casper,' 'Lassie' parent Classic Media". Los Angeles Times.
- Valiant Comics at the Comic Book DB
- Valiant Entertainment at the Comic Book DB
- Valiant F.A.Q. aka Guide to the Valiant Universe
- "Valiant Days, Valiant Nights - A Look Back at the Rise and Fall of Valiant by Ryan McLelland
- The Valiant Tangent - ongoing extensive guide to all Valiant stories
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valiant Comics.|
- Valiant Entertainment official website
- Valiant Entertainment official Facebook fan page
- Valiant Entertainment official Twitter feed
- Valiant readies its comics comeback, press release, Variety, June 2, 2011