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Valiant Comics logo.
Designed by Rian Hughes.
|Parent company||Voyager Communications (1989–1994)
Acclaim Entertainment (1994–2004)
Valiant Entertainment (2005–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Key people||Peter Cuneo, Chairman
Dinesh Shamdasani, CEO & Chief Creative Officer
Gavin Cuneo, COO & CFO
Russ Brown, President, Consumer Products, Promotions & Ad Sales
Fred Pierce, Publisher
Warren Simons, Editor In Chief
Valiant Comics is an American publisher of comic books and related media. The company was founded in 1989 by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and lawyer and businessman Steven Massarsky. In 1994, the company was sold to Acclaim Entertainment. After Acclaim declared bankruptcy in 2004, the company was restarted as part of Valiant Entertainment by entrepreneurs Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari in 2005.
Valiant Entertainment officially launched its publishing division as part of an initiative dubbed the "Summer of Valiant" in 2012 to great critical and commercial success, including winning Publisher of the Year and being nominated for Book of the Year at the Diamond Gem Awards. Valiant has set records, and was the most-nominated publisher in comics at both the 2015 and 2016 Harvey Awards, releasing the biggest-selling independent crossover event of the decade.
In 2015, Valiant announced that they had partnered with Sony Pictures to produce five films based on both the Bloodshot and Harbinger comic books. The films will be produced by Valiant's Dinesh Shamdasani, along with Original Film's Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe.
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In 1988, former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics Jim Shooter, 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 (an imprint of Voyager Communications) recruited numerous writers and artists from Marvel, including Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton. 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 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 won the Best Publisher under 5% Market Share from comic distributor Diamond. The next year, Valiant won Best Publisher over 5% Market Share, becoming the only publisher outside of Marvel and DC to do so. Shooter, Valiant's Editor-In-Chief, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for co-creating the Valiant Universe in a 1992 ceremony that also honored Stan Lee for co-creating the Marvel Universe. However, Shooter left Valiant by the end of 1992. According to Massarsky, "Jim had a different idea as to the direction of the company, and he was asked to leave."
Valiant also engaged in several comic book-marketing innovations common in the 1990s, such as issue zero "origin" issues, the gold logo program, coupons redeemable for original comic books, and chromium covers. Following the conclusion of the "Unity" crossover in September 1992, Valiant released Bloodshot, Ninjak, H.A.R.D. Corps, The Second Life of Dr. Mirage, and Timewalker, among other titles.
In 1994, Voyager Communications was purchased by video game developer and publisher Acclaim Entertainment. Acclaim created a number video games based on Valiant properties, such as Shadow Man, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M., and Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal, which featured Valiant's X-O Manowar alongside Marvel's Iron Man. In 2004, after losing a major sports video game license, Acclaim became financially insolvent and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In 2005, the rights to Valiant/Acclaim's original characters such as Archer and Armstrong, Rai, and Quantum and Woody were auctioned off and bought by Valiant Entertainment in 2007, while 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 bought out by DreamWorks Animation SKG in July 2012.
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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 (VEI). A dispute arose over the rights to several Valiant comic book trademarks as a rival group, Valiant Intellectual Properties LLC, announced that they had made a number of placeholder filings.[unreliable source] Valiant Entertainment won the dispute in 2007 and gained uncontested rights to the full Valiant library. That same year, Valiant hired former Valiant Editor-In-Chief, Jim Shooter, to write new short stories that would accompany hardcover reprints of classic Valiant Universe stories. Two of the three collections were named among "The Ten Best Collected Editions" of their respective years of publications.[not in citation given] In August 2011, after hiring several executives from Marvel Comics and Wizard Entertainment, including current Valiant Publisher, Fred Pierce, and current Valiant Editor-in-Chief, Warren Simons, former Marvel Comics CEO and Vice Chairman, Peter Cuneo, was brought on board as Valiant's Chairman and an investor in Valiant Entertainment, with Gavin Cuneo serving as CFO & COO. Dinesh Shamdasani continued to serve as Chief Creative Officer and Jason Kothari as CEO. In May 2012, Valiant Entertainment began publishing new monthly comic books based on the Valiant Comics universe of characters.
In an event dubbed "The Summer of Valiant" in 2012, Valiant Entertainment launched the Valiant Comics universe with four ongoing titles, X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong, one launching each month for four months. X-O Manowar premiered May 2, 2012, with the creative team of writer, Robert Venditti, and artist, Cary Nord. The first issue of X-O Manowar received over 42,000 preorders, making Valiant the largest new publisher launch in over a decade. Controversy initially arose over the size of the sales, with some prominent creators[who?] suggesting that Valiant may have incentivized comic book retailers to take a stronger position by offering returnability, which at that point was only being offered by DC Comics. This subsided when the first issue of X-O Manowar arrived at stores to strong consumer sell through velocity, and pre-order data was announced for subsequent issues of X-O Manowar which showed similarly strong orders. The first issue of X-O Manowar eventually sold through 4 full-priced printings and 3 additional reduced-priced printings. The release of X-O Manowar was followed by 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.
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 Pullbox Program has become an industry-standard marketing practice used by many publishers. 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.
Valiant Entertainment extended "The Summer of Valiant" 2012 event and added a fifth ongoing title with Shadowman in November 2012 by writer, Justin Jordan, and artist, Patrick Zircher. The comic debuted as the number 1, non-Marvel and/or DC comic of the month. 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, had been promoted to CEO & Chief Creative Officer.
In May 2013, Shamdasani 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. Quantum & Woody, written by James Asmus and drawn by Tom Fowler, launched in July 2013, and became the most-nominated title at 2014 Harvey Awards.
Several of Valiant's launch titles reached their planned conclusions in 2014, with Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong all concluding. Valiant celebrated the milestones by giving each title an oversized anniversary issue 25, and hinting at new directions for the characters. Ongoing series such as X-O Manowar, Unity and Rai continued, and were coupled with limited series such as Harbinger: Omegas, Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel, The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage, and The Delinquents, and the Armor Hunters event story. In 2014, Valiant announced several new partnerships with digital distributors, including Visionbooks, to distribute a form of animated Valiant comic books for digital devices.
Following the conclusion of Armor Hunters, Valiant announced its next initiative - "Valiant Next". Launching in December 2014 with the mini-series The Valiant, it continued through 2015 with the ongoing titles Ninjak, Imperium, Ivar, Timewalker and Bloodshot Reborn as well as Valiant Entertainment's first brand new character in the launch of the mini-series, Divinity. For the Summer of 2015, Valiant announced the event mini-series, Book of Death, accompanied by one-shots Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot, Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak, Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger and Book of Death: The Fall of X-O Manowar and mini-series Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer. Book of Death was one of the best-reviewed comics of the year and the biggest selling independent crossover event of the decade. Spinning out from Book of Death, the new ongoing series, Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, launched in November 2015.
Valiant's CEO, Dinesh Shamdasani, announced at Valiant Summit 2016 that having accomplished both a successful launch and having firmly established itself in the industry, Valiant would spend 2016 focusing on expanding its' universe of characters beyond its core titles. Valiant would launch brand new characters in titles Britannia and Savage, expand Divinity in two sequels — Divinity II and Divinity III: Stalinverse — and elevate supporting characters from the Harbinger title in two new series — Generation Zero and Faith.
Faith headlined a titular four issue mini-series which launched in January and garnered significant media interest. The Faith mini-series became one of only a handful of series in the past decade to reach a fifth printing.
In 2016, Valiant was nominated for 50 Harvey Awards, the most nominations for any publisher that year, including 8 for Bloodshot Reborn.
Awards and recognition
- Valiant was named "Comic Book Publisher of the Year – Under 4%" by Diamond Comics Distributors in the Diamond GEM Awards in 2013.
- Valiant was named "Best Publisher" by Ambush Bug, Matt Adler and The Dean of Ain't It Cool News in Day One of the 9th Annual "AICN Comics @$$IE Awards" in 2013.
- Valiant was named "Best Publisher 2012" by Sheldon Lee of Comic Impact in the "Best of 2012" awards in 2013.
- Valiant was named "Best Publisher" of 2012 by Joel Rickenbach of Mania in "The Best Books of 2012" article in 2013.
- Valiant was named "Publisher of the Year" of 2012 by The Mind of Scott in 2013.
- Valiant was named "Most Effective Relaunch (This Decade)" by the staff of ComicsAlliance in the "Best Comics of 2012" column in 2013.
- The relaunch of Valiant was listed as number 15 by Superherostuff of Comic Book Movie in the "Top 15 Comic Book Moments of 2012" feature in 2012.
- Valiant was voted number 1 in the "Which Comic Publisher's Output in 2013 Were You Most Thankful For?" poll on Comic Book Resources in 2014.
- Valiant was named "Favorite Publisher of 2013" by Cory Thrall of Bag and Bored in the "Best of 2013" column in 2013.
- Valiant was named "Best Publisher" by Dave Gillette of Ghost Writings in his "Best in Comics of 2013 - Best Publisher" post in 2013.[unreliable source]
- Valiant was named "Item to Watch for 2014" by Rob McMonigal of Newsarama in "The Best of Best Shots 2013" column in 2013.
- Alejandro Arbona (Quantum & Woody) was named "Best Editor" by Matthew Meylikhov of Multiversity Comics in his "2013 in Review: The Best of the Rest" column in 2014.
- Valiant was named "Best Publisher" by Optimous Douche and Ambush Bug of Ain’t It Cool News in Day One of the 10th Annual "AICN COMICS 10th Annual @$$IE Awards" in 2014.
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The Valiant Universe is the fictional shared universe where all stories published by Valiant Comics take place. When Valiant Comics was acquired by Acclaim Entertainment in 1994, all Valiant 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 and relaunching the Valiant Comics properties. The new line, known as Acclaim Comics, was launched in 1996 and established a new fictional universe.
In 2000, with Acclaim's Unity 2000 crossover, Shooter introduced another alternate universe. According to Shooter, at the end of the crossover, this third universe would have been destroyed and most of its characters killed while the Valiant Comics and Acclaim Comics universes would have merged into a brand new universe.
- Archer & Armstrong
- Chaos Effect
- Eternal Warrior
- H.A.R.D. Corps
- Harbinger Files
- Magnus, Robot Fighter
- The Outcast
- Psi Lords
- The Second Life of Dr. Mirage
- Secret Weapons
- Secrets of the Valiant Universe
- Solar, Man of the Atom
- Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
- Valiant Voice
- The Visitor
- X-O Manowar
- Acclaim Adventure Zone
- Acclaim Reader
- Armed & Dangerous
- Armed & Dangerous: Hell's Slaughterhouse
- Armed and Dangerous Special
- The Bad Eggs
- The Bad Eggs: That Dirty Yellow Mustard
- Concrete Jungle
- Darque Passages
- Doctor Tomorrow
- Eternal Warriors: Archer & Armstrong
- Eternal Warriors: Blackworks
- Eternal Warriors: Digital Alchemy
- Eternal Warriors: Mog
- Eternal Warriors: The Immortal Enemy
- Eternal Warriors: Time & Treachery
- The Grackle
- Harbinger: Acts of God
- Killer Instinct
- Magnus, Robot Fighter
- Master Darque
- Operation: Stormbreaker
- Quantum and Woody
- Quantum and Woody Special: GOAT - H.A.E.D.U.S.
- Shadowman vol 2
- Shadowman vol 3
- Shadowman Presents: Deadside
- Solar, Man of the Atom: Hell on Earth
- Solar, Man of the Atom: Revelations
- Trinity Angels
- Turok/Timewalker: Seventh Sabbath
- Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
- Turok: Adon's Curse
- Turok: Child of Blood
- Turok: Evolution
- Turok: Redpath
- Turok: Seeds of Evil
- Turok: Spring Break in The Lost Land
- Turok: Tales of the Lost Land
- Turok: The Empty Souls
- Unity 2000
- Valiant Heroes Special Edition
- X-O Manowar
- X-O Manowar
- X-O Manowar: Commander Trill (one-shot)
- X-O Manowar (2017)∞
- Harbinger: Bleeding Monk (one-shot)
- Harbinger: Omegas (miniseries)
- Harbinger: Faith (one-shot)
- Harbinger Renegade ∞
- Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps
- Bloodshot Reborn
- Bloodshot U.S.A. (miniseries)
- Bloodshot Salvation*
- Archer & Armstrong
- Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent (one-shot)
- A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong
- Shadowman: End Times (miniseries)
- Harbinger Wars (event miniseries)
- Harbinger Wars 2*
- Quantum and Woody
- Giant-Sized Quantum and Woody (one-shot)
- Quantum and Woody Must Die! (miniseries)
- Eternal Warrior
- Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel (miniseries)
- Wrath of the Eternal Warrior
- Rai ∞
- Armor Hunters (event miniseries)
- Armor Hunters: Bloodshot (event miniseries)
- Armor Hunters: Harbinger (event miniseries)
- Armor Hunters: Aftermath (one-shot)
- The Delinquents (miniseries)
- The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage (miniseries)
- The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage: Second Lives (miniseries)
- Punk Mambo (one-shot)
- The Valiant (miniseries)
- Ivar, Timewalker
- Divinity (miniseries)
- Divinity II (miniseries)
- Divinity III: Stalinverse (miniseries)
- Divinity III: Aric, Son of the Revolution (one-shot)
- Divinity III: Escape From Gulag 396 (one-shot)
- Divinity III: Komandar Bloodshot (one-shot)
- Divinity III: Shadowman & The Battle of New Stalingrad (one-shot)
- Ninjak ∞
- Dead Drop (miniseries)
- Book of Death (event miniseries)
- Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer (retailer incentive event miniseries)
- Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot (one-shot)
- Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak (one-shot)
- Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger (one-shot)
- Book of Death: The Fall of X-O Manowar (one-shot)
- Faith (miniseries)
- Faith (ongoing) ∞
- 4001 A.D. (event miniseries)
- 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar (one-shot)
- 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot (one-shot)
- 4001 A.D.: Shadowman (one-shot)
- 4001 A.D.: War Mother (one-shot)
- Generation Zero
- Savage (miniseries)
- Britannia (miniseries)
- Britannia: We Who Are About To Die (miniseries)∞
- Immortal Brothers: The Tale of the Green Knight (one-shot)
- Secret Weapons*
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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|
In other media
In August 2014, Valiant partnered with Pendant Productions to produce audio dramas based on their comic books. The first of these, Archer & Armstrong: The Michelangelo Code, was released in 2016.
It was announced in March 2015 that Valiant had signed a deal with DMG Entertainment and together they had raised a nine-figure co-financing fund for film and TV adaptations of the Valiant characters.
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- Official website
- 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 page
- Valiant Entertainment official Twitter feed
- Valiant unofficial fan site and forum
- Valiant readies its comics comeback, press release, Variety, June 2, 2011
- Valiant Central daily news and reviews of everything Valiant