Valiant Entertainment occupies an interesting space in the comics industry. While most third-party publishers stake their claim on creator-owned passion projects (Image), licensed properties (IDW, BOOM), young-adult books (BOOM) and Jughead (Archie), Valiant challenges the Big Two directly with its own line of superheroes.

In 2017, five years after effectively returning from the dead — the comics line was sold off as part of parent Acclaim Entertainment’s 2004 bankruptcy and resumed publishing in 2012 — Valiant stepped up its game, rolling out a new #1 every month since March, when “X-O Manowar” cracked that month’s 10 most-preordered books, per stats kept by Diamond Comic Distributors. Normally, the top 10 is reserved for DC, Marvel and Image’s “The Walking Dead.”

After that, there was “Secret Weapons,” a miniseries written by Oscar nominee Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”), which the company claims as the best-selling limited series by a non-Big Two publisher, in addition to relaunches for its longstanding Bloodshot and Ninjak characters.

“I think it’s been our best year critically, and I think that’s saying something,” Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons told Wednesday Morning Quarterback.

(A couple locally relevant tidbits: Simons, a former Queens, New York, resident, told WMQ he used to be a regular at Atlantic City poker tournaments on the weekends, and Valiant Editor Danny Khazem is a graduate of Stockton University.)

To cap off the year, Valiant is rebooting “Quantum and Woody,” a buddy comedy about two adopted brothers who must “klang” wristbands every 24 hours or risk dissipating into nothingness. Also, there’s a goat that contains the consciousness of their late father.

Riding herd on this third volume of Q&W is Daniel Kibblesmith, who also writes for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and artist Kano, whose experiments with layouts in the first issue are reminiscent of David Aja’s work on Marvel’s “Hawkeye,” another funnybook that actually was funny.

As for 2018, Valiant has already announced its big event for the year, “Harbinger Wars 2,” due to start in May, which will rope in pretty much all its major characters, as well as a relaunch of voodoo-themed hero Shadowman.

“There’s a real thirst for the characters,” Simons said.

Also out this week

X-Men Grand Design #1: Ed Piskor (“Hip-Hop Family Tree”) has taken on the daunting task of condensing the first 280 issues of X-Men continuity into three two-issue miniseries, writing, drawing, inking, coloring and lettering everything himself. We hope he survives the X-perience.

Marvel Two-in-One #1: (Half of) The Fantastic Four is back! The Thing, the Human Torch and the recent Disney-Fox deal leave fans hopeful for a full reunion in a new series written by Chip Zdarsky (“Spectacular Spider-Man,” “Sex Criminals”) and drawn by Jim Cheung.

Assassinistas #1: A bounty hunter shows her college-age son the family business in a new series from IDW’s Black Crown imprint that writer Tini Howard (“Rick and Morty”) describes as “A ‘Kill Bill’ story in a ‘Venture Brothers’ world.” Sold! Art by Gilbert Hernandez.

Contact: 609-272-7234 DGrote@pressofac.com Twitter @danielpgrote Facebook.com/Wednesday MorningQuarterback

Print Director

Press copy editor since 2006, copy desk chief since 2014. Masters in journalism from Temple University, 2006. My weekly comics blog, Wednesday Morning Quarterback, appears Wednesday mornings at PressofAC.com.