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.
Valiant resurrects 'Quantum and Woody' with new series out Dec. 20
The following is solicit text from Valiant:
Sometimes…you embrace your destiny. And sometimes…you and your trouble-making adopted brother find yourselves trapped in a scientific lab explosion that grants you $@&%ing awesome super-powers. As a result of their accident, Eric and Woody Henderson – aka Quantum and Woody – must “klang” their wristbands together every 24 hours or both dissipate into nothingness. Which makes superhero-ing pretty awkward when you’re not on speaking terms at the moment. See, Eric has been keeping a pretty big secret: He knows who Woody’s birth father really is…and where he’s been hiding all these years.
"So, since we've seen Quantum and Woody last, they've become as estranged as you can be when you're bound on the molecular level," writer Daniel Kibblesmith told Entertainment Weekly. "They're not on speaking terms – Woody shows up every morning, KLANGS, and drives off. But the crazy thing, at least for readers who know the characters, is that the fight that broke up Quantum and Woody was actually Eric's fault. He knew Woody's birth father was still alive, and kept it from him. So, we're all going to find out why, and the consequences of that brotherly betrayal."
PLUS: In honor of Quantum and Woody’s upcoming overthrow of comic shops everywhere, Valiant can now “proudly” reveal that each of the new series’ first 12 issues will also feature EXTREME ULTRA-FOIL VARIANTS — a dynamic, new(ish) cover treatment featuring artwork by superstar artist Geoff Shaw (God Country) EMBOSSED and ENHANCED with AUTHENTIC COMICS FOIL FROM THE ‘90s!
“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.
In advance of New York Comic Con later this week, Valiant gave readers a first look at the f…
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.
Read a colored, lettered preview of Valiant's 'Shadowman' #1
The following is solicit text from Valiant:
A staggering new beginning for Valiant’s supernatural icon Shadowman starts March 28 with PART ONE of “FEAR OF THE DARK” – a tense and gripping three-issue introduction pushing Jack Boniface to the farthest edge of fear itself…and into a startling, adrenaline-fueled fight for survival as Shadowman takes command of the birthright he was born to uphold!
“It’s a story about stepping out of the shadows and embracing the light. Trying to move on from your own mistakes and be a better man. Of course, it's not easy,” said writer Andy Diggle. “As Shadowman, Jack will never fully be able to escape his own demons. It's about learning to live with them. And as he comes to a better understanding of himself and his family's legacy, he'll discover whole new worlds and new powers he never even imagined he had.”
Orphaned at birth and raised on the margins of society, Jack Boniface never knew his place in the world. Until he discovered it waiting for him…in a darkness far older than the reign of men…
Unbeknownst to him, Jack was fated to become the next in a long lineage of Shadowmen – mortals bound to violent voodoo spirits of immense power – that could safeguard our world against incursions from realms beyond. For years, he struggled to control the loa’s murderous urges – a battle he eventually lost.
But now, after years of self-imposed exile, the man once known as Shadowman is returning home to sharpen the weapon within…and unleash a reckoning on the evils of our world that will soon send shockwaves through heaven and hell alike…
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.
Betty and Veronica recruit for their biker gang in Archie's 'Vixens' #2
The following is solicit text from Archie Comics:
The Vixens assemble—Betty and Veronica can’t take down a rival biker gang on their own; it’s time to call in some reinforcements; meet the newest additions to their gang!
Script: Jamie L. Rotante; Art: Eva Cabrera, Elaina Unger, Rachel Deering; Cover: Eva Cabrera
AfterShock goes for the magic crowd with 'The Backways,' out Dec. 20
The following is solicit text from Aftershock:
There is a hidden nation. A nation of magic and madness, one that exists in all the forgotten spaces. Your basement, your attic, the haunted house down the street, any one of those might be a part of the Backways.
Anna Merrick lost someone in the Backways, and she’ll stop at NOTHING to get them back. Even if it means unleashing something unimaginable.
From Justin Jordan (STRAYER, Green Lantern: New Guardians) and Eleonora Carlini (Batgirl, Doctor Who).
Jim Henson-inspired 'Storyteller' series examines fairies
The following is solicit text from BOOM Studios:
The critically acclaimed Jim Henson’s The Storyteller celebrates four mythic tales of fairies inspired by folklore from around the world and told in the spirit of Jim Henson’s television series.
In this first issue, rising newcomer Matt Smith (Lake of Fire, Barbarian Lord) reimagines “The Elf Queen and the Shepherd,” a tale of elven fairies in Iceland.
When a Fairy Princess is banished to the human realm and cursed to bring death with her, Grettir the Strong must discover the source of the trouble and break her curse.
Upcoming issues will include stories by Benjamin Schipper, Tyler Jenkins and Celia Lowenthal.