This article is separated into 3 main sections highlighting the 3 incarnations of the Valiant Universe:
- Valiant Universe: The Beginning by Voyager Communications (~1989-95)
- Acclaim Universe: The Acclaim Years by Acclaim Entertainment (~1996-2004)
- Valiant Universe: Again! by Valiant Entertainment (2007-present)
Note: Acclaim revamped all series and characters to make them more suitable for their video games. The 3rd incarnation by Valiant Entertainment (VEI) is based on the characters of the 1st incarnation - with a few exceptions such as Quantum & Woody - however, it is not a continuation of the original stories and volumes but a brand new beginning and continuity.
Valiant Universe: The Beginning (~1989-95)
During Solar, Man of the Atom, it was revealed that Solar created the Valiant Universe when he was trying to recreate the one he destroyed. The Valiant Universe contained two groups, those which took place in the 20th century (at that time the present), and those that took place in the 41st century, with events in the present day having an effect on the latter. After several successful bi-monthly sales of titles such as X-O Manowar, Shadowman, and Harbinger, and a company wide crossover in which the two groups learned of each others existence, Valiant was officially bought out by Acclaim in 1994, and as of 1996 all Valiant comics had been discontinued.
List of the most important Valiant characters and heroes of the first Valiant Universe:
- 20th Century (present day):
- Eternal & Time-Traveling Characters (past, present, future):
- 41st Century:
Note: Turok was originally released in 1954 by Dell Comics. Solar and Magnus were originally released by Gold Key Comics in 1962 and 1963 respectively. Currently, Turok, Solar, Magnus, and Mighty Samson (another Gold Key character) belong to Dynamite Entertainment. All the other listed characters are original characters created by Valiant.
Acclaim Universe: The Acclaim Years (~1996-2004)
In 1996, many Valiant properties were revamped under the new Acclaim Comics imprint. Though originally there was no connection between the Valiant and the Acclaim universes, it was eventually revealed that the latter was created yet again by Solar, but this time he had created a "time paradox". By 1999, most of the line had been cancelled, and Acclaim released the event known as Unity 2000, which was an attempt to merge the two universes. In 2004 Acclaim filed for bankruptcy effectively ending all titles under the Valiant and Acclaim imprints.
In 2005 the rights to Solar, Magnus the Robot Fighter, and Turok were reverted back to their previous owners Gold Key Comics.
List of the most important characters published by Acclaim:
- New characters and teams:
- Revamped Valiant characters and teams:
- Armorines (Vol. 2)
- Bloodshot (Vol. 2)
- Harbinger (one-shot)
- Magnus Robot Fighter (MRF)
- Master Darque (one-shot & "Darque Passages" mini-series)
- Ninjak (Vol. 2 featuring Denny Meechum as Ninjak)
- Shadowman (Vol. 2 & 3 + "Deadside" mini-series)
- Solar, Man of the Atom (one-shots & mini-series)
- Turok (various mini-series & one-shots)
- Unity 2000
- X-O Manowar (Vol. 2)
Note: Magnus, Solar, and Turok had originally been properties of Gold Key Comics and Dell Comics respectively but are revamped from the 1st incarnation of the Valiant Universe; see note above.
Valiant Universe: Again! (2007-present)
In 2005, undergraduates Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari bought the rights to Valiant from Acclaim to save their childhood heroes and established Valiant Entertainment. Shamdasani became chief creative officer of Valiant, Kothari CEO, and former Marvel CEO Peter Cuneo joined the team as chairman. Soon thereafter former Marvel editor Warren Simons was named new Editor-in-Chief.
Long-time editor-in-chief Jim Shooter left the company in late 2009 when he was sued by Valiant Entertainment when he accepted a contract with Dark Horse Comics over Gold Key Comics characters such as Solar, while still employed with Valiant.
Seven years of the purchase Valiant announced The Summer of Valiant. From May to August Valiant would be launching new ongoing series featuring X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong, with a Shadowman ongoing following in November. May 2nd, 2012 saw the launch of the first release of a Valiant Entertainment comic in X-O Manowar #1.
Most important characters:
Many of the original Valiant heroes (and villains) would return in their original role and alignment however, all of them would get new origin stories in a new continuity. From the Acclaim Years only Quantum & Woody would be featured in the new universe while the Gold Key characters Magnus, Solar, and Turok would not.
Bloodshot's identity would no longer be Angelo Mortalli, a former mobster, but Ray Garrison.
In Harbinger, instead of Peter Stanchek now Toyo Harada would be nicknamed "the Harbinger" while both would maintain their alignment of being the supposedly good and bad guy, respectively.
List of brand new characters and teams:
Valiant would set out to focus on a quality over quantity strategy. At first, they only released four new series - X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong - and later on they would settle to never release more than nine different titles (issues) per month on average. In addition, they would only do one crossover event per year usually involving a limited number of books and major characters/teams.
Currently there are nine titles under the Valiant logo:
Currently on hiatus:
- Rai (#1-16; on indefinite hiatus since the 4001 A.D. event)
Upcoming Series & Titles:
In chronological order of their upcoming release.
- Divinity III: Stalinverse & One-Shots (see list above)
- Bloodshot Reborn #0 (One-Shot & Series Finale - March 22, 2017)
- X-O Manowar (Volume 2) (Ongoing - March 22, 2017)
- Immortal Brothers: The Tale of the Green Knight #1 (One-Shot - April 12, 2017)
- Britannia (II): We Who Are About to Die (Mini-Series - April 26, 2017)
- FCBD 2017 X-O Manowar Special (May 3, 2017; Free Comic Book Day)
- Secret Weapons (Mini-Series - June 2017)
- Bloodshot Salvation (Ongoing - 2017; continued from Bloodshot Reborn)
- Harbinger Wars 2 #0 - Redemption (One-Shot - late 2017; available only by redeeming four mail-in coupons included in Harbinger Renegade #1-4)
- Divinity IV (Mini-Series - 2017)
- Imperium (Mini-Series - 2017)
- Psi-Lords (Teased for 2017)
- Shadowman (Teased for 2017)
- War Mother (Teased for 2017)
Note: Titles in italics have yet to be confirmed.
Concluded Series & Titles:
Guide Books & Specials:
One big blockbuster event per year.
- 2013 - Harbinger Wars (Mini-Series + Harbinger #11-14 + Bloodshot #10-13)
- 2014 - Armor Hunters (3 Mini-Series + X-O Manowar #23-29 + Unity #8-11 + One-Shot)
- 2015 - Book of Death (2 Mini-Series + 4 One-Shots)
- 2016 - 4001 A.D. (Mini-Series+ 4 One-Shots + Rai #13-16)
- 2017 - ?
- 2018 - Harbinger Wars 2
Deal with Sony Pictures & Valiant Digital
In 2015 Valiant Entertainment and Sony Pictures announced a mutli-picture deal to bring the Bloodshot and Harbinger superhero franchises onto the big screen.
During New York Comic Con 2016, along with the announcement of Ninjak V.S. The Valiant Universe, Valiant also announced the formation of Valiant Digital; a subsidiary of Valiant Entertainment aimed to produce original live-action and animated content, as well as media made for the digital arena.
Valiant Chief Operating Officer Gavin Cuneo said:
“With major projects in film, television, and gaming already well underway, VALIANT DIGITAL is the next strategic evolution of Valiant’s long-term plan to expand the ranks of its already sizable fanbase around the world. In years past, it wasn’t uncommon for comic book publishers to prime new fans by expanding into Saturday morning animation or short-form programming. Today, that demographic has largely migrated online. With the launch of VALIANT DIGITAL and, soon, NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE, Valiant will become the first major comic book publisher to create original, short-form content for the digital arena – and, with it, introduce our characters to one of the most engaged and passionate communities anywhere.”
In November 2016, Valiant named Josh Johns the new Director of Digital Media and Development.