This article is separated into 3 main sections highlighting the 3 incarnations of the Valiant Universe:
- Valiant Universe: The Beginning (1989-1996)
by Valiant Comics / Voyager Communications
- Acclaim Universe: The Acclaim Years (1996-2002)
by Acclaim Comics / Acclaim Entertainment
- Valiant Universe: Reboot! (2012-present)
by Valiant Entertainment / DMG
Note: Acclaim revamped all series and gave the characters new origins 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 based on the original origins.
Valiant Universe: The Beginning (~1989-96)
This period and first incarnation of the Valiant Universe is also refered to as VH-1 (for "Valiant Heroes 1").
In Solar, Man of the Atom, it is revealed that Solar created the Valiant Universe when he was trying to recreate the one he destroyed. The Valiant Universe consisted of three groups of characters: Those who were active in the present day (then the 1990s), those who were active in the far future timeline (the 41st century), and characters who were able to move through time and space.
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 Comics was officially bought out by Acclaim Entertainment in 1994, and by 1996 all series had been discontinued.
List of the most important Valiant characters and heroes of the incarnation of the 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 (~1996-2002)
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 - featuring Raymond Garrison as Bloodshot)
- Harbinger (one-shot)
- Magnus Robot Fighter (MRF) (Featuring Russ Magnus)
- Master Darque (one-shot & "Darque Passages" mini-series)
- Ninjak (Vol. 2 - featuring Denny Meechum as Ninjak)
- Shadowman (Vol. 2 & 3 - featuring Michael Leroi as Shadowman + Shadowman Presents: Deadside mini-series)
- Solar, Man of the Atom (one-shots & mini-series featuring the Seleski twins as Solar)
- Turok (various mini-series & one-shots - featuring Joshua Fireseed as the new Turok)
- Unity 2000
- X-O Manowar (Vol. 2 - featuring Donovan Wylie as X-O Manowar)
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 Entertainment (2005-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.
In 2007 and 2008, Valiant Entertainment published their first three hardcover books reprinting classic material from the early 90s along with an all-new short story (each written by former editor-in-chief Jim Shooter):
In late 2009, Jim Shooter left the company (again) 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.
Valiant Universe: Reboot! (2012-present)
Seven years of the purchase Valiant announced the official reboot of the Valiant Universe during 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 Shadowman following in November. On May 2nd, 2012, the first regular issue of Valiant Entertainment was released with X-O Manowar #1 - it received critical acclaim, sold out, and received three additional printings.
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 and the Deadside would be featured in the new universe and Bloodshot's real identity would be the one of former soldier Ray Garrison instead of former mobster Angelo Mortalli (VH-1). All the other names that were introduced by Acclaim would be dropped in favor of using the characters' original names again; e.g. Aric of Dacia, Colin King, and Jack Boniface. The Gold Key characters Magnus, Solar, and Turok would not be part of the Valiant Universe anymore as the rights to these properties had been licensed to other publishers in the meantime (e.g. Dark Horse Comics and Dynamite Entertainment).
Major changes from the 90's characters:
- Doctor Mirage would now be a woman called Shan Fong with Hwen Fong being her dead husband. In VH-1, Hwen Fong was Doctor Mirage and his body lost his solid form, turning him into a ghostly entity. His wife was a Brazilian called Carmen Ruiz.
- 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 guys, respectively. Also, instead of calling persons with special abilities harbingers they would now be called psiots.
- New Japan's leader would be Father instead of Grandmother.
- Shadowman is not a saxophone player anymore and, unfortunately, there is no Nettie anymore.
List of brand new characters and teams:
- Abram Adams aka Divinity
- Alexander Solomon
- Antonius Axia
- Armor Hunters (Control, Primary Reebo, GIN_GR, Helix, Lilt, Mopp, Quartz, and Malgam)
- Avichal "Avi" Malakar
- Bloodshot Squad and Bloodhound (a Freewill "sniffer-rob" called Bloodhound already appeared in Magnus Robot Fighter #20)
- Broken Angel aka the Angela Vessel
- Commander Trill
- Jessie (Bloodshot & Magic's daughter)
- Generation Zero (Cronus, Animalia, Cloud, Telic, the Zygos Twins, and Gamete the Super-Fetus)
- Grave Dog
- Lord Vine-99
- Lula Lee
- Magic (Bloodshot's girlfriend)
- Mech Major aka Sunlight on Snow
- Neela Sethi aka Neela, Timewalker
- Nicole "Nikki" Finch
- Owen Cho
- Punk Mambo
- Sauvage aka Savage
- Tama, the current Geomancer
- The Bleeding Monk
- The Delinquents (combining Archer and Armstrong and Quantum & Woody)
- The Dying One
- The Sect factions
- The Shadow Seven (Kannon, The Barbe, Sanguine, Fitzy, Fakir, Roku, and *no spoiler*)
- The Torment
- The Vine
- War Mother
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 release no more than nine-ten 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. In 2017 Valiant further reduced their line-up to only six-seven books per months.
On January 29, 2018, it was announced that DMG Entertainment, who had already owned 57% of the company since 2015, took full ownership of Valiant Entertainment. Former Chairman Peter Cuneo and Chief Operating Officer Gavin Cuneo left the company as well as long-time CEO and co-founder Dinesh Shamdasani who was "forced out." It was communicated that both Gavin and Dinesh would still serve as consultants during the transition period, however, Dinesh would only be involved in the production of the first Bloodshot movie - a co-production of Sony Entertainment, DMG, and Valiant. In March, the VP of Marketing Hunter Gorinson left the company and was replaced by Mel Caylo as new Director of Marketing. In April, Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons left the company and was replaced by Joseph Illidge as the new Executive Editor.
In April 2020 all series were put on hiatus due to the suspension because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Valiant Entertainment was one of the first publishers to stop work and tell their creators "pencils down", quickly followed by other publishers as well as Diamond Comics Distributors not distributing any new material until end of May. Valiant resumed work in early June with a strategy to re-solicit all their series and comic books step by step in the following months. In the meantime, the company ended the lease of their Manhattan office letting every employer work in "home office" instead. Lysa Hawkins and David Wohl have been the senior editors since March and August 2020, respectively. Wohl was later replaced by Rob Levin as new Executive Editor.
Since the "COVID" break in spring 2020, the company's lineup has been limited to 2-3 titles per month only and for all current ongoing series they have now switched to Image's strategy to pause titles for several month between story arcs.
"The Final Witness" -- a six-issue mini-series initially planned scheduled for release in April 2020 -- remains the only series that has been canceled and has not been re-solicited yet. Only a "Retailer Exclusive Edition" had been distributed at conventions in early 2020.
List of current releases under the Valiant logo:
Since May 2020 (see COVID-19 above), Valiant Entertainment has only been publishing 2-3 comic books per month.
Upcoming Series and Titles:
In chronological order of their upcoming release.
Note: Titles in italics have yet to be confirmed and solicited.
All Series and Titles by Valiant Entertainment:
Note: Titles that are currently on hiatus are marked with an asterisk (*). Titles that were put on hiatus during the lockdown due to COVID-19 in April/May 2020 are marked with two asterisks (**). Titles that had their launch date postponed due to COVID-19 are marked with three asterisks (***).
Guide Books & Specials:
- Free Comic Book Day Specials
*Contains exclusive original content; 1 asterisk per exclusive story.
Deal with Sony Pictures & Valiant Digital
In April 2015, Valiant Entertainment and Sony Pictures announced a mutli-picture deal to bring the Bloodshot and Harbinger superhero franchises onto the big screen. The deal was based on a previous deal between Valiant Entertainment and distribution company DMG for nine-figures of financial capital.
During New York Comic Con 2016, along with the announcement of Ninjak vs. 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. With DMG's acquisition of Valiant Comics at the beginning of 2018, the division has been dissolved again.
In March 2018 it was announced that Vin Diesel was cast for the role of Bloodshot in the first ever live action movie based on a Valiant Comics character. In addition, Dave Wilson was confirmed as the movie's director. In July it was announced that filming would start in August. The movie was finally released on March 13, 2020 (in some countries like Germany on March 5, 2020) by Sony Pictures. Soon thereafter, all movie theaters were forced to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that point the movie grossed about $29 millions against a budget of about $45 million. On March 24, 2020, Sony released the movie on digital platforms.
Live action movies:
Upcoming live action movies:
- Harbinger (in early development by Paramount Studios)