Valiant: The Publisher to Watch

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Posted by k4tzm4n (35169 posts) - - Show Bio

Quite a few people are still afraid to stray away from the big two publishers and understandably so.  After all, I rarely stepped away from Marvel and DC during my first year of collecting and when I did it was only for franchises I already loved such as Star Wars and Alien/Predator.  Smaller companies are filled with characters you don't know at all, so diving into their unfamiliar universe and needing to play catch up can feel like a daunting task -- especially when each issue is above $2.99.  I'm here to tell you there's no reason you should hesitate giving Valiant's new books a shot.  None whatsoever.


"I don't know these characters!"  

And neither did I.  My experience with Valiant before the 2012 relaunch was literally limited to playing 'Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal' on my Game Gear back in 1996.  Each title does an absolutely superb job with its reboot; immediately filling you in on everything you'll need to know about the respective characters and does so in a highly entertaining manner.  Honestly, other publishers should be concerned because Valiant is hitting a home run with every title so far and that's certainly not something you see everyday.   
Trust me, you're not going to feel left in the dark here so that shouldn't be a concern.  To top it off, playing catch up has never been easier.  Each title is only around issue #5 now and trade paperbacks are on the way soon.  Simply put: they're extremely new reader friendly, so don't be afraid to dip your toes into the oh-so lovely temperature of the Valiant pool.  

"I can't afford $3.99 for new books!"

Being a comic book fan is certainly an expensive hobby.  If you're anything like me, odds are you're a little shocked at the total cost when you leave your local shop every Wednesday.  So, adding more expenses on top of your already ridiculous total certainly isn't the most appealing thought.  However, I assure you that you'll have no problem modifying your pull list to include Valiant.  I'm sure there's more than a few books currently in your pull list that you're not in love with and you'll have no gripe casting those aside after you've read the likes of X-O MANOWAR, HARBINGER, BLOODSHOT or ARCHER & ARMSTRONG.
Buy Valiant or else they'll come for you.

"Why should I care?" 

There's only four titles at the moment (SHADOWMAN to launch early November) and each one has managed to strike an incredibly different vibe; giving each issue a fresh and unique reading experience.  Do you love sci-fi adventures involving an evil alien invasion, crazy technology and, apologies for the cliche, a man with nothing to lose?  Then you need to check out X-O MANOWAR as Aric uses the advanced armor to battle The Vine, and more recently, Ninjak (a seriously awesome character).  Or, perhaps you're in the mood for a R-rated action blockbuster with tons of blood and a shadowy military organization.  If that's the case, pick up BLOODSHOT.   
Want to know what would happen if a troubled and flawed dude turned out to have omega level psionic abilities?  Read HARBINGER for that character driven story with an extra emphasis on powers.  Or maybe you're looking for a feel good adventure filled loaded with laughs and crazy takes on issues currently facing the world?  You'll want the buddy team-up book ARCHER & ARMSTRONG.   My descriptions really don't do the quality of these books any justice... so if any premise even sounds remotely interesting to you, I implore you to give it a read.

"To infinity and beyond!"

Recently at New York Comic-Con Valiant revealed its plans for the future.  ARCHER & ARMSTRONG will introduce more characters from the huge universe (The Eternal Warrior), HARBINGER will begin to shift focus on assorted Harbingers at the foundation  (and eventually form a team), as well as deliver Toyo Harada's origin story.  BLOODSHOT will have more... well, blood, and X-O MANOWAR is building up to a rather cool looking story appropriately called 'Planet Death.'   
Furthermore, SHADOWMAN will soon be out and that will dive into the darker corners of the Valiant universe.  There's also plans to eventually have the titles intermingle, opening the door to potential crossover events.  From there, who knows what other titles they plan to release?  Fingers are crossed for Ninjak!
 There's something behind me, isn't there?
With brilliant creative teams behind each title, you're really only doing yourself a disservice if you continue to disregard Valiant's titles.  Don't let the price tag scare you away, and more importantly, don't be too timid to step out of the big two's borders!   
Are you already a Valiant fan?  If so, why do you think the titles have been exceptional so far?  And if you haven't read them yet, please be sure to check back with your thoughts when you do eventually give them a read!
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment.  He swears Valiant didn't pay him to write this.
#1 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

Haha as soon as i saw the topic name, i knew it would be Katzman lol

but yaa i think ima start reading Shadowman next month. :) it'lll be my first Valiant title

#2 Posted by Jake Fury (19531 posts) - - Show Bio

Bloodshot and XO Manowar are both action packed and you don't need any prior experience. They're good, fun reads and I always read them more than once when I get them.

I think they're so enjoyable because I didn't need any prior experience with them. Both books have clear cut, tidy origins and they only took a few issues to do so.

Nice work, GK.

#3 Edited by spectacular (4 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel and DC are dead for me Valiant and Image are the only comics i read nowadays.

The only regret i have with Valiant is that hey are not doing more stuff they are like my blood I NEED IT.

#4 Posted by grifter78 (225 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree. Valiant was a fav of mine back in the day and I was excited for this relaunch. The time and effort put behind this is extremely evident in EACH title they've released so far (I follow them all). The way I get around the $3.99 price tag is to get them all from Discount Comic Book Service as part of my monthly order. The books are normally 35-40% off (50% for new #1's). The universe as a whole has a more real world feeling and not so much superhero. So if you're looking for more non-traditional books, give any or all of these a try. The first trade, X-O Manowar, is out in Dec. And the first issues of each book have gone to reprinting so if that doesn't convey their success so far, I don't know what does!

#5 Posted by SmashBrawler (5979 posts) - - Show Bio

One word: Bloodshot. Awesome series.

#6 Posted by k4tzm4n (35169 posts) - - Show Bio
@SmashBrawler said:

One word: Bloodshot. Awesome series.

It most certainly is! 
@grifter78: Yeah!  And the TPBs will apparently only cost $9.99 (or at least that's the price for X-O).  Quite a good deal.  What's your favorite title by them? 
@zackattack529 said:

Haha as soon as i saw the topic name, i knew it would be Katzman lol

but yaa i think ima start reading Shadowman next month. :) it'lll be my first Valiant title

Cool, hopefully it gets you hooked.  
@Jake Fury
#7 Posted by grifter78 (225 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

@grifter78: Yeah! And the TPBs will apparently only cost $9.99 (or at least that's the price for X-O). Quite a good deal. What's your favorite title by them?

X-O and Ninjak are my two fav Valiant characters so normally I would say X-O but Harbinger has been blowing me away! (The guys at the Only the Valiant podcast love to give me crap about that ;p )

#8 Posted by butters911 (331 posts) - - Show Bio

Ive been enjoying Harbinger. I tried Archer and Armstrong but wasn't really feeling it

#9 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (36099 posts) - - Show Bio

I had never read a Valiant book in my life until the recent relaunch but now I get every book and I love them all. Harbinger is my favourite, the character development in that book put's every one of Marvels to shame and I can totally relate to the lead character and he has the crazy powers that I always wanted. Also who can help but love Archer & Armstrong, those guys are awesome 

#10 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

@zackattack529 said:

Haha as soon as i saw the topic name, i knew it would be Katzman lol

but yaa i think ima start reading Shadowman next month. :) it'lll be my first Valiant title

Cool, hopefully it gets you hooked.

Yaa and i heard it'll be a movie soon :)

I have a quick question though. If i start Shadowman and i like it ill put it on my pull. but which title do you think i should drop in place of Shadowman?

* - means I wont drop this title

My pull list:

Batman *

Green lantern *


Green Lantern Corps *


New Guardians*


Red Lanterns*



Uncannny Xforce

#11 Posted by Billy Batson (58593 posts) - - Show Bio

Fine! I'll get the Harbinger trade when it comes out.

#12 Posted by turoksonofstone (12901 posts) - - Show Bio


These books are great can't wait for Rai. They are echoing Rai #0 a lot which is wise.

Can't believe these properties were purchased for 65 million dollars but I'm glad to see they are being used so well.

#13 Posted by Billy Batson (58593 posts) - - Show Bio


Well the current UXF is ending in a few issues so there's that. Unless you're planning to get the Marvel NOW! series.

#14 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson: Yaa i Might..which in your opinion will be better and worth the $4.

Cable and the Xforce, Uncanny xforce w/ storm, or Shadowman??

#15 Posted by longbowhunter (7982 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok enough is enough. I already had plans on picking up the first XO trade when it comes out. Reasonably priced at $9.99. But I think I'll have to give Shadowman a go too.

#16 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (36099 posts) - - Show Bio
@Billy Batson said:

Fine! I'll get the Harbinger trade when it comes out.

Smart move 
#17 Posted by Billy Batson (58593 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529 said:

@Billy Batson: Yaa i Might..which in your opinion will be better and worth the $4.

Cable and the Xforce, Uncanny xforce w/ storm, or Shadowman??

That's something that we should all wait for and see but I'd go with Shadowman myself.

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@Billy Batson said:

Fine! I'll get the Harbinger trade when it comes out.

Smart move

Only because of Dysart. Nothing to do with k4tz's article at all... <___< >___>

#18 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29515 posts) - - Show Bio

X-O Manowar looks interesting visually.

#19 Posted by k4tzm4n (35169 posts) - - Show Bio
@zackattack529: Yeesh, that's a tough choice.  Like BB said, UNCANNY X-FORCE is ending soon, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the NOW! X-Force books are.  Otherwise... well, which do you like the least out of Nightwing, Flash & Venom? 
#20 Posted by HempKnight757 (130 posts) - - Show Bio

I got like the first 4 or 5 issues of Harbinger & stopped reading after like 3. Maybe I will go back over it. I would suggest Avatar press. Dan the Unharmable is nothing like anything else out there.

#21 Posted by MisterKetch (253 posts) - - Show Bio

I did not need to read this, Im already going to be adding a significant number to my pull list with Marvel now....

Curse you CV gettin me all excited about yet more comics

#22 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (36099 posts) - - Show Bio
@MisterKetch: You should atleast try X-O Manowar
#23 Posted by Duke_Nasty (1017 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529: The new X-Force books are $2.99 I believe. And I'd drop Venom and Nightwing if I were you.

X-O Manowar has been great. I dropped the others after #1 because of the $3.99 price tag. I might pick up the Harbinger trade if its $9.99.

#24 Posted by the creator (8577 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm The_Creator and I endorse this message ;)

#25 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (36099 posts) - - Show Bio
#26 Edited by kriminal (663 posts) - - Show Bio

f n a comicvine. stop telling me to jump on to new series. just recently you said tmnt and wonder woman. cant afford it anymore.

#27 Posted by jesusdisciple001 (546 posts) - - Show Bio

how will they bring magnus back (without a skirt and a tunic with real body armor i hope)

#28 Posted by Zodiak18 (8 posts) - - Show Bio

All the Valiant titles have been awesome. So glad I dropped every pile of garbage Marvel title I was wasting my money on. Now all I get is DC, Avatar, Darkhorse, Valiant and a couple of Image titles. My pull list has never been better.

#29 Posted by davidgrantlloyd (375 posts) - - Show Bio

They do look cool ... my budget is pretty stretched as it is ... oh the dilemma!

#30 Posted by TheCerealKillz (10234 posts) - - Show Bio

Harbringer looks interesting.... Does it have any humor in it?

#31 Posted by grifter78 (225 posts) - - Show Bio


Magnus was lost in the purchase of the Gold Key characters who went over to Dark Horse. Solar and Turok were also sold in the deal so you won't be seeing any of these characters in the new Valiant.

#32 Posted by rasx (242 posts) - - Show Bio

I currently read Bloodshot and A&A and really love them. Also looking forward to Shadowman, Zircher's art is just awesome! Besides He-man I don't really read anything from DC and will only be picking up two Marvel Now books, so bring on the VALIANT's.

#33 Posted by SavageDragon (2252 posts) - - Show Bio

Totally agree man. You know that Im lovin Bloodshot so much. Project Rising Sun must PAAAY.

On a side note this cover is awesome.

#34 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: hmm...i think after the Minnimum carnage event im going to drop Venom. Its been a good run but what i loved about Remenders run was how he struggled with relatable problems! family drama, drinking, war memeories etc. and cullen bunn keeps venom struggling but theyre not as deep and relatable as Remenders run..right now Cullen bunn is giving him supernatural struggles such as there sia demon in him, the symbiote can bond to DNA..its interesting but not as interesting as Flash Thompsons personal struggles which gave the series so much authenticity.

so yaa ill trade Venom for Shadowman in november. :p

#35 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

@Duke_Nasty: Naa i checked the solicits and most ALL of marvel now is $3.99 except Morbius the vampire and i think RedShehulk. everything else is $4 because of the dumb free digital copy that i never use -__- lol

#36 Posted by grifter78 (225 posts) - - Show Bio


ummm, not really. If you want a book with humor in it, look to Archer and Armstrong.

#37 Posted by Duke_Nasty (1017 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529: Yea I just checked again and saw that, that sucks I'm going to give Cable and X-Force a try but now it will have to blow me away.

#38 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6836 posts) - - Show Bio

Trust me, I grew up with Valiant back in the 90s when Shooter and Layton first made the company. I loved all the characters and their fresh and innovative stories. X-O, Harbingers, Armorines, H.A.R.D. Corps, Rai and so many others. And believe me when I say I want nothing more than to get back into these stories with Valiant's return. But its just not a feasible option for me right now. With the titles I get from DC, Marvel, Dynamite and IDW already I just don't have $$$ in my monthly budget to go all out into this yet, and truth be known that I will not be getting my first payheck until Halloween this month. Mind you, this is the first paycheck I will have had in four months, a period in which I've had to dip into both my accounts to make my monthly payments over one of the seemingly longest summers ever. Making ends meet is hard. But also believe me when I . say that when I'm able to, you can bet your fanboy @$$ that I will be immersing myself in Valiant once more. ^_^

#39 Posted by Cavemold (1684 posts) - - Show Bio

Waiting for shadowman!!!!!!!!!!! wish it was 3.99 for 40 pages.. oh well. Im in.

#40 Posted by HempKnight757 (130 posts) - - Show Bio

@rasx: What two Marvel now books? I will be trying Deadpool & Thor. I can't suggest Aquaman, Batman, & Wonder Woman enough.

#41 Posted by Loki2u (249 posts) - - Show Bio

Another fan of Harbinger here. Great art and story. I really look forward to it each month.

Its the only title I currently get, the other don't interest me as much.

All my favorite reads are NOT from the Marvel or DC- Saga, TOT, Fatale, COH, Harbinger, Manhattan Projects, Peter Panzefraust, Secret.

#42 Posted by Mucklefluga (2604 posts) - - Show Bio

This article makes me wanna get some Valiant stuff. Hmmmmm, but which title should i drop. Or maybe ill just get the trades.

#43 Posted by Duke_Nasty (1017 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mucklefluga: The X-O Manowar trade is $10 and it is the best Valiant title you should give it a shot.

#44 Posted by jesusdisciple001 (546 posts) - - Show Bio

Bummer about magnus and solar and turok i especially wanted 2 c magnus in a real suit & solar set up a lot in valiant in d 90's

#45 Posted by Zereta (78 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmm I'll give the books a shot :)

#46 Posted by Lvenger (21837 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not yet in a financial situation where I can afford more than 8 comics a month unfortunately and my non DC and Marvel spot is already taken by TMNT. However it's nice to see you give smaller comic book companies some attention.

#47 Posted by That60sGuy (288 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn you !

After your bloody feature I've looked into these and now I've had to add X-O, Harbinger and Bloodshot to my list. How am I supposed to eat if I spend so much money on comics?

Bloodshot looks freakin' awesome.

#48 Posted by ChrisPartin (37 posts) - - Show Bio

I was a old-school Valiant fan and loved everything those guys did. I was a little bit of a late comer to the new Valiant, but I'm glad I gave each of these titles a shot. Great stories. Great art! As long as we stay away from Unity I'm good. :) Oh, that and Visitor. Please stay away from that. :)

#49 Posted by riiiiiiiight (98 posts) - - Show Bio

Bloodshot and X-O Manowar have been two of my favorites this past year. Archer and Armstrong is also slowly wiggling its way into my favorites. I would like to check out Harbinger as well

#50 Posted by Cavemold (1684 posts) - - Show Bio

From marvel now I'm getting Thor and thunderbolts Seriously can't wait for the shadowman title.

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