Valiant Comics has made a splash since its revival two years ago. Now the Valiant universe has begun its first universe-spanning crossover called 'Armor Hunters' -- available now, and believe me it's a great read. The publisher dropped in to Special Edition NYC to share some of the current happenings as well as what is coming down the pipeline at the publisher -- as was the case with the Marvel panel on Saturday. .
The panel was filled with talent as Associate Editors Alejandro Arbona and Josh Johns, writers Joe Harris, Robert Gill, and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani along with Executive Editor Warren Simons joined a crowd of Valiant fans.
First things first was the new promotional partnership Valiant and Oren's Cafe had with the introduction of their new iced green tea. Starting June 13, Oren's Cafe's around the city will have the new iced drink but by purchasing you can go to Midtown Comics and pick up a free special edition Valiant comic book.
Next was the announcement that was made yesterday, that Valiant and Madefire will be producing some of their 'Unity' title in the Madefire format of digital comics.
'Armor Hunters' #1 sold out in less than a week and a second printing will release the same day as issue #2, which is July 9. In conjunction with that release, Valiant has created a name generator. Just enter your name and the generator will give you your honorary Armor Hunter name and backstory.
The panel then turned to what was coming in the future, starting with 'Armor Hunters: Bloodshot' by Joe Harris. It's a three-issue miniseries that Harris teased saying those who want to know Malgam's role in the overarching story should tune into this miniseries.
'Armor Hunters: Harbinger' by Joshua Dysart is next on the docket. With how 'Armor Hunters' # 1 left a particular North American city, the team of Faith, Torq and Generation Zero will be on ground zero trying to help people in the area. However, it doesn't go as smooth as you may think.
In 'Harbinger' #25 the Pete and Harada fight finally comes to an end. Everything changes from this point on in the Valiant universe as 'Harbinger: Omega' is announced. This is the aftermath of 'Harbinger' #25 and will see what happens to the Harbinger team and corporation as Haruda is outed as the world's first superhuman. The series will be half from Peter's point of view and half from Harada's..
"Harada had a secret identity before all of this," said Simons. "Renegades found a way to unveil Harada but its going to be like like taking the leash off a pitbull."
'Archer and Armstrong' #25 was announced to be a 48-page annual issue. The creative talent on this book is lengthy to say the least. Check out the promo below for the list of names.
This annual will have a new 1 percent villain and a drinking game that can actually be played within the confines of the story. There will be a Time Walker short and the story of Armstrong's first drink.
Issue #24 will have the origin story of Mary Maria by Karl Bollers.
The Return of Quantum and Woody will be released October 15, written by Christopher Priest. This was announced back during New York Comic Con 2013 but this story is finally on its way. It continues the original Valiant story as the two main characters are separated for 10 years.
Woody sees Quantum on television with a new sidekick and he confronts him. However, he finds out that it's a new younger Quantum with Eric giving orders from somewhere else.
To coincide with the new series will be the release of the original series in an omnibus. And this is promised to be the first of many omnibi from the original Valiant line.
Shifting gears to 'The Delinquents.' The story is a team-up between Archer and Armstrong and Quantum and Woody. It revolves around an 'ass map' that leads to a lost hobo treasure. Each team has one half of the map.
Here's some interesting news; the four covers of the series could be used as a working board game with play pieces of the characters used as tokens. Supplementary material will be released after with new character pieces that have different abilities in the game.
A new miniseries titled 'Doctor Mirage' will be released in September. It's five issues from the creative team of Jen Van Meter and Roberto De la Torre, starring the titular character out of the pages of 'Shadowman.' Doctor Mirage is a necromancer but her dead husband cannot be found -- odd for someone with her abilities. So she journeys to find him and it's an arduous journey from the sounds of it.
'Rai' is on its third printing of the first issue with Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain doing some fabulous work on the title. Exploring the world of Japan in the year 4001, the first murder in 1000 years has been committed and Rai has to investigate. The panel teased some of the weirder quadrants of this Japan being explored. And unfortunately issue #5 will return in December so the creative team can stay throughout the run.
Shamdasani pointed to Image comics and how they have handled 'Saga' and letting the creative teams be ahead of the shipping schedule despite any delays that may come across. Valiant feels keeping Kindt and Crain together is important for the title.
Valiant $1 budget debut comics will return in October with 'Archer and Armstrong,' 'X-O Manowar,' 'Harbinger,' 'Unity,' 'Quantum and Woody' and the Valiant Universe Handbook.
The panel went to the crowd question portion and it started with if there were any plans for Shadowman after End Times? Arbona teased, "After you read #3, your questions will change. I absolutely guarantee you have no idea where this story is going. Save your questions for after that issue."
Asked if there will be any exclusive content for Madefire and the price. Madefire releases are $3.99 -- the cover price-- and they plan to just do 'Unity' #1-5, but may do more after that.
Jim Califiore is doing a special variant cover for 'Archer & Armstrong' #25.
"There are exciting developments for The Goat in 'Quantum and Woody' #12," Arbona promised.
Gin-Gr the giant death robot will get a talking cover for 'Armor Hunters' #4. The robot will also have its own origin story as a back-up in 'Unity' #10, which Simons says "is not to be missed."
A fan asked if Valiant properties will make it to other mediums. "There are things going on there," Shamdasani teased. "I know Bloodshot has leaked out, being directed by Matthew Vaughan, though." He also made sure the point that they are a comic book publisher first and formost.
Could Barry Windsor-Smith come back to Valiant? "We'd be honored, and he's welcome any time," said Simons. "We're always open to it."