When I talk about shared universes in comics the very first thing that comes to mind is the ones from Marvel or DC. But there are really amazing publishers with real solid titles beyond those two, one such is Valiant.
In 2012, Valiant Comics came roaring back, relaunching themselves for a contemporary audience, and providing a simpler superhero universe to get to grips with. Delivering a consistently quality approach to superhero comics storytelling, and in the process, building a shared universe that rivals the excitement coming out of Marvel and DC these days.
The one thing that distinguishes Valiant from Marvel & DC is the amount of titles they have in their library. Which is limited when compared to that of the big two. I know more titles means more choices but having limited amount of titles ongoing means you have focus where it is actually supposed to be.
Now Valiant has a big history of acquisitions and bankruptcy but I won’t go there. It doesn’t matter though all what matters is the type of comics they are generating.
The problems DC & Marvel have is that they have to maintain a certain image for the characters and even write according to the age long history of the character. There are constant reboots and refreshments of these characters which makes it hard to follow for a new reader to just dive in.
The Valiant Universe was rebooted just back in the 2012 bringing a new fresh outlook to the classic Valiant characters like X-O Manowar, Harbinger, and Bloodshot while also bringing some new amazing titles to the table.
There’s no doubt that Valiant is a small publishing company when compared to its competitors, but sometimes that can be an advantage. Without a large corporation’s backing, Valiant’s titles are often afforded the creative and editorial freedom necessary to truly put significant marks on the industry.
But one of the best things about Valiant is that it never feels like a scrappy sibling trying to pitch a fight with Marvel and DC—in the way that the big two sometimes snipe at each other. Even as Valiant takes bigger chances, the comics creators also don’t act as though they have to prove themselves against the industry’s two biggest publishers.
So if you haven’t jumped on the Valiant bandwagon yet, now is the time. Pick something that fits your tastes or here are some of my suggestions you’ll could consider.
Your name is Angelo Mortalli. Your brother is trapped behind enemy lines and on the verge of – no. That’s not right. Your name is Raymond Garrison. You’ve retired from the dangers of the field, but a desperate plea from your oldest friend plunges you into a vicious firefight that – no. That’s not right, either. You are Bloodshot. You are the shade of gray that freedom requires. The perfect confluence of military necessity and cutting-edge technology. A walking WikiLeaks. A reservoir of dirty secrets that could set the world on fire. And you’ve just been captured!
At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union – determined to win the Space Race at any cost – green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent a man farther into the cosmos than anyone has gone before or since. Lost in the stars, he encountered something unknown. Something that…changed him. Long thought lost and erased from the history books, he has suddenly returned, crash-landing in the Australian Outback. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity -– one who turned the scorched desert into a lush oasis. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. Earth is about to meet a new god. And he’s a communist. How long can it be before the first confrontation between mankind and DIVINITY begins?
Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert – a psionically gifted “psiot” discovered by the Harbinger Foundation – has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would… When she’s not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels’ own leading superhero – the sky-soaring Zephyr!