Valiant Comics

This article is about the American comic book publisher. For the Hal Foster comic strip, see Prince Valiant. For the British adventure comic, see Valiant (comics).
Valiant Comics

Valiant Comics logo.
Designed by Rian Hughes.
Parent company Voyager Communications (1989–1994)
Acclaim Entertainment (1994–2004)
Valiant Entertainment (2005–present)
Founded 1989
Founder Jim Shooter
Steven Massarsky
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York City
Key people Peter Cuneo, Chairman
Dinesh Shamdasani, CEO & Chief Creative Officer
Gavin Cuneo, COO & CFO
Russ Brown, President, Consumer Products, Promotions & Ad Sales
Fred Pierce, Publisher
Warren Simons, Editor In Chief
Publication types Comics
Official website

Valiant Comics is an American publisher of comic books and related media. The company was founded in 1989 by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and lawyer and businessman Steven Massarsky. In 1994, the company was sold to Acclaim Entertainment. After Acclaim declared bankruptcy in 2004,[1] the company was restarted as part of Valiant Entertainment by entrepreneurs Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari in 2005.[2]

Valiant Entertainment officially launched its publishing division as part of an initiative dubbed the "Summer of Valiant" in 2012 to great critical and commercial success,[3][4] including winning Publisher of the Year and being nominated for Book of the Year at the Diamond Gem Awards.[5] Valiant has continued to set records[6] and win critical acclaim, including receiving the most nominations for a single title at the 2014 Harvey Awards,[7] being the most-nominated publisher in comics at the 2015 Harvey Awards,[8] and releasing the biggest-selling independent crossover event of the decade.[9]

In 2015, Valiant announced that they had partnered with Sony Pictures to produce five films based on both the Bloodshot and Harbinger comic books. The films will be produced by Valiant's Dinesh Shamdasani, along with Original Film's Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe.[10]

Publication history

Voyager Communications

In 1988, former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics Jim Shooter, Steven J. Massarsky and a group of investors attempted to purchase Marvel Entertainment. They submitted the second-highest bid, with financier Ronald Perelman submitting the highest bid and acquiring Marvel. Shooter and Massarsky instead formed Voyager Communications in 1989 with significant venture capital financing from Triumph Capital. Valiant (an imprint of Voyager Communications) recruited numerous writers and artists from Marvel, including Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton. Valiant launched an interconnected line of superhero comics featuring a mixture of characters licensed from Western Publishing and original creations.[11]

In 1992, Valiant released its first set of original titles, including Harbinger, X-O Manowar, Rai, and Shadowman, followed by a major crossover event called Unity, during which Eternal Warrior and Archer & Armstrong were launched. Harbinger #1 was listed on the top ten list of Wizard Magazine for a record eight consecutive months and was eventually named "Collectible of the Decade" while Rai #0 appeared on Wizard's top ten list for a new record nine consecutive months. In 1992, Valiant won the Best Publisher under 5% Market Share from comic distributor Diamond. The next year, Valiant won Best Publisher over 5% Market Share, becoming the only publisher outside of Marvel and DC to do so. Shooter, Valiant's Editor-In-Chief, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for co-creating the Valiant Universe in a 1992 ceremony that also honored Stan Lee for co-creating the Marvel Universe.[12] However, Shooter left Valiant by the end of 1992. According to Massarsky, "Jim had a different idea as to the direction of the company, and he was asked to leave."[11]

Valiant also engaged in several comic book-marketing innovations common in the 1990s, such as issue zero "origin" issues, the gold logo program, coupons redeemable for original comic books, and chromium covers.[13] Following the conclusion of the "Unity" crossover in September 1992, Valiant released Bloodshot, Ninjak, H.A.R.D. Corps, The Second Life of Dr. Mirage, and Timewalker, among other titles.

Acclaim Comics

In 1994, Voyager Communications was purchased by video game developer and publisher, Acclaim Entertainment.[14] Acclaim created a number of Valiant video games for various platforms, such as Shadowman, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Armorines, and Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal, which featured Valiant's X-O Manowar alongside Marvel's Iron Man.[15]

In 2003, Acclaim Entertainment's video game business took significant risks, including limited diversification. After losing a major sports video game license, Acclaim became financially insolvent and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2004.[1]

Valiant Entertainment

From left to right: Valiant Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani, Sales Manager Atom! Freeman, Marketing and Communications Manager Hunter Gorinson and Publisher Fred Pierce at Midtown Comics in Manhattan

In 2005, a group of entrepreneurs led by Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari raised financing and acquired the rights to the Valiant Comics library from Acclaim Entertainment's estate, forming Valiant Entertainment (VE).[2] A dispute arose over the rights to several Valiant comic book trademarks as a rival group, Valiant Intellectual Properties LLC, announced that they had made a number of placeholder filings.[16] Valiant Entertainment won the dispute in 2007 and gained uncontested rights to the full Valiant library.[17] That same year, Valiant hired former Valiant Editor-In-Chief, Jim Shooter, to write new short stories that would accompany hardcover reprints of classic Valiant Universe stories.[18] Two of the three collections were named among the "The Ten Best Collected Editions" of their respective years of publications.[19] In August 2011, after hiring several executives from Marvel Comics and Wizard Entertainment, including current Valiant Publisher, Fred Pierce, and current Valiant Editor-in-Chief, Warren Simons, former Marvel Comics CEO and Vice Chairman, Peter Cuneo, was brought on board as Valiant's Chairman and an investor in Valiant Entertainment, with Gavin Cuneo serving as CFO & COO.[20] Dinesh Shamdasani continued to serve as Chief Creative Officer and Jason Kothari as CEO. In May 2012, Valiant Entertainment began publishing new monthly comic books based on the Valiant Comics universe of characters.[21]

In an event dubbed "The Summer of Valiant" in 2012, Valiant Entertainment launched the Valiant Comics universe with four ongoing titles, X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong, one launching each month for four months. X-O Manowar premiered May 2, 2012, with the creative team of writer, Robert Venditti, and artist, Cary Nord.[22] The first issue of X-O Manowar received over 42,000 preorders, making Valiant the largest new publisher launch in over a decade.[4] Controversy initially arose over the size of the sales with some prominent creators suggesting that Valiant may have incentivized comic book retailers to take a stronger position by offering returnability, which at that point was only being offered by DC Comics. This subsided when the first issue of X-O Manowar arrived at stores to strong consumer sell through velocity, and pre-order data was announced for subsequent issues of X-O Manowar which showed similarly strong orders. The first issue of X-O Manowar eventually sold through 4 full-priced printings[23] and 3 additional reduced-priced printings. The release of X-O Manowar was followed by: Harbinger, launched in June 2012, by writer, Joshua Dysart, and artist, Khari Evans; Bloodshot, launched in July 2012, by writer, Duane Swierczynski, and artist, Manuel Garcia; and Archer & Armstrong, launched in August 2012 by writer, Fred Van Lente, and artist, Clayton Henry.[24]

To coincide with the launch of publishing, Valiant introduced a number of marketing initiatives. Most prominent of these is the Pullbox Program and the QR Voice Variant or Talking Cover. The Pullbox Program, encourages readers to start a pullbox subscription for the title being launched with their comics store in order to obtain an exclusive alternate cover version of the comic.[25] The Pullbox Program has become an industry-standard marketing practice used by many publishers. The QR Voice Variant utilizes a QR code that is printed onto the comic book cover. The reader scans the QR code with their smart phone and places the phone over the mouth of the figure on the cover. The phone then plays a video of the figures mouth giving the impression that the figure has come to life and is talking to the reader.

Valiant Entertainment extended "The Summer of Valiant" 2012 event and added a fifth ongoing title with Shadowman in November 2012 by writer, Justin Jordan, and artist, Patrick Zircher.[26] The comic debuted as the number 1, non-Marvel and/or DC comic of the month.[27] Again, Valiant garnered critical acclaim for the title.[28] At the end of 2012, Valiant won a number of Publisher of the Year awards, most prominently winning Publisher of the Year under 5% Market Share and was nominated for Book of the Year for X-O Manowar #1 at the Diamond Gem Awards.[5]

In January 2013, Valiant announced that Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder, Dinesh Shamdasani, had been promoted to CEO & Chief Creative Officer.[29]

In May 2013, Shamdasani announced "The Summer of Valiant" 2013,[30] during which the company would launch two new ongoing titles, Quantum & Woody and Eternal Warrior, change the story direction of X-O Manowar and Bloodshot, and reveal the origin of Bloodshot in a special zero issue. Quantum & Woody, written by James Asmus and drawn by Tom Fowler, launched in July 2013,[31] and became the most-nominated title at 2014 Harvey Awards.[32]

Several of Valiant's launch titles reached their planned conclusions in 2014, with Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong all concluding. Valiant celebrated the milestones by giving each title an oversized anniversary issue 25, and hinting at new directions for the characters. Ongoing series such as X-O Manowar, Unity and Rai continued, and were coupled with limited series such as Harbinger: Omegas, Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel, The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage, and The Delinquents, and the Armor Hunters event story.[33] In 2014, Valiant announced several new partnerships with digital distributors, including Visionbooks, to distribute a form of animated Valiant comic books for digital devices.[34]

Following the conclusion of Armor Hunters, Valiant announced its next initiative - "Valiant Next". Launching in December 2014 with the mini-series The Valiant, it continued through 2015 with the ongoing titles Ninjak, Imperium, Ivar, Timewalker and Bloodshot Reborn as well as Valiant Entertainment's first brand new character in the launch of the mini-series, Divinity.[35] For the Summer of 2015, Valiant announced the event mini-series, Book of Death, accompanied by one-shots Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot, Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak, Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger and Book of Death: The Fall of X-O Manowar[36] and mini-series Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer.[37] Book of Death was one of the best-reviewed comics of the year and the biggest selling independent crossover event of the decade.[9] Spinning out from Book of Death, the new ongoing series, Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, launched in November 2015.[38]

2016 Harvey Awards

In 2016, Valiant was nominated for 50 Harvey Awards, the most nominations for any publisher that year, including 8 for Bloodshot Reborn, making it the most nominated book of the year.[39]


Editors-in-Chief under the original Valiant Comics, 1989-1994
Editors-in-Chief under Acclaim Comics, 1994-1999
Editors-in-Chief under the revived Valiant Comics, 2012–present

Awards and recognition

  • The 1993 Diamond Gem Award for Best Cover was awarded to Joe Quesada for X-O Manowar #0.[41]
  • Archer & Armstrong: First Impressions and Harbinger: The Beginning were both named among The Ten Best Collected Editions of 2008 by Diamond Comics Distributors.[19]
  • Publisher of the Year 2012 by Diamond Comics Distributors in the Diamond GEM Awards.[5]
  • Best Publisher of 2012 by Ain't It Cool News.[42]
  • Best Publisher of 2012 by Comic Impact.[43]
  • Best Publisher of 2012 by Mania.[44]
  • Best Publisher of 2012 by Mind of Scott.[45]
  • Valiant was named The Most Effective Relaunch This Decade by ComicsAlliance in 2012.[46]
  • Comic Book Movie named the Valiant launch one of the Top 15 Comic Book Moments of 2012.
  • Harbinger was named Best Superteam 2012 by Ain't It Cool News.[47]
  • Harbinger was named among the Top 100 Comics of 2012 by Comic Book Resources.[48]
  • Harbinger was named one of the "12 Best of 2012" by A Comic Show.[49]
  • MTV named Harbinger one of "MTV Geek's Best Comic Series Of 2012".[50]
  • X-O Manowar and Harbinger were named among the "Top Twelve Titles of 2012" by Mind of Scott.[45]
  • The A.V. Club named X-O Manowar the Best Revival of 2012.[51]
  • Ain't It Cool News named X-O Manowar Best Ongoing Series.[52]
  • Comic Book Therapy named X-O Manowar one of the 12 Best Comics of 2012.[53]
  • Comic Impact named X-O Manowar Most Improved Book 2012, and series writer, Robert Venditti, Best New Writer 2012.[43]
  • Truthful Comics named X-O Manowar #7 to their list of the Top 10 Comics of 2012.[54]
  • Aric's battle against members of the Vine Members in X-O Manowar #5 was named among the Best New Comic Book Battles This Year: 2012 by Comic Vine, with an honorable mention given to Bloodshot and Chainsaw's battle.[55]
  • X-O Manowar was named Best Comeback in 2012 by Geekadelphia.[56]
  • X-O Manowar was named Best New Series in 2012 by Why So Blu.[57]
  • Bloodshot and X-O Manowar were named in the Nerdage "Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012".[58]
  • Dave Johnson was named Best Cover Artist (Shadowman) in 2013 by Multiversity Comics.[59]
  • Shadowman Volume One: Blood Rites was named Best Graphic Novel in 2013 by The Washington Post.[60]
  • X-O Manowar was named Best Ongoing Series in 2013 by why so blu?.[61]
  • Valiant Entertainment was named Publisher Most Thankful For in 2013 by The Readers of Comic Book Resources.[62]
  • In 2013 Shadowman (#48), Quantum & Woody (#39), and X-O Manowar (#17) were named among the 50 Best Comics of 2013 by What Culture.[63]
  • Archer and Armstrong #15 was named "Best Issue of The Year" in 2013 by Stash My Comics.[64]
  • Shadowman was named "Best Comic (#10)" in 2013 by BuzzFeed.[65]
  • Quantum & Woody was named "Best Revival" in 2013 by Comic Bastards.[66]
  • Archer and Armstrong, Quantum & Woody and X-O Manowar were named among the "Best Comics" of 2013 by Gray Haven Comics.[67]
  • X-O Manowar (#8), Archer & Armstrong (#7), Unity (#4) and Quantum & Woody (#3) were named two of "Silverwolfs Top 10 Comics of 2013" in 2013 by MoarPowah.[68]
  • Quantum & Woody #1-4 was named "Best Story Arc" in 2013 by Geeked out Nation.[69]
  • Valiant Entertainment was named "Favorite Publisher" in 2013 by Bag and Bored.[70]
  • Valiant 8-Bit Adventure was named "Best Digital First Series" in 2013 by Comixology.[71]
  • Valiant Entertainment was named "Best Publisher" in 2013 by Dave Gillette.[72]
  • Quantum & Woody #49 and Archer and Armstrong #34 were named on the Top 100 Comics in 2013 by Comic Book Resources.[73]
  • Valiant Entertainment was named Publisher to Watch in 2013 by Newsarama.[74]
  • Quantum & Woody was named Best Team-up in 2013 by USA Today.[75]
  • Jordie Bellaire (Quantum & Woody) was named Comics MVP in 2013 by USA Today.[75]
  • Joshua Dysart was named Best Writer in 2013 by Comic Impact.[76]
  • Harbinger was named Best Comic in 2013 by CraveOnline.[77]
  • Alejandro Arbona (Quantum & Woody) was named "Best Editor" in 2013 by Multiversity Comics.[78]
  • Valiant Entertainment was named Publisher of the Year by Ain’t It Cool News.[79]
  • Toyo Harada was named Favorite Super Villain by Ain’t It Cool News.[80]
  • Harbinger Wars was named Best Crossover Event by Ain’t It Cool News.[81]
  • Major Charlie Palmer was named Favorite Superhero by Ain’t It Cool News.[81]
  • Quantum was voted Favorite Hero by the Sidekick and Super Hero Awards.[82]
  • Dr. Mirage was voted Favorite Sidekick by the Sidekick and Super Hero Awards.[82]
  • Quantum & Woody won Second Place in the 2014 Excelsior Awards.[83]
  • Jordie Bellaire (Quantum & Woody) won the 2014 Eisner Award for Best Colorist.[84]



The Valiant Universe, drawn by Bernard Chang, inked by Bob Layton, Tom Ryder and various

The Valiant Universe is the fictional shared universe where all stories published by Valiant Comics take place. When Valiant Comics was acquired by Acclaim Entertainment in 1994, all Valiant titles were canceled and Fabian Nicieza, a former editor and writer from Marvel Comics, was hired as senior vice-president and editor-in-chief and given the task of revamping and relaunching the Valiant Comics properties. The new line, known as Acclaim Comics, was launched in 1996 and established a new fictional universe.

In 2000, with Acclaim's Unity 2000 crossover, Shooter introduced another alternate universe. According to Shooter, at the end of the crossover, this third universe would have been destroyed and most of its characters killed while the Valiant Comics and Acclaim Comics universes would have merged into a brand new universe.

In 2005, the rights to Valiant/Acclaim's original characters such as Archer and Armstrong, Rai, and Quantum and Woody were auctioned off and bought by Valiant Entertainment in 2007,[17] while the rights to the three licensed characters (Solar, Magnus and Turok) reverted to Classic Media (then-owner of the Gold Key Comics properties), which was bought out by DreamWorks Animation SKG in July 2012.[89]


Valiant Universe

Acclaim Comics

Valiant Entertainment

  • X-O Manowar
    • X-O Manowar: Commander Trill (one-shot)
  • Harbinger
    • Harbinger: Bleeding Monk (one-shot)
    • Harbinger: Omegas (miniseries)
    • Harbinger: Faith (one-shot)
  • Bloodshot [& H.A.R.D. Corps]
    • Bloodshot Reborn
  • Archer & Armstrong
    • Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent (one-shot)
    • A&A: The Adventures of Archer Armstrong
  • Shadowman
    • Shadowman: End Times (miniseries)
  • Harbinger Wars (event miniseries)
  • Quantum and Woody
    • Quantum and Woody Must Die! (miniseries)
  • Eternal Warrior
    • Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel (miniseries)
    • Wrath of the Eternal Warrior
  • Unity
  • Rai
  • Armor Hunters (event miniseries)
    • Armor Hunters: Bloodshot (event miniseries)
    • Armor Hunters: Harbinger (event miniseries)
  • The Delinquents (miniseries)
  • The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage (miniseries)
    • The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage: Second Lives
  • Punk Mambo (one-shot)
  • The Valiant (miniseries)
  • Ivar, Timewalker
  • Imperium
  • Divinity (miniseries)
    • Divinity II (miniseries)
  • Ninjak
  • Dead Drop (miniseries)
  • Book of Death (event miniseries)
    • Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot (one-shot)
    • Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak (one-shot)
    • Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger (one-shot)
    • Book of Death: The Fall of X-O Manowar (one-shot)
  • Faith (miniseries)
    • Faith
  • 4001 A.D. (event miniseries)
    • 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar (one-shot)
    • 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot (one-shot)
    • 4001 A.D.: Shadowman (one-shot)
    • 4001 A.D.: [CLASSIFIED] (one-shot)
  • Generation Zero

∞ Ongoing


Trading cards

During the trading card boom of the early 90s, Valiant Comics, through licenses with the major trading card manufacturers, produced a number of trading card sets and promotional cards to highlight the comics and characters of the Valiant Universe. The major trading card sets include:

Title Year Producer No. of Basic cards No. of Chase cards
Unity card set 1992 Comic Images 90 6
Valiant Era series 1 1993 Upper Deck 120 20
Deathmate 1993 Upper Deck 110 16
Valiant Era series 2 1994 Upper Deck 140 27

In other media

In August 2014, Valiant partnered with Pendant Productions to produce audio dramas based on their comic books.[90] The first of these, Archer & Armstrong: The Michelangelo Code, was released in 2016.[91]

It was announced in March 2015 that Valiant had signed a deal with DMG Entertainment and together they had raised a nine-figure co-financing fund for film and TV adaptations of the Valiant characters.[92]

See also


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