What’s the Reading Order for the Valiant Humble Bundle?

Let’s give this a go, eh? Feel free to yell corrections (or gently whisper them if you so prefer) in the comments if I have anything wrong.

Valiant have recently had a ‘Humble Bundle’ deal going on, where for a pay-what-you-want scheme you’d receive a massive collection of theirrelaunched titles. Now, in a change from all the other similar deals which publishers have been rolling out over the last few months, Valiant’s comics are all part of the same Universe – meaning that there’s a specific reading order which’ll help you get the stories in chronological shape.

valiant

Being a little foolhardy, I’ve put together a quick idea of what I believe that reading order should be! This ignores the three titles which, within the Humble Bundle, stand aside from all the others. Those would be Shadowman (which I don’t believe ever touches the rest of the Valiant universe), Quantum & Woody (which does, but not until volume 3 or so) and Rai (which is set way into the future).

Those aside, here’s how I believe you should read the comics, arranged by trades:

X-O Manowar 1-2

These two opening volumes follow the story of flagship Valiant character X-O Manowar. The first is an origin story, followed by the introduction of Ninjak, who’ll be showing up again later. This is your entry point for Valiant.

Harbinger 1-2

These two volumes follow psionically-enhanced people who have superpowers. The first trade, again, sets up the premise, before the second trade sets up the team who’ll be appearing in the series going forward.

Bloodshot 1-2

About an assassin who is attempting to escape from the brainwashing he’s been given, Bloodshot has a few connections with Harbinger, and I believe you can basically follow either series simultaneously. They’re going to be connecting up down the line.

Archer & Armstrong 1-2

Which is about two somewhat mismatched guys who have very specific missions which may or may bring them into conflict with one another. These two volumes are essentially disconnected from the rest of Valiant, with one exception – volume 2 introduces ‘The Eternal Warrior’, who’ll be an important figure in a bit.

X-O Manowar 3

Volume 3 is a big event-type storyline called Planet Death, which I don’t believe touches on any of the other Valiant books specifically, but does mention some in passing. This leads directly into Unity, which is included in the Humble Bundle (but to get the full X-O Manowar/Unity storyline, you’ll have to pick up some of the further X-O Manowar trades, which aren’t included in this deal)

Harbinger Wars

Valiant’s first crossover throws Bloodshot and the cast of Harbinger at one another, leading to changes to both books.

Bloodshot 3/Harbinger 3

And as such, these two volumes tie in and cross over with the Harbinger Wars storyline. I’d suggest reading the main event first, before using these trades to get in further to the intricacies of the story.

Archer & Armstrong 3

Has a few links to Harbinger, but really I’m just listing this because now you’ve started reading the series, you may as well keep going!

Eternal Warrior 1-2

Here we go. The Eternal Warrior spins off into his own two-trade series at this point. It stands alone as such, but ultimately leads to him joining…

Unity 1-2

The ‘event’ series. Each arc of the book is billed as being a high-impact story, and the first trade follows on from the last X-O Manowar storyline. The fourth trade of THAT series likely should be read simultaneously with this, as it’s a tie-in – but as mentioned, that’s not in the Humble Bundle. Unity also features Harada, a character from Harbinger, as well as Ninjak’s return, and more Eternal Warrior.

 

And THAT is your reading order for the Humble Bundle! Shadowman, Quantum and Woody, and Rai are all set, essentially, beyond the remit of the above storylines. However, if you want to full reading guide for EVERYTHING Valiant have done since the relaunch – well, I’ll have to get to work on that later!

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