Valiant have had an incredible run of great comics for the past few years, with each of their new books – and I can’t think of a single exception here – proving to be massive fun, and really well put together. 2015 will see them move across to a new wave of titles, excitingly, as many of their first run of books draw to a close. Replacing the completed Archer and Armstrong/Quantum and Woody etc will be:
- THE VALIANT #1 )of 4) by Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt and Paolo Rivera in December
- IVAR, TIMEWALKER #1 by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry in January
- DIVINITY #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine in February
- IMPERIUM #1 by Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite in February
- NINJAK #1 by Matt Kindt and Clay Mann in March
- BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan in April
So that’d be one new title a month, then. Let’s take a longer look at each.
The Valiant has already been announced – this is a four-issue miniseries following The Eternal Warrior as he attempts to keep ‘The Geomancer’ safe. She’s the embodiment of nature on earth, essentially, and the character showed up prior in Archer and Armstrong. The creative team, as you can see, is amazingly strong.
Ivar, Timewalker reteams the Archer and Armstrong duo of Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry, as they focus on the third brother of the family. Having already followed Archer and The Eternal Warrior, Ivar, Timewalker now follows the third member of the immortal family who’ve been stamping around the Valiant Universe for centuries. This is an ongoing series which’ll see Ivar attempt to protect the world from some time travelling gone very wrong.
Divinity is a four-issue miniseries from Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine which sees a bit of sci-fi hit the Valiant Universe. During the Cold War, the Soviets send a man into outer space to explore the galaxy – but he is lost. Decades later he crashes back down to Earth, but appears to have developed some eerie and strange powers during that time…
I don’t believe this features any characters who appeared in the earlier incarnations of the Valiant Universe, – it actually all feels quite a lot like Vertigo, doesn’t it? Except I have a little more faith in Valiant than Vertigo nowadays.
Imperium is by Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite and features Harada, the breakout character from Harbinger and Unity. Having spent his life in the shadows, manipulating secret agencies and hiding his own psychic abilities, recent storylines decimated his life’s work and outed him to the public. This series will follow him as he attempts to grasp back the power which has been taken from him.
Matt Kindt and Clay Mann are the team for Ninjak – lovely, as I’ve just finished reading the second trade of XO Manowar (which reintroduced the character) and Ninjak was a breakout star of that storyline. He’s since appeared in flitting moments in various books, most notably Unity. He’s a ninja assassin spy who works for the British Government, and the series will follow him as he tracks down a group of shinobi masters. It’ll also head back to follow him during his first few days of his career, as he starts to make a first mark in the world of espionage.
And finally,Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan (with some art from Lemire too!) will be working together on Bloodshot Reborn, a second ongoing series for the character. Having ostensibly retired so he can spend some quality brooding time with his own sense of guilt, the brainwashed, unkillable assassin will head back into the world to try and stop a copycat killer who seems to be framing him.
All in all, a very very strong lineup of books. It’s a distinctly masculine group of comics, perhaps, which is one thing to note – hopefully the critical success of Dr Mirage will lead to more from writer Jen Van Meter in 2015. Having noted that, this remains a sterling collection of comics for 2015. I can’t see a single one which doesn’t look interesting.