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Valiant: Coming in August

I don’t like variant covers, I don’t like 5-5+ page “previews” of other comics in the backs of my books, I don’t like $3.99 as a price point, and I don’t like “clumping” or “clustering” of books.

But I’ve stuck with Valiant for over a year now, and despite some practices I don’t like, they do a lot right.

And one of the things I really like is that the backs of their comics keep me apprised as to what’s coming out when, showing cover imagery for the next month’s books.

I find this to be a rather attractive design, and as a person who is presently maintaining a pull list that includes “all Valiant single-issues,” informative. When–across the prior month–I see these images regularly, I know what I’m looking for when the issues DO come out, and there’s a certain familiarity that I like.

Though these can be a bit spoilery (at least in who’s gonna show up or survive), that familiarity means when I get to a new issue, the cover’s not a surprise, but I don’t have to have read solicitation text for it, either. And sometimes I find myself guessing at what’s going to be going on in an issue or otherwise just looking forward to it because of the cover imagery.

valiant-coming-in-august

For example, that Bloodshot image looks very interesting, I like the coloring, and I’ve got time between these back covers and the inserted checklists that’ve been coming with some issues (whether packed that way or the comic shop tucking them in, I’m not sure) to come to really associate that Bloodshot image with the #0 issue, which goes a way toward making it somewhat “iconic” without being some chromium/foil-enhanced anything.

I also find myself quite amused lately at the Archer & Armstrong covers, as they seem to carry a certain sort of “humor” to them, given what we know of the characters, and that alone adds a little extra something to the title. Seeing the image so small, I look forward to the “full size” cover, and it keeps me wondering just how literal the cover may be–will that scene be in the book, or is it just drawn as a parallel to the book’s story?

And frankly, these collages “do” a lot more for me than any other ad on the back of a comic; sure, they’re not getting the outside advertising dollars for this house ad, but they gain a bit of good will from me as a reader, and set themselves apart from being “just” another Marvel or DC.

Archer and Armstrong #10 [Review]

Archer & Armstrong (2012) #10 [cover]Mystery Hole

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Covers by: Clayton Henry, Juan Doe, Matthew Waite, Andrew Robinson
Assistant Editor: Josh Johns
Executive Editor: Warren Simons
Published by: Valiant
Cover Price: $3.99

I’m enjoying the standard covers on this series lately. They fit the characters, and are rather amusing given context OF the characters. This one–Armstrong, Archer ,and some alien caught sneaking by, guns pointed at them…something about it just works for me.

Inside the issue, we don’t see this scene exactly…but we do see our heroes breaking into a Project Rising Spirit facility/Area 51 (there’s our tie-in: it’s Valiant, so of course PRS is involved). They’re looking for info on Archer’s past, true info rather than what he’s been told all his life by manipulative parents–but things don’t go quite as planned. We’re also reintroduced to Mary-Maria, whose status quo was left a bit in question recently, and see what she’s now dealing with…holding a lot of potential for quirky situations and interesting character development as we continue on.

I’m honestly not entirely sure where I stand with this title, in a way: I certainly enjoy it, but like Shadowman, I sometimes feel like I’m playing catchup, as its story details don’t often stick with me outside the actual reading of the issues. I guess that puts me as a more generalized or casual fan than a die-hard, for whatever that says about me.

As usual, the story and art work well together. I can follow along without issue, I’m not left scratching my head or finding myself taken out of the story by some weird, stylistic art bit, and I don’t pick up on any great plot holes or such.

In short, I read the issue, I enjoyed the issue, and I expect to be back for the next issue.

The Return of Valiant (again)

image002Several years ago, I passed on pre-ordering a hardcover of the first X-O Manowar book from the “new” Valiant. I did get the Archer & Armstrong volume, and wound up picking up most of the singles in the months after that. I thought about them recently, though, idly, figuring it was another initiative that had shown plenty of promise, but fell by the wayside.

Then this press release showed up in my inbox this morning.


image003VALIANT COMICS TO RETURN; FORMER MARVEL CEO BECOMES CHAIRMAN

Company Announces Investment and Expansion of Management Team

New York, NY – June 2, 2011 – Valiant Entertainment, the character-based entertainment company with more than 1,500 characters in its library, announced it will reintroduce the critically acclaimed Valiant Universe in print and digital comics in 2012.  Valiant has hired accomplished industry executives and creative talent to expand its management team.  The first announcement is that former Marvel CEO and Vice Chairman Peter Cuneo has assumed the role of Chairman of Valiant.

Valiant Entertainment, co-founded by Jason Kothari and Dinesh Shamdasani, has received a capital infusion from private investment company Cuneo & Company, LLC.  Peter Cuneo, Managing Principal of Cuneo & Co., recently concluded ten years of leadership at Marvel Entertainment, which achieved one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in entertainment history during that period.  His tenure with Marvel concluded with Marvel’s sale at the end of 2009 to The Walt Disney Company for over $4 billion. Gavin Cuneo, Principal of Cuneo & Co., was an investment banker with Bank of America Merrill Lynch prior to the founding of Cuneo & Co.  He has spent over ten years working in investment banking and investment management and has been appointed to Valiant’s Board of Directors.  Peter and Gavin Cuneo are working closely with Valiant’s expanded management team to usher in the new era of Valiant.

“I am excited to be partnering with Peter and Gavin,” said CEO Jason Kothari. “Peter’s decade of leadership at Marvel, Gavin’s decade of experience on Wall Street, and their highly active roles with Valiant will be integral to our expansion.”

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