Valiant had a panel at New York Comic-Con. Check out what they had to say.
Valiant had themselves a panel at New York Comic-Con, where they talked a bit about what's coming up in the immediate future in their books.
The panel was moderated by Valiant's Marketing Manager Hunter Gorinson. On the panel were Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani, Executive Editor Warren Simons, Archer & Armstrong writer Fred Van Lente, Harbinger writer Joshua Dysart, and Shadowman writer Justin Jordan.
Gorinson opened the panel by talking about how 2012 was a "massive, massive year for Valiant." He then brought up Shadowman, and the fact that the first issue went to the printer earlier that day. Shamdasani asked if anyone would like to read the first issue before anyone else and tell the audience what he thought of it. The fan chosen at random took the issue, and then announced to everyone in attendance that he is a writer for Bleeding Cool. He did not appear to return the issue when the panel ended.
Gorinson turned it over to Simons to talk a bit more about Shadowman. The first issue hits stands November 7. "It's co-written by Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan. The guys are really putting their hearts into the project. This will feature Jack Boniface, who is our version of Shadowman. It's really going to be Jack's journey to learn who he is, to discover his legacy and what it means to be Shadowman. A lot of this will be about exploring areas of the Valiant Universe that have never been seen before and tapping into a dark corner of the universe. What we'll begin see not only how Jack learns to use his powers, but what it means to be a Shadowman in the Valiant Universe. One of the great things about working at Valiant is that we have such an extraordinary history to draw on. We have so many great characters created by so many extraordinarily amazing creators. The Deadside was originally conceived in the Acclaim version, in the videogame first. We'll be seeing the Deadside in this version as well. We have so many different Shadowmen to draw from, and the first one we see is Jack. We're really excited about this one. Patrick's art is just absolutely, positively off the charts.
Talk then moved on to Archer & Armstrong. Van Lente mentions the debut of Gilad, The Eternal Warrior, in issue #5. The Eternal Warrior is targetting Archer, " so the book may be called Armstrong soon." He also teases the debut of Geomancer in issue #6, as well as "more globe-hopping and time-hopping," as well as art by Emanuela Lupacchino. Van Lente notes that while the original Gilad was "James Bond meets Highlander," his version will be more akin to Jason Bourne. "We also introduce more villains. Archer & Armstrong's main nemesis is this kind of United Nations of secret societies called The Sect. We have the ninja nuns, the Nazi Buddhists and One-Percent, all these crazy factions within The Sect. Coming up we have the most terrifying faction of The Sect, called The Null. The Null are actually terrifying. The Sect has been treated as various gags and satirical things, but starting with this book, they're getting kind of scary."
Gorinson then brings up Bloodshot and has Simons talk a bit about the upcoming arc. He refers to it as "hyper-compressed," rather than decompressed. "If Bloodshot does not die at least three times an issue, then we consider us to not have done our jobs." Simons teases that Bloodshot gets into Project: Rising Spirit, and discovers pieces of his history. Issues #5 and #6 will bring back Chainsaw ("the most subtle of the Valiant characters"), a group of characters who briefly appeared in the original Bloodshot. Issue #7 will explore more of Bloodshot's history, revealing that he was once a "Harbinger Hunter." He goes on to say that "if al-Queda exists, the United States has an answer for them in Seal Team 6 in our world. If Harbingers exists, there's a good chance that the government will have some kind of response to people that can blow up a city by themselves, or can take over a school by themselves." The issue will be drawn by Matthew Clark.
Talk then turned to X-O Manowar, which will start a new major storyline entitled "Planet Death" wherein X-O Manowar goes to the Vine homeworld. Trevor Hairsine will draw issues #5 and #6, before Cary Nord returns to the book. Simons: "To a certain extent, Aric was content to let sleeping dogs lie, but the Vine are not. They woke something up that will cause a big problem. Aric's a Visigoth, and the Visigoths sacked Rome. They took the fight to them. Aric is going to be realizing that that's what his culture did, so rather than wait around for the Vine to target him, he's going to take the fight to the Vine homeworld. Beginning in issue #9, we're going to see the X-O Commando Armor. Within the heirarchy of Armors, the X-O is the most powerful one, and the Commando is vicious in its own right."
The floor was the turned over to Dysart, who talked about the upcoming Harbinger #0. The issue, drawn by Mico Suayan, will feature Toyo Harada as a young man. Dysart talks about Toyo's time living in a refugee camp after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. "This is the story of a small boy awakening to his powers in post-War Japan. We're going to see Harada coming into his own, and see a small child controlling an entire post-War refugee camp. In doing so, we'll explore the roots of how Harada came to decide that what he needed to do was control the financial power of the world. He's also going to blow up tanks." Shifting attention to the upcoming "Renegade" arc, Dysart explained that the arc will be comprised of stand-alone issues, each one focusing on a different Renegade. "They're very character-centric, and that's what we've decided to do with Harbinger. If X-O Manowar is the big action book, and Archer & Armstrong is the Monty Python book, the Harbinger is the place where we can do the high-end character-based superhero drams. We also blow shit up." He goes on to praise artist Khari Evans, as well as fill-in artist Phil Briones. He also notes that the issue focusing on the character of Chris is about "a human being among gods," and then describes the issue as "where we as creators take responsibility" for an event that occurred in the first issue of the book.
Gorinson announces that Valiant will be releasing all of Quantum & Woody on ComiXology, with issue #1 available for free. Shamdasani and Simons drop hints about a possible Quantum & Woody series.
Simons asks Justin Jordan, who arrived late to the panel, to talk a bit about Shadowman. "This version of Jack Boniface is what stands between the supernatural and the city of New Orleans in particular, and the world in particular. Unfortunately, Jack doesn't have the training and experience he should have had. He finds out that not only do magic and monsters exist, he finds out his job is to fight them all in the same night, so he's having a rough time." Jordan explains that he was put together with Zircher when Zircher suggested Jordan's name to Simons, who just happened to a pitch from Jordan for Shadowman.
To start off the Q&A portion of the panel, the thieving Bleeding Cool writer said that he enjoyed the issue.
We will see previous iterations of Shadowman on "Page One" of the first issue.
The character of Ivar, the other brother of Armstrong, is very different from the original version.
The first of a sea of questions about the trio of Gold Key characters who were licensed to Valiant in the early 90's but whose rights the company no longer has access to, concerned reprints of the issues they appeared in. Shamdasani said that there isn't much he can say about the rights to those characters, and that the company isn't really thinking much about them. He had to basically repeat this idea to at least a half-dozen audience members who kept asking about those characters.
Simons didn't rule out the possibility of new books with new characters in the future, but feels Valiant has "a deep bench," and that the company would like to get to the characters it currently has.
Dysart was asked about The Bleeding Monk, and he teased that there will be more focus on him in upcoming issues.
A fan talked about a theory on the ValiantFans.com message boards, which posits that when the Manowar armor is in its spherical form, it resembles the sphere inside The Boon (the object of unimaginable power in Archer & Armstrong). Van Lente noted that there are various connections between all of the Valiant series.
A fan asked about Gilad's scars, and Simons asked that "not everything is as it appears."
The same fan asked about Valiant movies. Shamdasani says that Brett Ratner is working on a Harbinger movie, and that there will be another announcement coming soon about another movie (most likely referring to the news that J. Michael Straczynski is writing a Shadowman adaptation).