A little mystery surfaced during the Valiant panel at C2E2. A fan talked about his love for the original Valiant’s Solar (an excellent comic, by the by) and wondered if those old Gold Key heroes might be returning to the new Valiant. Fred Pierce started out with a slightly political answer, that he thought that the original Valiant characters were stronger and he neither wanted nor needed them for the relaunch. And then Valiant co-founder Dinesh Shamdasani chimed in with a little nugget of his own.
Shamdasani, who went about trying to get his hands on the rights to Valiant because he was a fan of the original run, admitted his favorite title was Magnus, Robot Fighter and said, that while it was true they didn’t need the characters, it really didn’t matter because those characters were coming back and someone else was doing them.
Which brings up the big question of, as they’re wont to say in New Orleans, “Who dat?”
Dark Horse tried the last revival and it didn’t go well. It also had a particularly bad shipping schedule. Early days of Image levels of shipping delays.
The players you’d suspect for a licensed book like Magnus or Solar would be (alphabetically) Boom!, Dark Horse, Dynamite and IDW .
Dark Horse just got done with a pretty extensive product list shout out. They’re doing a lot of superhero stuff all of a sudden, but the only *line* they’re doing is a revival of their 90’s “Comics’ Greatest World”/”Dark Horse Heroes” line. And you’d think Shamdasani would have called them by name if they weren’t done with them.
Boom! has been active licensing TV and film rights, more than other comic characters, so they seem less likely at first blush.
That leaves us with IDW (who will be relaunching THUNDER Agents soon) and Dynamite.
There’s a lot of noise around Dynamite right now. Owner Nick Barrucci was making a lot of noise about a huge business announcement to be made at C2E2, but what we got was Dynamite selling some their titles on Dark Horse’s digital platform. That’s interesting, but not what I’d call huge. Makes you think there was something else close to being announced. Barrucci also announced he’d signed Jeff Parker, Steve Niles and Duane Swierczynski, but not what he’d signed them for. Plus, Dynamite already has a Classic Media (the owner of the Gold Key heroes) property in the Lone Ranger, so they’re no strangers to the owners. And then you have the odd rumor that Dark Horse and Dynamite are merging (which I doubt) — probably just over-reaction stemming from the digital deal… or are the two publishers cutting a deal around the Gold Key characters? Does all this add up to the Gold Key heroes coming in as a new line? Maybe and maybe not.
Meanwhile, IDW has added “Rocky & Bullwinkle” and “Sherman & Mr. Peabody” to their kids line-up. While on the surface, you’d think that was more Dreamworks related, guess what? Those are also Classic Media properties. It’s not remotely like anyone’s going to have an exclusive with the Classic Media characters. Still, that’s a link to the mothership for Magnus, Dr. Solar and Turok.
Either way, I suspect Shamdasani is very aware whether or not those properties are in play, so the question is who has them right now?
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.