Valiant’s big summer release is a new series for their long-lost team THE PSI-LORDS. The new ongoing will be written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Renato Guedes and debuts this June. We were given a chance to interview Van Lente ahead of time—a shorter version of this runs in Valiants’ FCBD 2019 Bloodshot Special.
The original Psi-Lords had a series back in Valiant’s original run, but the new series will have a different take—at least to start with. The series follows four human space travelers who wake up in an unfamiliar place… and finding out how they got there will have a big impact on the Valiant universe.
Scroll to the end for a five page preview!
THE BEAT: The Psi-Lords are sort of the “lost clan” of the Valiant Universe, both in story terms and in publishing history. Where were they when last we saw them?
FRED VAN LENTE: The Psi-Lords are as old as the Valiant Universe itself and are as powerful as…well, “gods” are not a concept that has had much of a traction in the VU, but they are vastly powerful psychic beings as close to gods as anyone in the VU is likely to encounter. Their existence has been hinted at a bit in current-era Valiant books, but it’s time for them to take center stage at last.
THE BEAT: In the rebooted Valiant Universe the return of the Psi-Lords has been teased several times…but they were no-shows. What made this the right time for their return?
VAN LENTE: There is a specific, important reason, and much of the series is about unraveling that enigma, one that will have monumental impact on the Valiant Universe and everyone in it moving forward. Let’s just say…there’s something big coming, and the Psi-Lords are both the cause and solution.
THE BEAT: Just who are these Psi-Lords? Do they know they are Psi-Lords?
VAN LENTE: That’s what our heroes would like to know—four people, seemingly from completely different walks of life, all wake up in the same, ancient alien prison, with no memory of who brought them there or why. They find they have earth-shaking powers they barely understand – much less control. And the only clue they have is that they’ve been urged to “find the Psi-Lords.”
THE BEAT: Our heroes find themselves in an even more bizarre setting once they escape. Can you talk a little about that?
VAN LENTE: This prison in space isn’t a single structure, but an entire system—“The Gyre”—made up of trapped, derelict spaceships, all locked in orbit around the same dying, wandering star. Sort of a Sargasso Sea but in outer space, as one of our characters describes it—a wild, untamed post-apocalyptic world of alien metal. Each shipwreck has its own unique culture and species, and our heroes have to explore this strange new world—and, more importantly, defend it. In their quest to find the Psi-Lords, who have been imprisoned somewhere in the Gyre, our heroes—the Quartet, I call them in the scripts—become a motley family of heroes, and the champions the Gyre has been hungering for a long time.
THE BEAT: Based on what I’ve read about the book, this is a wild mix of SF adventure, ticking time bombs, and lots of intrigue. What’s the most fun for you in writing it?
VAN LENTE: I’ve really found my inspiration in Heavy Metal—the music and the magazine—and gone back to European inspiration, like Jodorowsky and Ladron’s Metabarons. I keep hearing driving guitar licks while I am writing—this is epic, epic stuff. And thanks to Renato Guedes’ art, your teeth will practically rattle while reading it. Our heroes literally bleed power—you can see it seething off of them as they fight—and it’s kind of like how I feel right now. I can barely contain myself telling you all the kickass stuff we have planned, but…must…resist…temptation…to spoil…all…the reveals…and twists and turns.
THE BEAT: How does this connect to your previous books for Valiant and the universe as a whole?
VAN LENTE: I love world-building. With ARCHER & ARMSTRONG and IVAR, TIMEWALKER I explored a lot of the past of Valiant Earth, and with WAR MOTHER, I got to dip into the 4001 A.D. future era a bit. What’s exciting about PSI-LORDS is I get explore more the X-O MANOWAR realm of deep space, other worlds, and new species—although not all of these groups will be completely unfamiliar to Valiant fans. In fact, readers of the current X-O series may instantly see some deep connections!
THE BEAT: What’s the most important thing for fans of the old Psi-Lords to know about this series?
VAN LENTE: It will blow your mind.
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by ROD REIS
Cover B by JONBOY MEYERS
Cover C by ALAN QUAH
Cosmic Variant Cover by MARCO RUDY
Pre-Order Edition Cover by PAULINA GANUCHEAU
Blank Cover Also Available
Available June 19th, 2019
FOC is May 27th
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.