As was reported previously, Valiant Comics, publisher of Shadowman and Harbinger, among other titles, is entering the NFT marketplace. NFTs proved to be a lucrative business for Marvel and DC in 2021 on VeVe, with each new release selling out in seconds, and their digital collectibles commanding higher prices in the aftermarket.
Valiant announced last week that it would debut the program with the Season One Genesis Mint Pass on January 26. This NFT, an animated digital coin with the Valiant logo emblazoned on it, contains a host of benefits, the biggest being holders will receive the first six Valiant character NFTs for free. The first character NFT was also announced, voodoo priestess Punk Mambo, seen below in an illustration by Dan Brereton. Her NFT will be released sometime in Q1 2022.
Reaction to Valiant’s announcement was mixed, with backlash from comics fans coming immediately. Fans who opposed NFTs threatened on Twitter to cancel Valiant titles from their pull lists at their local comic book shop.
I was excited for the upcoming year of Valiant that was recently teased, but moving into the NFT space has caused me to decide to remove all Valiant comics from my pull list. NFTs are bad for the environment.
— Brett S. Simon (@BrettSSimon) January 21, 2022
However, there is an active Valiant Discord full of people asking for whitelist spots, which would guarantee them a chance to buy the NFTs in advance and potentially at a discount.
On Saturday, Valiant announced on a live Twitter Spaces the price tag for their two upcoming NFTs. The Season One Genesis Mint Pass will cost 0.3 ETH, or roughly $725 as of this writing, and the Punk Mambo NFT will cost 0.077 ETH, or roughly $169. For someone interested in collecting all the Valiant NFTs, the Genesis Mint Pass is the better option. It includes all 6 initial character NFTs guaranteed, and presents a nice savings of 0.12 ETH per character. Compared to other comics NFTs, the price seems high, as the latest Marvel and DC NFT offerings cost $7 and $120 respectively. For the price of the Punk Mambo NFT, one could buy all of Valiant’s 2021 comic book output and still have money to spare.
During the Twitter Spaces event, the Valiant NFT team was proud of the fact that Valiant didn’t license out their characters to a company like VeVe, but rather was maintaining control of their own NFT program. They said both NFTs would have functionality in the upcoming Valiant pay-to-earn game, but provided no details on the game itself.
A concerning aspect of the call was how unfamiliar the people on the project seemed to be with Valiant Comics and its characters. When the host of the call asked people from the Valiant NFT program what they liked about Punk Mambo, one responded in the vaguest of terms, saying she “really liked the colors in the art.” Another said he used to be really into comics and liked that this was linked to a real-world property, unlike most other NFTs. One of the Valiant NFT people kept mistakenly referring to Valiant as “the third biggest comic publisher.” He may have confused that with an often-touted Valiant marketing line that they have the third largest superhero universe. They pitched these Valiant NFTs as an investment for early adopters because of the potential for movie and video game tie-ins, making Valiant’s film operation sound more like the MCU and not like the people behind the Vin Diesel Bloodshot movie, which arrived DOA at the box office when it grossed only $9.3 million on its opening weekend.
In an effort to further entice buyers, Valiant announced on Sunday night that all Season One Genesis Mint Pass and Punk Mambo NFT holders would receive a Punk Mambo Metaverse wearable.
Valiant is setting itself up for a nice payday if the NFT program succeeds, but at the potential risk of losing a significant amount of its comics fanbase in a tight comics market. And then there is the possibility of the NFT failing. Valiant would not be the first comics related NFT to flop this month. Rob Liefeld‘s NFT project, The Defiants, ran a promotion when it debuted last week that the first 250 people to buy the full set of his NFTs would receive a bonus NFT of the hand drawn artwork of one of the characters, Vandel. At the conclusion of the 24 hour drop, only 10 full sets of Defiants NFTs had been sold.