So what is happening at Valiant Comics? As we reported a few days back, rumors swirled about layoffs and cutbacks, however we’ve since learned that publisher Fred Pierce and senior editor Lysa Hawkins are still at the company – while the fate of sales communication manager Cody White and other staffers is not as clear.

Despite a marketing email that came out yesterday with the headline, “The Epic Future of Valiant Entertainment Publishing,” according to CBR, the future involves publishing one title a month. 

As revealed in a newsletter from writer Steve Foxe, Archer & Armstrong has been cancelled with issue #4.

Today’s issue of Archer & Armstrong Forever will be the final issue for the foreseeable future.

Obviously, this was not the original plan—the print issue, at least, still ends with the cover for #5, and we were originally solicited through #6, too. The whole creative team was comfortably ahead of schedule, but plans changed late into the game and we’ll now be stopping at #4. While I am of course disappointed that readers won’t get to see the rest of our original plans any time soon, I am extremely grateful for the four issues we got out there, and for the entire experience.

Bloodshot Unleashed debuts on September 21st, and it’s also Valiant’s first ever mature readers title. Written by Deniz Camp with art by Jon Davis-Hunt, BLOODSHOT UNLEASHED is “a brutally unflinching examination of who the character is, set against a backdrop of violence that exposes his traumatic past by pitting him against deadly rampaging monsters who reflect his own place in the Valiant Universe.”

Bloodshot will not only be unleashed at long last, he’s getting a “carbon fiber 1/250 variant” whatever the heck that is.

After this four issue series wraps up, BOOK OF SHADOWS returns in January, teaming up Shadowman, Eternal Warrior, Punk Mambo, Doctor Mirage and Persephone. It’s written by Cullen Bunn and with art by Vicente Cifuentes. X-O Manowar Unconquered, another mini from the A-list team  of Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and Liam Sharp follows that.

Continuing our series of overly dramatic metaphors for the state of various comics publishers, Valiant’s current state resembles one of those Yankee Candles that has burned all the way down, and now the flame is just a teeny little flicker. But you can still smell a faint aroma of Farm Fresh Peach.

Or to be a bit more on the nose:  the symbolism of the released cover – Bloodshot disintegrating into ashes and shreds – lands on many levels.