Via PR and an interview with CBR, the much-argued over Valiant comics characters are coming back, this time under a group led by former Marvel CEO Peter Cuneo, his brother, Gavin, CEO Jason Kothari and director Dinesh Shamdasani.
This morning, Valiant Entertainment – the company which purchased the rights to the ’90s comics powerhouse’s original properties in 2007 – announced that it will begin publishing new comics in both print and digitally formats in 2012 featuring heroes like XO Manowar and Bloodshot. The move comes in part thanks to a capital infusion from Cueno & Company, LCC – an investment firm headed by former Marvel CEO and Vice Chairman Peter Cuneo and his brother Gavin. Cuneo left Marvel in 2010 as a result of the Disney buyout of that company and will serve as Chairman of Valiant, rounding out a management team that already included CEO Jason Kothari and Director Dinesh Shamdasani (the full press release can be read here).
Valiant Comics was a ’90s comics powerhouse, with astounding sales for books that relied on strong stories and characters over flashy art. The company foundered, as many did, in the wasteland of the Distributor Wars, and the characters have been at the center of several lawsuits since then, most recently when the FORMER e-i-c-, and chief world builder of the Valiant-verse, Jim Shooter, wrote several of the Gold Key characters — like Turok — at Dark Horse. Valiant had licensed these characters to great success in the 90s, but they are not part of the line moving forward:
Kothari: Valiant has a huge library of characters, and we have the Valiant Universe which is larger than any one character as it plays an invaluable role in supporting and strengthening all the characters within it. The Gold Key characters are part of our past, but they are not important to our future. Within the Valiant Universe framework, we are initially focusing on 9 or 10 of Valiant’s A-list characters, such as X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, and Harbinger, and the interactions between them.
The last time we had a public encounter with people claiming to be rebooting Valiant was a couple of years ago when Fred Pierce, formerly of Wizard, and Mark Frangos, formerly of Virgin, were going around the Diamond summit talking about relaunching the line. Neither they, nor Bill Jemas, another potential publishing figure who attempted to orchestrate a Valiant comeback, seems to be involved with this go round. Heck, the silhouetted figure with the smoking gun in the promo art (below) ight as well stand in for the Mystery Valiant Investor who has been lurking on the edges of the comics biz for the last few years.
As mentioned in the piece, the Valiant line aims to hit the racks and tablets in 2012 — we can imagine many freelancers have already sent in their portfolios this very morning.
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.