Starting this May, Valiant is kicking off a new initiative called Valiant First. The plan is to release the first issue of a new series every month for the rest of 2014.
"The defining goal of VALIANT FIRST is to give readers clear and accessible jumping-on points into Valiant's award-winning publishing line," said Valiant Executive Editor Warren Simons. "Over the past two years, Valiant's approach to the craft and business of comics has been widely imitated throughout the industry. We're incredibly flattered by that fact, but we also see it as a challenge. Our response is to raise the bar even higher. We've been building momentum with a slew of awards and the best reviewed line of books on the market – but 2014 is where you'll see us double our game without doubling the size of our publishing line."
Valiant First kicks off with Rai #1, a new on-going series by writer Matt Kindt and fully-painted interiors by artist Clayton Crain. In June we get Armor Hunters #1 by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite. July is Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 by Joe Harris and Trevor Hairsine as well as Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 by Joshua Dysart and Robert Gill. August gives us Delinquents #1 by Fred Van Lente, James Asmus and Kano and September we find The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1 by Jen Van Meter and Roberto de la Torre.
"Over the next year, we'll be working one-on-one with retailers to put our books in customer hands, and to generate new fans with each release. Already, we're planning to introduce an expansive array of sales incentives, returnability offerings, and promotional materials. Look for details to follow as VALIANT FIRST hits the ground running," said Hunter Gorinson, Valiant's Director of Marketing, Communications & Digital Media.
The important thing to note is that even though they are launching these new titles, they will not be increasing the line past 9 books. So this is more about giving readers a new jumping on point then anything to do with expanding the line of books.
And now, like with all good announcements… we got a lot of art to share.
RAI #1 (May)
Written by Matt Kindt (Unity, Mind MGMT); Art by Clayton Crain (X-Force, Carnage)
In the far future of 4001 A.D., Japan is a single endless city-state, governed by a benevolent artificial intelligence and policed by an army of just one – the mysterious Rai, spirit guardian of the rising sun. But, soon, a single bullet will shatter the peace it has taken 2,000 years to secure…
A relentless and surgical strike team from the farthest reaches of space – sworn to exterminate the X-O Manowar armor and all like it – have found finally their last target. They will hunt. They will trap. They will kill. And they will rid the universe of the X-O Manowar's incalculable destructive power…even if it means taking the Earth with it.
In the tradition of the universe-changing HARBINGER WARS, Valiant's biggest heroes launch into the summer's blockbuster 18-issue crossover event right here in ARMOR HUNTERS #1 – and then take the fight to the world's first full-scale cosmic threat with new arcs of UNITY and X-O MANOWAR beginning in June, and ARMOR HUNTERS: BLOODSHOT and ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER beginning in July!
ARMOR HUNTERS: BLOODSHOT #1 (July)
Written by Joe Harris (The X-Files: Season 10); Art by Trevor Hairsine (X-Men: Deadly Genesis)
The most dangerous weapon in the Valiant Universe has come in from the cold. With Earth under siege by the Armor Hunters, Bloodshot is the only thing standing between the destruction of the extraterrestrial intelligence agency known as MERO and the liberation of one of the Armor Hunters' own.
ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER #1 (July)
Written by Joshua Dysart (Harbinger Wars); Art by Robert Gill (Batgirl)
Because you demanded it! Out of the ashes of Harbinger Wars, the volatile psiot strike force known as Generation Zero step into their very first adventure – and right into the crosshairs of the Armor Hunters!
THE DELINQUENTS #1 (August)
Written by Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies) & James Asmus (Thief of Thieves); Art by Kano (Gotham Central)
It's the world's worst team-up when Archer & Armstrong meet Quantum and Woody! We apologize in advance for what can only be described as a swashbuckling, conspiracy-smashing, partner-trading, goat-fueled race across the USA!
THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE #1 (September)
Written by Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages); Art by Roberto de la Torre (Daredevil)
World-renowned parapsychologist Dr. Mirage and her husband Hwen were madly, deeply, stuff-of-legends in love – until the day a tragic accident stole Hwen away. Now, Dr, Mirage will have to use every ounce of her training and talents in the mystic arts to do the one thing Hwen taught her never to do – journey across the realms of Deadside and bring her love back to the land of the living.