Octavio Karbank writes from New York Comic Con 2017:
Featuring vibrant characters and storylines that defy the typical superhero conventions, you’d be hard-pressed to pick up a Valiant comic and not experience inspiration at reading these emotionally complex, yet equally bombastic stories.
Founded in 1989, Valiant Comics’ unique flavor generated an entirely new group of comic book fans. Creating new sub-genres, gone were the stereotypical good guys in capes vs. bad guys with laser gun motifs. Rather, Valiant’s bold direction offered a darker and more realistic approach to the medium. With gritty and morally ambiguous characters like Bloodshot and Rai, but also hilarious heroes like Quantum and Woody, there was something for everyone in this new universe.
After Valiant disappeared in the late ’90s, it returned stronger than ever with its re-launch in 2005, thanks to Dinesh Shamdasani and James Kothari. Penned by the incredibly talented Joshua Dysart, Harbinger went on for a wonderfully crafted 25 issues. The follow-up mini-series Harbinger: Omegas helped wrap up the intricate storyline. Thankfully, the journey of Peter and his friends doesn’t end there.
Yet, in an ever-changing world, there is the need to get one’s product out there however you can. In this case, enter Valiant’s upcoming web series Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe. Announced last year, Valiant has pulled out all the stops, teaming up with the YouTube channel Bat In The Sun, known for their epic Superpower Beatdown videos, to champion the new series.
Plenty of the cast appeared, including Kevin Porter, who’ll be playing Armstrong, from Archer and Armstrong, and Michael Rowe, who’ll be the titular character Ninjak. There was a little introduction of the Ninjak character, describing him as something of a “ninja James Bond”. From there, we saw several clips from the upcoming series.
The first clip featured Ninjak, out of costume, attacked in a high-rise apartment building by a bunch of ninjas and the villainess Roku, who is the primary villain — but not the only one. Roku beats Ninjak and manipulates him into stealing something called “Asset 147”.
Jump ahead to another clip, where we see Ninja having infiltrated MI6, having stolen the object and proceeds to fight his way out by way of a pretty impressive display of martial arts ninja fighting.
Another clip introduced Archer and Armstrong, showing them at a bar, with Armstrong getting drunk and getting into fights while Archer innocently hustles at playing pool. Eventually they get a call from Neville Alcott, one of the lead guys in MI^, and it’s time for hem to go to work.
The final clip revealed Aric as X-O Manowar, spending some quality alone time on top a mountain, his infamous Shanhara armor floating in the air next to him. Suddenly, Aric removes his shirt and the armor wraps around him, before he launches himself into the sky.
While there was no release date given, Valiant did mention that the finale to Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, or at least the final fight, was going to take place in a private jet.
As for the comics side of things, there’s a new Ninja-K series coming out by Christos Cage. The story focuses on how Ninjak is a designation, with Ninja-A, Ninja-B, etc. coming before him. Additionally, someone is killing these ninjas, and Ninjak has to find out why.
Lastly, there’s going to be a Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe four-issue tie-in comic by Eliot Rahal; it’ll serve as an expansion to the series.
All in all, the Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe panel was lively, fun, and offered audiences a closer look about what’s to come. If the footage we saw was indicative of the series as a whole, I think it’s safe to say we’re in for a good time. Check out the teaser trailer below.
After the panel was over and done with, attendees could go to the Valiant booth and grab an incredibly exclusive gold foil variant of the relatively new Bloodshot Salvation issue #1. There was no indication how many copies they gave out, but it was presumably only enough for everyone in the room.