Valiant Entertainment’s original plan for 2020 was to launch “The Year of the Heroes,” with a number of new and returning series on the docket. Plans have changed slightly, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its sweeping effects on every industry, including comics. However, even though release dates and announcements have been pushed back, Valiant still has a number of new comics tentatively slated for this year — and CBR got an exclusive first look at what’s to come, including three unannounced titles: An all-new direction for Ninjak, a new Harbinger series and more Punk Mambo.
First up, Valiant provided CBR with a first look at Shadowman #1, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Jon Davis-Hunt, colors by Jordie Bellaire and letters by Clayton Cowles. Originally in solicits for May, this horror series reintroduces Jack Boniface as the titular hero as he battles against forces of darkness who are waking up hungry — for life. Below, you’ll find two exclusive, inked pages from the first issue.
Valiant also provided CBR with an exclusive first look at inked pages from Savage #1, written by Max Bemis with art by Nathan Stockman, colors by Brian Reber and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Kevin Sauvage — who was born and raised on a prehistoric island, but now lives among other people — is the only one equipped to deal with a mutant dinosaur threat that invades England. See the pages below.
Unfortunately, CBR cannot reveal the pages provided from these three upcoming series — nor can we reveal the creative teams behind them. However, we can reveal some details and our first impressions of each title.
Ninjak takes on a whole new look in the preview provided by Valiant — which consists of rough layouts, rather than finished pages. There’s a slightly more cartoonish feel than previous Ninjak titles, though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Our first impression of these pages is that the new creative team will breathe a different kind of life into the character, with a fresh take that will draw in new fans as well as old.
The last time Ninjak had an ongoing title at Valiant, it was the 2017-2018 Ninja-K series written by Juan José Ryp and Matt Kindt. Prior to that, Kindt wrote the 2015-2017 Ninjak series for 27 issues, which is the longest a single creator has worked with the character since Ninjak — created by Joe Quesada and Bob Layton — debuted in 1993. Like all of Kindt’s Valiant runs, his work became character-defining — which is sure to continue in the new series, even as it takes on a new direction and different aesthetics.
Harbinger fans have much to look forward to in the new series, which features some stunning artwork and dynamite colors by a creative team with years of experience depicting super-powered teenagers. The outcast teenagers on this team of superheroes first appeared in 1992; the characters were created by Jim Shooter and David Lapham. Harbinger last saw a relaunch in 2012, with Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans heading the creative team. There hasn’t been a Harbinger ongoing since that run concluded in 2014, though spin-off series The Life and Death of Toyo Harada concluded just last year.
Finally, Punk Mambo returns later this year and the inked pages provided by Valiant tease monsters, bar fights and some sketchy situations — all standard fare for Victoria Greaves-Trott, a voodoo priestess living in the Bayou outside New Orleans. Punk Mambo is one of the newer characters at Valiant, having appeared for the first time in Shadowman in 2013. Last year, she featured in a five-issue miniseries written by Cullen Bunn, with art by Adam Gorham, colors by José Villarrubia and letters by Dave Sharpe.
Although Diamond Comic Distributors is on an indefinite hiatus and it’s unclear exactly when new comics will be released, Valiant has a full slate of comics still to come — even if it’s a while before they hit shelves. Ninjak, Harbinger and Punk Mambo fans have new series to look forward to, in addition to Shadowman and Savage. Valiant is also slated to debut its first murder mystery, The Final Witness, as well as additional issues of the new X-O Manowar, which debuted in March.
CBR gets an exclusive first look at new and unannounced titles from Valiant Comics, including Ninjak, Harbinger and Punk Mambo.