Okay, not that Big Lie comic, but everything else.

§ December 30th, 2020 § Filed under question time § 3 Comments

A couple of things: don’t forget to give me your 2021 comic book industry predictions! Give me something to write about at length in January of 2022!

Also, thank you for keeping your discussion about Wonder Woman 1984 civil. I know it’s a movie that’s inspired a wide range of opinions, and I’m glad you folks are will to have friendly disagreements about the flick. So long as we all agree Frank Miller’s The Spirit is the best superhero film, of course.

Okay, let’s see if I can knock out a few more of your questions:

First, Allan Hoffman is on, man, with this inquiry

“Hi Mike!”

Hi!

“What are your thoughts on Valiant? Since they came back in 2012 they, more than any other company, seem to have been on a see-saw of highs and lows in terms of output and popularity. How do they do in your store?”

I was a big Valiant fan early on, not quite early enough to have bought the Nintendo-inspired video game comics, but I was in on the ground floor for this new superhero universe former Marvel honcho Jim Shooter was masterminding, combining new creations with revived characters from 1960s Dell/Gold Key. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I think once Shooter departed things started to…not be quite so enjoyable any more, shall we say. And once the relaunches/reboots started happening I was pretty much done with them.

But I think Valiant remains a good brand with good properties, though I feel like Solar and Magnus Robot Fighter, two of the ’60s revivals, may have had their last hurrah during those ’90s runs and feel a bit past their expiry dates. That said, those older characters (along with Turok and probably others I’m forgetting) no longer being part of the shared Valiant universe feels…weird. But that’s just because I’m old and hate change. And I sometimes wonder if these older properties being unmoored from the larger Valiant universe hurts their viability as well…like, if being part of a larger thing boosted interest in these older properties initially, but on their own no longer have that extra “oomph” to keep them going.

Of course, a big part of Valiant’s success was coming out at the right time. While bit of a slow burn at first (I still remember having a stack of Harbinger #1 on the rack that didn’t sell, at all) eventually Wizard Magazine picked up on the company as the new Hot Thing, and Wizard‘s popularity and Valiant’s popularity sorta spiraled upwards together. Plus the investment craze was still going strong at the time (also helped along by Wizard) so snapping up any “key” issues of Valiant releases was a regular pastime amongst the comicnoscenti. Remember when Magnus Robot Fighter #12 was in huge demand, what with introducing Turok into Valiant an’ all?

Anyway, if you want to learn about what happened to the original Valiant, and how Turok #1 was a big part of that…well, I have a whole category on my site devoted to it. SPOILER: the actual name of the category may give away the shocking secret.

The newest iteration of Valiant seems to be doing well overall, though at my shop they only have a few, if devoted, followers. Some of the mini-series, like Britannia and Divinity, seem to do a lot better for me than the continuing revivals of X-O Manowar (probably my fave of the originals) and Bloodshot. At least they seem to appeal to a wider range of readers than “people who remember Valiant from the ’90s.”

That sounds harsher than I mean it to be. I have no qualms with modern Valiant as a whole, and their retailer outreach is excellent. And it’s possible my particular arrangement of clientele isn’t interested in what the company is offering. That happens…every store is different, and something that sells great for me may not for someone else, and vice versa. But I’m glad it’s out there, keeping these interesting concepts going.

• • •

Isaac P laughingly asks

“What is your favorite non-Swamp Thing work by Rick Veitch?”

BAM:


Crazy-ass space retooling of Moby Dick with Veitch’s beautiful art and complete strangeness…this was my first encounter with his work, as serialized in Epic Illustrated, and his comics have bent my brain ever since.

3 Responses to “Okay, not that Big Lie comic, but everything else.”

  • Dave says:

    As bad as The Spirit is, it’s looking pretty good in comparison to WW84.

  • Isaac P says:

    The Big Lie was certainly brain bending, just not in the way I had come to expect from Veitch.
    Thanks for recommending Abraxas. That’s one of his earlier works I have yet to check out.

  • Brad Walker says:

    Never saw The Spirit.

    But the year it came out, I was looking for something to see, and one of the theaters misprinted it as Blithe Spirit. (How Cowardly.)

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