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Brett Ratner to Helm “Harbinger” Flick

Harbinger #1 cover art

It’s well known that I was a big fan of Valiant Comics. They had some great ideas, and what they did with Shadowman remains one of my favorite character bits to this day. The concept of X-O Manowar (Conan meets Iron Man) is still genius. Why does Valiant still remain true to my heart? Because they were the third party candidate. They were the guys who came out with a storyline spanning their universe which was small enough to digest and enjoy as a whole. They also did crazy stuff to tie this universe together–crazy stuff that worked! “Wait, Magnus’ dad is who? My God, that’s mental! I love it!”

I also liked Valiant Comics 2: Futility Harder, aka Crossgen. And from time to time, Valiant tries to rise again. As does Crossgen. But now Valiant Entertainment has inked a deal with Brett Ratner to make Harbinger into a movie. The press release states he was “looking for an opportunity to start a superhero film franchise from scratch,” which probably translates into “would really like to not be called in at the last minute to direct the damn thing,” like he was on X3. Now here’s the interesting bit. About rising again.

Valiant Comics is being relaunched by Valiant Entertainment, a privately financed company headed by CEO Jason Kothari and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. Valiant Comics developed a very large following in the 1990s by launching superhero franchises that had interconnected storylines. At its peak, Valiant gained a market share identical to DC Comics, owner of Batman and Superman, and was named Publisher of the Year ahead of current industry leaders Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Valiant Comics was sold to video game company Acclaim Entertainment in 1994 for $65 million and has sold 80 million comic books and 8 million video games.

Kothari’s group bought the Valiant library last year from Acclaim Entertainment and formed Valiant Entertainment. Valiant’s plan is to bring the popular characters to life in film and television. They signed with William Morris Agency to make film and television deals for the franchises.

“We are delighted to be working with leading partners in Paramount Pictures and director Brett Ratner on Valiant’s first film deal. The future for Valiant’s library of superhero franchises in film and other mass media is very bright,” said Jason Kothari, CEO of Valiant Entertainment.

For those who don’t know–and I’m sure Tuffley could give us some more insight into the mechanics of why the company sank the first time–the comics took a downturn when they started doing what other companies have done when they needed to try to stay afloat: launch more comics. Once the pool was diluted, they couldn’t recover. And then they got bought by Acclaim and just died halfway through Negation War. Shit, sorry, I meant to say Unity 2000.

I’ll be interested to see what comes out of this relaunch. But Valiant has tried to get up out of the grave so many times before, you’ll forgive me if I’m not cheering just yet.

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