Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr With filming begun for Vin Diesel’s BLOODSHOT film, the Valiant Cinematic Universe will soon jump to life. With that said, we know very little about the upcoming films outside of their titles. Valiant Entertainment and Sony Productions have announced that they will test the waters with five films. Four have been announced, with BLOODSHOT looking to define the aesthetic and tone of the universe. Following this film will be HARBINGER, SHADOWMAN, and HARBINGER WARS, but the fifth slot is still unknown. Valiant Entertainment has a wealth of interesting and unique characters, each of which could translate well to the big screen. With that said, here are ten Valiant Entertainment characters that need to make appearances in the VCU. Do note that Valiant Comics has a long and winding history. The company faced bankruptcy back in 1994. After ten years under the Acclaim Comics brand, Valiant Entertainment reacquired its brand and characters. Seven years later, in 2011, the new Valiant Entertainment started releasing new stories. I will solely focus on the rebooted origins of the 2011 launch. Many of these origins differ from the characters’ original stories, but the reboot marked my beginning with the characters. As such, I will be limiting this list to modern characters as well. 1. X-O Manowar: A Man Outside of Time Aric of Dacia, X-O MANOWAR #8. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment In many ways, X-O Manowar is the flagship character for Valiant Entertainment. First making his debut in 1992, Aric of Dacia has become one of the most well-known characters in the company’s history. His story is also one of the company’s most unique, combining elements of space opera with typical superhero tropes. Aric of Dacia was a rash Visigoth Prince, deadset on the sacking of Rome. One night, after barely winning a great battle, Aric’s entire camp is overrun and captured by a bug-like alien species known as the Vine. Step Back into the Dream with THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 These aliens took Aric and his people to their mothership to work as slaves. Staging a coup, though, Aric stumbled across a Vine religious ceremony involving a floating blue and gold orb. This orb, actually the mystical armor Shanhara, bonded with Aric. Suddenly, this great warrior gained even greater abilities and fought his way off the Vine ship. Returning to Earth, however, he discovered that somehow, despite working for only a few years aboard the Vine ship, 1600 years had passed outside. The Earth he returned to was not his home, but that did not matter. The Vine were coming, and he would stop their invasion. X-O MANOWAR would be the perfect candidate for the Valiant Cinematic Universe. Not only is he the most recognizable character on the roster. He would also expand the universe past Earth and mystical realms. He would give the Valiant Universe the chance to play around in space, much like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY did for Marvel. Also, CGI artists would have a hell of a good time animating the intense interstellar battles. 2. Ninjak: An Unparalleled Warrior Ninjak vs. X-O Manowar, X-O MANOWAR #6. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment Ninjak is the closest thing Valiant Entertainment has to a Batman character. He is stealthy, highly trained, and he rocks black like no other. However, unlike the big bad Bat, Colin King isn’t afraid to cross that line. In fact, working as an MI6 contractor, it is King’s job to kill the bad guy. Imagine that: a character with all of Batman’s skills and abilities, all of his tactical and investigative knowledge, using that to further a government agenda. Of course, King is a third-party operative, giving him the freedom to ignore orders. For the most part, though, he is Britain’s secret weapon against the rest of the world. Cinematic Universe or Franchise: DEADPOOL 2’s Effect on X-MEN Ninjak is one of Valiant Entertainment’s easiest to understand characters, and yet, he is also one of its most interesting. In many ways, Ninjak ties the universe together. No matter the event, Colin King makes an appearance. He even appears in stories that he has no right participating in. For example, in the RAPTURE crossover, Ninjak joined Shadowman and his ally Punk Mambo on a mission to invade the afterlife. That’s right. Every day human Colin King travels to the afterlife to fight monstrous baddies. He even takes on X-O Manowar early on in the comics and wins. A Ninjak movie could be the perfect way to ground the Valiant Cinematic Universe. As a non-powered character, he could give writers the chance to explore how the world of Valiant Entertainment sees these superpowered threats. Maybe Ninjak even has to track down and capture the kids from the HARBINGER film. Needless to say, a Ninjak film could go in any number of directions. For that reason, he is one of the best characters to add to the VCU’s roster. 3. Archer and Armstrong: Treasure Hunting with Some Laughs ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG #5 Cover. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment One of the potential cons of the Valiant Cinematic Universe is the tone. As the Worlds of DC have proven, comic movie fans haven’t taken well to dark and moody superhero films. The problem? Valiant does dark and moody almost too well. With that in mind, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG would be Valiant Entertainment’s perfect fix. Carrying a tone similar to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG manage to tell serious, world-changing stories with a major tongue-in-cheek attitude. This is obvious if you just look at the lead characters. Armstrong is one of three immortal brothers born into ancient Mesopotamian royalty. After discovering an alien device, Armstrong and his brothers were forced to walk through history. While Ivar and Gilad became a scientist and a hero, Armstrong found the best poets, philosophers, and parties in human history. Meanwhile, Archer was born into a family of Christian zealots, the only blood son in a massive family. His parents, secretly members of a socio-political elitist cult, trained him and his adopted siblings to be highly trained warriors and God-fearing human beings, all to one day serve the cult. Naturally, Archer and Armstrong with their drastically opposing personalities became the best of friends. As a comic, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG hold nothing back. Together, these characters have sought the treasures of Michelangelo, have battled Archer’s elitist parents, and even joined in on some of Valiant’s greatest crossover events. They may seem like a strange coupling, but that is where their story finds its charm. ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG would work well to shift the tone of the VCU and allow Valiant Entertainment’s lighter side to come out. New WOLVERINE Book Is Coming, Claws Bared 4. Punk Mambo and Alyssa Miles: The Unbeatable Women of SHADOWMAN Punk Mambo and Jack Boniface, SHADOWMAN #16. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment We already know that SHADOWMAN is slated for a Valiant Cinematic Universe debut. However, that only guarantees the appearance of the lead character, Jack Boniface. While many aspects of his character will likely make appearances, some of his supporting cast might not. Considering that SHADOWMAN finds its greatest moments in the supporting characters, this would be a shame. Two, in particular, stand out, both of whom are essential to Jack’s story and his control over his mysterious voodoo based-powers. Punk Mambo is the name taken by a swamp voodoo witch from London. Born to a wealthy family, Punk Mambo spent most of her early years in boarding school or rebelling in London’s punk scene. However, her life changed forever when she found her magic. Now, she spends her days huffing glue and seeking visions from the extra-dimensional Deadside. Aesthetically, Punk Mambo is wholly different from anything seen in modern superhero movies. Pair that with her take no prisoners mentality and her control over a personal loa spirit, and she is a must for the VCU. Alyssa Miles, SHADOWMAN #1. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment Punk Mambo is an important character in SHADOWMAN. Alyssa Miles, on the other hand, is absolutely essential. Having trained in the mystic arts for years, Alyssa Miles joined the Abettors at a young age. The Abettors act as protectors of the Shadowman and executioners should the loa take control. Because of this, Alyssa has largely defined SHADOWMAN’s emotional arc as mentor, ally, and love interest. More importantly, she is a full-fledged voodoo priestess, not just some damsel in distress. She could truly make a SHADOWMAN movie stand out. Boniface Reclaims His Soul in SHADOWMAN #1 5. Gilad: The Eternal Warrior Gilad the Eternal Warrior, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG #5. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment If Armstrong makes an appearance in this list, then so too must his younger brother Gilad. Gilad is one of my favorite characters in Valiant Comics. As an immortal warrior, Gilad is tasked by Mother Nature herself to protect the embodiment of nature on Earth. For every generation, a Geomancer is born, a human with great powers to protect the Earth. Gilad’s sole task in existence is to protect this Geomancer as together they involve themselves in history’s greatest events. Armstrong proves that living forever has its perks. Gilad meanwhile shows that immortality is not all it’s cracked up to be. He is entirely devoted to his cause, but protecting the Geomancers has taken its toll. When Gilad’s solo series began in 2013, he had forsaken his mission. The fighting, the bloodshed, everything he’d faced in thousands of years had finally caught up to him. No matter the war, he is always the only survivor. That is what makes this character so interesting though. Yes, a new Geomancer arrives, and he eventually takes up his mantle. However, he has to face his own demons before then. Gilad is one of Valiant’s main characters. This means he is an essential addition to the Valiant Cinematic Universe already. Nonetheless, imagine a Gilad solo film. Imagine a retrospective on the life of this Eternal Warrior, going back to his early days in Mesopotamia and fast-forwarding to the present day. We could see how these wars created a jaded old soul. Not only would this be a thematically interesting look at violence. It would also allow for filmmakers to create a powerful arc where Gilad has to ready himself to again protect the Geomancer. Spider-Man in the MCU: The Rumours Build 6. Livewire: The Woman Who Talks to Machines LIVEWIRE #1 Cover. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment Livewire isn’t Valiant Entertainment’s first woman to gain her own solo title. Faith, another member of the HARBINGER story, has that honor. Nevertheless, Amanda McKee will be the first female superhero of color to carry her own series. For that reason alone, Livewire deserves her own solo film. There is so much more to this character though. A founding member of the super team Unity, Livewire has played huge parts in defending the world from apocalyptic threats. Considering that Amanda McKee started out as an unwitting villain, her character arc has a great deal of potential in the Valiant Cinematic Universe. After being orphaned at a young age, Amanda McKee bounced from foster home to an abusive foster home for her entire young life. Her life changed, though, when billionaire Toyo Harada took her in. He saved her, and using his own psychic abilities, he unlocked her latent potential. She gained the ability to communicate and control machines with a thought. She also gained an intense devotion to her savior. Being one of Harada’s first students at the Harbinger Foundation, she quickly rose to a seat of trust in the organization. But then Peter Stanchek rebelled, and Amanda saw the evils Harada could commit. Since then, Amanda has sought redemption by saving and changing lives. With a HARBINGER film already in the works, Livewire needs to make an appearance. This type of redemption arc could help the Valiant Cinematic Universe flourish thematically. More importantly, the type of diversity that Livewire could bring the VCU simply cannot be overlooked. Road to Infinity War: 8 Things We Learned from MCU’s Phase One 7. Divinity: Humans with the Powers of God The Three Soviet Cosmonauts from DIVINITY. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment Marvel and DC have had their share of reality-altering events like HOUSE OF M and FLASHPOINT. DIVINITY and its sequels represent Valiant Entertainment’s version of these stories. This book asks a simple question: what would happen if a human being gained the powers of God? During the Cold War, Russia sent three astronauts into space. They never returned, though. Instead, their ship passed through a field of cosmic energy, infusing them with the ability to alter reality itself. Slowly, they each found their way back to Earth, but their presence irreparably altered existence as it stands. In DIVINITY III, for example, one of these cosmonauts transforms the Earth into an Earth ruled by the Soviet Union. In truth, a DIVINITY film could be a tough sell for the Valiant Cinematic Universe. After all, Marvel and DC have only just started to breach into concepts of the multiverse in their mainstream films. Nevertheless, I really want to see what CGI artists could do with this type of movie. More importantly, I think the themes of the DIVINITY series are impossible to pass up. These books deal with issues of zealotry and religion in a wholly believable context. Days after the first cosmonaut lands on Earth, he has an entire horde of believers. He has a Gospel being written about him. This look at belief in a modern context perfectly highlights Valiant Entertainment’s greatest strength. Because they walk within the moral gray area in their stories, Valiant can approach themes that other companies couldn’t. 8. Rai: A Machine That Can Feel Rai, 4001 AD #2 Cover. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment RAI is one of Valiant Entertainment’s first characters, first releasing in 1991. As such, he represents the whole of Valiant’s history. However, this isn’t the only reason he deserves a spot in the Valiant Cinematic Universe. In fact, he’s just a really interesting concept. Rai is a sentient cybernetic warrior from the year 4001. Unlike other time displaced stories, though, Rai stays in his future. He acts as the guardian and policemen of New Japan. Governed by Father, a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence, New Japan is a safe haven for technological advancement. Rai acts as the police and protector of this future world, until he disovers that Father’s intentions may not be completely altruistic. The Dark Side of Superheroes Shows in JADED A Rai movie would allow the Valiant Cinematic Universe to delve into a truly unique visual aesthetic. RAI could play into the burgeoning popularity of cyberpunk (a la BLADE RUNNER) as well as the ancient samurai elements of Kurosawa’s popular films. It also allows the Valiant Cinematic Universe to explore the consequences of its current movies. Are the psiots in HARBINGER policed or killed? How are Bloodshot’s nanobots utilized in this future world? The comics already used the tactic in their event series 4001 AD. Here, they explored how each of Valiant’s greatest characters affects their world’s future. RAI could play directly into this idea, showcasing how storytelling decisions throughout the universe could drastically affect the world at large. 9. The Armor Hunters: Legion of Many Worlds The Armor Hunters vs. X-O Manowar, ARMOR HUNTERS #1. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment With so many heroes on this list, it may seem that Valiant has very few good villains. That is the furthest from the truth. Because Valiant’s characters reside firmly in the gray area of morality, every character has the potential to be a hero or a villain. Every villain has their good aspects, while the heroes can sometimes cross the line into evil. The Armor Hunters are the perfect example. Very little is known about the individual members of this team. Each represents a different alien species. This massive organization formed for the sole purpose of destroying “Armors.” These parasitic creatures spread throughout the universe, bonding with native life and razing the planets to the ground. The sole remaining armor has bonded with its host. Now, the Armor Hunters are on the prowl for X-O Manowar. Valiant Vignettes: Armor Hunters ARMOR HUNTERS is one of the Valiant reboot’s first crossover events, and it helps flesh out the somewhat unexplored cosmic aspect of the universe. In the same way, an ARMOR HUNTERS film could force well-known characters off-world. I can’t help but imagine an INFINITY WAR level battle on Earth and in space, with dozens of different alien species trying to take X-O Manowar down. This alone is an exciting proposition. What really excites me, though, is the potential theming surrounding the Armor Hunters. These are warriors who watched their worlds get destroyed. They aren’t looking for revenge, though. They simply want to stop any further carnage. That would give this crossover film a much deeper philosophical end. Should X-O’s armor be destroyed? 10. The Immortal Enemy: A Good Old-Fashioned Villain The Immortal Enemy in THE VALIANT #4. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment Valiant doesn’t have many straight and simple villains. Like the Armor Hunters, most have a good reason for the evil they do. The Immortal Enemy, though, has no reason. He claims that he only exists to balance Mother Nature. He is the death to her life. But at the end of the day, he enjoys nothing more than slaughtering Geomancers. The Immortal Enemy made his first appearance in THE VALIANT miniseries, and this monster is incredibly creepy. Capable of morphing into his opponent’s greatest fears, he took on many shapes and terrorized the entire Valiant Universe in one fell swoop. He did all of this simply to best Gilad and the Geomancer, to slay the Speaker of the Earth. The Immortal Enemy is Valiant Comic’s embodiment of evil. He exists to terrorize and to destroy. With that in mind, it only makes sense that the company should include this monster in the Valiant Cinematic Universe. The Immortal Enemy could star in one of the first horror-centric superhero films. It could be a brutal, monstrous story that would stand out amidst the Universe’s other films. Not only that, but it delves deep into the Valiant Cinematic Universe’s mystical world. It would allow the creators to stretch their wings and expand upon what viewers had perceived thus far. And viewers would walk away with one of the scariest supervillains in history stuck in their heads. Valiant could easily make their mark with this character. 6 Valiant Comics that Deserve Your Love The Valiant Cinematic Universe: Loads of Variety The biggest takeaway from this list of potential Valiant Cinematic Universe characters is that Valiant Entertainment has already proven itself the king of variety. Whether it be future cyberpunk noir or cosmic space opera, humor-filled treasure hunting or all around horror, Valiant covers all angles. This makes the Valiant Cinematic Universe an incredibly exciting prospect. This variety might lead to a mixed bag of storytelling opportunities. Not every fan will want to see every movie. Nevertheless, this variety could set the VCU apart from all of its competitors. Also, the Valiant Universe is an incredibly deep moral landscape full of poignant and unique themes. Sticking to HARBINGER, BLOODSHOT and SHADOWMAN would simply not be enough to do this universe justice.