Back in 2013 when I got back into comics my buddy introduced me to Valiant Entertainment. I was immediately hooked when I started reading Harbinger. This lead to me picking up Bloodshot, then Archer & Armstrong, then X-O Manowar. It took very little time for me to become a fan of their characters and to recommend their titles to everyone who would ask for my opinion. Part of what makes their characters was how easily they flowed from title to title without disrupting a previous story arc. Their yearly events like Book of Death and The Valiant showed off their amazing connected universe.
Then one dark day in 2018 Dan Mintz’s DMG Entertainment took control of Valiant Entertainment. Unfortunately the core group of people that were the heart and soul of the indie publisher left. The book suffered and it hasn’t been the same since. But Mintz was left with over 2,000 characters which could easily be used for an amazing cinematic universe that would be very different from DC and Marvel.
During an interview with Deadline Mintz talked about the differences between Valiant and Marvel. Giving examples like, “If they’re PC we’re Mac”. Valiant has a wide variety of diverse complex comic book characters. They come in all shapes and sizes too. They are usually presented in a more modern, fresh approach that delivers a different kind of hero or villain than what you are used to seeing from the big two.
While it’s clear in the pages of comic books that makes Valiant Entertainment different, Mintz was asked about what would make a cinematic universe different from the other established ones. “We are the wrecking crew — we are coming in and I think we’re going to make a difference. Not in the sense of being different just for the sake of being different, but because that’s what we do”, said Mintz.
How different does Mintz think Valiant could be from the rest? He makes a bold statement involving Martin Scorsese. The legendary filmmaker that last year said that superhero films were “not cinema”. Mintz says that “If there was a [comic book] movie he was going to direct, it would be a Valiant movie because the characters relate on that level.”
He goes on to give his reason why he believes that given the choice, Scorsese would make a Valiant film. He uses films like Goodfellas and Casino. Films where when you watch them, you feel like you’ve gone through life with the characters. Thus you can understand why they make the decisions that they make. The line between good, bad, right, or wrong is blurred. The actions of a character are because that’s just who they are and they can lead to suspending judgment of them. He still thinks that you need that “big, epic adventure, but you need grounding.”
Mintz seems to want to build a Valiant Cinematic Universe by developing his characters in a grounded manner. His characters have been written in a manner that would make this possible. The film to launch this universe was supposedly Sony Pictures’ Bloodshot, starring Vin Diesel. This film should be leading into Harbinger, which is the next Valiant film being developed at Paramount. This of course leads to one of their big events, Harbinger Wars which would further widen the Valiant Cinematic Universe and could lead to films like Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, and X-O Manowar.
I would love to see a developed Valiant Cinematic Universe. I thought Bloodshot was a decent film, but it failed to make an introduction to anything else Valiant. Although I appreciate them sticking to the story at hand, I would have liked to see some well placed Easter eggs that would hint at things to come. For now I will patiently wait to see what they come up with.
Do you think that Mintz’s comments are a stretch? Let us know in the comment section below!
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