ECCC 2019: Valiant’s One Panel With Tim Seeley, Heather Antos, Vita Ayala & More!

by Hannah Means Shannon

The Valiant One Panel at Emerald City Comic Con on Thursday, March 14th, featured Mel Caylo, Robert Meyers, Tim Seeley, Heather Antos, Vita Ayala and Emily Hecht.

Today, the news was released that Tim Seeley would be writing the new Bloodshot ongoing series launching in September 2019, with more on that to come in the panel.

Last week, the publisher released the Life and Death of Toyo Harada, but from April onward, there will also be a number of new releases. They will be launching a total of 11 new titles this year, Caylo said.

Starting with the discussion with Punk Mambo, coming up from Cullen Bunn and Adam Gorham, Hecht described the character as “Tank Girl Meets Hellblazer”, and described it as a title perfect for new readers and those who may not have even read comics before. Also, if you like snakes, you’re going to see a lot of them in issue #2, as “voodoo gods”.

Fallen World is coming up on May 1st, by Dan Abnett and Adam Pollina. Valiant’s Free Comic Book Day offering will be partly Bloodshot and partly Fallen World. The title takes us “back” to the 41st century, featuring cyborg-samurai Rai, Meyers explained. The five issue limited series will “set the tone for things we have coming later in the year”, Meyers hinted.

Next up Psi-Lords, by Fred Van Lente and Renato Guedes, will be bringing some familiar and some new characters to light, landing in June. Hecht described is as space adventure with “existential cosmic horror” thrown in. It’s also the “farthest corner” of the Valiant universe yet explored. Meyers confirmed that it is “big horror science fiction” with an “existential twist”. Van Lente is building a new sandbox, really, Meyers commented.

Killers is hitting in July, by B. Clay Moore and Fernando Dagnino. This series will be following Ninjas A through J, and it’s about five of the world’s greatest assassins on the hunt for immortality, Meyers said. It’s a kind of “battle royale” and “heist” on the quest for immortality, Meyer added, with plenty of “gritty noir stuff”.

They don’t plan to launch any new titles in August, but they are taking a pause before launching Bloodshot in September. But you’ll find the prelude and teaser for that series in Valiant’s Free Comic Book Day book. Describing what you’ll see on FCBD, Seeley said it’s “nanite flavored”. He assumes that the series may be drawing in new and younger fans, so he wanted to give the artist on the FCBD comic, Tomas Giorello, plenty of cool stuff to draw. Bloodshot should be “all action all the time”, Seeley said. It’ll be “Heavy Metal turned up high” in tone.

Brett Booth will be the series artist, fresh off an era of exclusivity with DC Comics, with inks by Adelso Corona, and colors by Andrew Dalhouse. Seeley said his pitch for the series was “let’s do a 90’s comic, but just the good parts”, and Booth and Corona have really done that. Covers will be by Declan Shalvey. The series will set up a good background story ahead of Valiant’s Bloodshot film, which will release in February 2020.

Next Fall will also see the release of a new X-O Manowar series, and the promo art for the series is by Christian Ward, though the creative team hasn’t been announced yet.

Current series at Valiant, of course, include Livewire, with a new story arc starting with issue #5. The series is new reader friendly, Ayala said, reminding everyone that Livewire can control technology, like Siri, but less evil. The fact that she turned off power in the USA during Harbinger Wars 2 places her on the run in this series. Livewire decides that she needs to “make things better” since even though she didn’t mean to hurt people, she can now acknowledge that she did, Ayala said. Issues 5 through 8 are being drawn by Kano. There will be a third arc of Livewire coming up, too.

Incursion is also currently being released, by Alex Paknadel and Doug Braithwaite, featuring Gilad, the Eternal Warrior and the Geomancer facing a new alien threat who is coming in through the Deadside.

The Forgotten Queen, by Tini Howard and Amilcar Pinna, features the character War-Monger, and she’s being built into a “big, epic threat-level villain”, Meyers said, and this series shows you how she got to be who she is now.

Asked what kind of personality and approach he’ll be taking to Bloodshot, Tim Seeley said it’s about action and visceral storytelling, but this time around it’ll also be more about how Bloodshot feels. He doesn’t trust anyone or need anyone, but he helps people anyway. Even when they consistently betray him. He’s like a combination of Frankenstein, Superman, and GI Joe, but even as an outsider, he can’t stop helping humanity. What drives that? We’ll find out more in the series.