Valiant Entertainment is kicking off a sci-fi mystery in December with writer Paul Levitz and MJ Kim's The Visitor, which will have huge ramifications for the Valiant Universe. While The Visitor's true identity remains a secret (for now), the publisher has provided CBR with several covers and additional details regarding the upcoming project.
Today, CBR exclusively debuts The Visitor #1 covers by artists Amilcar Pinna, Raúl Allén and Michael Walsh, along with Kenneth Rocafort's preorder edition cover.
"The Visitor is a mystery that unfolds as a group of Japanese scientists travel to America on a secret project, only to find themselves under attack by a mysterious adversary," Levitz said. "As the story unfolds, we'll learn about the project, the Visitor's origins, and how all of this connects in some significant ways to revealed and unrevealed aspects of Valiant mythology. I can't tell you about the Visitor himself...that would definitely be a spoiler."
As far as the inspiration for his story, Levitz added, "The Valiant team asked me to build a new story and character around an old name from their library. The Visitor seemed to me to have an ice aura of mystery as a title, and I looked back at the original, discarding most of its elements, but trying to see what inspiration I could take from it. One of the things I liked in the old mini series was the sense of place it had about Los Angeles, so I decided that this series would use some very specific and vivid New York geography and events like U.N. Week."
The prolific writer also heaped praise on MJ Kim, his artistic collaborator. "MJ's a delightfully dedicated young woman, and reminds me in some ways of Ross Andru's time on Spider-Man. Not in her art style, but in her efforts: Ross would climb on roofs of NY skyscrapers to get perspective for his Spidey swinging shots, and MJ has been chasing all over the city getting her research right," he said. "Her style's an interesting synthesis of influences, incorporating manga energy with more classic Valiant style, and we've had fun discussions of classic American comic artists she might learn from. I was thrilled that she was nominated for the Russ Manning Newcomer Award, and I'm sure some serious awards are in her future."
And finally, after spending many years crafting Legion of Super-Heroes stories for DC, The Visitor allows Levitz the opportunity to play in a completely new sandbox. "For me, it's a chance to work in a different universe than the one I've done hundreds of stories in -- a universe that has layers of [sci-fi] logic in its foundation (a genre I love), elements created by old friends like Jim Shooter and Bob Layton, and with a different tonality than than the classic DC universe," Levitz said. "It's an exciting challenge to see if I can craft a story that my existing fans and readers will enjoy, and at the same time satisfy the loyal Valiant readers."
The Visitor #1 (of 5) by writer Paul Levitz, artist MJ Kim, colorist Diego Rodriguez, letters by Simon Bowland and covers by Amilcar Pinna, Raùl Allén, Michael Walsh, and Kenneth Rocafort goes on sale Dec. 18.