Recently, Sony Pictures has released their first trailer for the upcoming Bloodshot (2020) movie. Starring Vin Diesel, the film seems to capture the same action-packed mystery that is constantly circling the character. However, Bloodshot is also going to be the first Valiant Comics character to get a high budget live-action film.
While some are looking forward to the film due to the action or stars, many others are simply just unfamiliar with the character, as well as the rest of the Valiant universe. Currently, Valiant actually has the 3rd largest superhero universe, following both Marvel and DC. With so many great characters to choose from, here is our list of 10 Valiant titles to read before the Bloodshot movie.
10 Archer and Armstrong
Archer and Armstrong have a very interesting relationship with each other in the comics. Armstrong himself is an immortal being who has basically partied his way through the past 7,000 years or so. When he first meets Archer though, Archer is actually tasked with killing Armstrong, as the organization Archer was raised in believes that Armstrong is too powerful to be kept alive.
With the combined abilities of the two, they have gone on all sorts of wild and crazy fantastical adventures. For as ridiculous as some stories are, there is also a great charm within the series that almost any audience can enjoy. Any fan of unique and unlikely pairings is sure to enjoy this Valiant series, despite its tonal differences from Bloodshot.
9 Ivar, Timewalker
Ivar the Timewalker is a bit more of an unconventional character. On top of his abilities of incredible strength and speed, Ivar is also immortal and can access time arcs. Though he has no control over where the time arcs take him, he has still been to many different times and locations.
Searching for a way back to his home, Ivar tries as many time arcs as he can, hoping to one day find one that will bring him back to his true love and proper time. However, because of his unique abilities, Ivar is also a target in almost every time he visits. With abilities that are a bit more unique, Ivar is easily one of the more intriguing characters that Valiant has to offer.
8 Quantum and Woody
Like Archer and Armstrong, Quantum and Woody make for an unlikely yet humorous pairing. However, what sets this duo apart from others in their abilities. Thanks to a science experiment gone wrong, these two must now “Klang” together every 24 hours if they wish to stay alive. The only problem with this setup is that the two individuals absolutely hate each other.
With wildly different personalities, there are many things to enjoy about this book. Though it is far from the most serious comic out there, Quantum and Woody is an action-packed thrill ride full of humor with a little something for everyone.
Fans of Bloodshot’s darker tone can also appreciate that of Shadowman. Jack Boniface grew up with a rough life, from being orphaned to having to fight to survive. One day, however, Jack discovers that he is to become the next Shadowman, a lineage of individuals tied to loas, or powerful voodoo spirits.
As Shadowman, Jack possesses a plethora of abilities, ranging from superhuman strength and reflexes to all kinds of supernatural powers. Unlike other traditional superheroes, Shadowman is actually centered around a lot of New Orleans’ culture, blending a lot of elements into the actual narrative. Though the series may not be for everyone, Shadowman is perfect for any fan of the dark and supernatural.
Valiant’s Harbinger series falls very similar to that of Marvel’s X-Men. Though the two groups aren’t nearly on the same scale as one another, fans of the X-Men could find a lot to appreciate about Harbinger. Depending on the series, the protagonist may be different, but they do follow the same continuity.
Furthermore, unlike the X-Men, Harbingers all possess the same psionic abilities. While some are more powerful than others, the series mostly follows them as they learn to control their powers. With all sorts of twists and turns though, Harbinger is an excellent and far more grounded view of a very large superteam.
While he may be the more popular character, Bloodshot actually made his first appearance within the pages of Rai. The actual mantle of Rai has been held by several different individuals. Set in the year 4001, Rai is the defender of Japan, equipped with nanites that give them access to all sorts of abilities.
While the series has had several different protagonists as well as several different backstories over the years, virtually every version of Rai has been a servant of Father, an A.I. that rules Japan in very suspicious ways. Though this is different depending on the continuity, Rai is still a very intriguing character. Likewise, their unique ties to Bloodshot also make them worth checking out.
Ninja-K (or Ninjak) is a great character for any fan of Batman, as the two go on very similar types of missions. Colin King is one of Weaponer’s dealiest assassins, having mastered several fighting styles and becoming an expert in weaponry. With a great blending of espionage, history, and epic action, Ninja-K is very likely to get a movie of his own one day.
Though Colin himself isn’t as dark as Batman typically is, he is still a very deadly assassin. Furthermore, Colin has a bit of a James Bond flair about him, making him all the more ideal for fans of the genre.
Faith herself is actually a Harbinger, with all the same powers and abilities as the others. However, she is far more independent than the others are typically depicted, setting out to be her own hero in Los Angeles. Under the code name Zephyr, Faith sets it to fight crime as best as she can, setting a shining example in the process.
Though she doesn’t have the same powers, Faith’s personality strongly resembles the moral similarities of Superman. Furthermore, her modern look and themes of acceptance have helped make the book one of the most celebrated Valiant titles yet. Though the title is a significant departure from that of Bloodshot, Faith has received a lot of high praise for a reason, making it worth checking out for any Valiant Comics fan.
2 X-O Manowar
Raised during the reign of the Roman Empire, Aric of Dacia found himself facing a far greater enemy. After being kidnapped by an alien race known as The Vine, Aric’s only chance of escape was to steal a sentient suit of alien armor. After bonding with him, however, Aric found that his troubles were only beginning.
Armed with a suit that is arguable more powerful than Iron Man’s X-O Manowar tells a great “man out of time” story. With some strong elements of science fiction wrapped around a strong protagonist, this series is easily one of Valiant’s more compelling reads.
Of course, no other series will help fans prepare for the Bloodshot movie other than the Bloodshot series itself. As one of the most popular Valiant characters, Bloodshot has undergone several series and major changes in recent years. Thanks to the character’s darker nature, fans of characters like Punisher have easily been able to fall into the series.
Following a military experiment, Bloodshot was injected with billions of nanites that not only heal all of his wounds, but effectively make him immortal. Armed with a heavy artillery, he then set out as Bloodshot, breaking away from the people who made him to seek his own vengeance. With several storylines at their disposal, it is unclear which direction the film will take the character in. However, with such great source material, fans will hopefully have a lot to look forward to.