Comic book fans know that if you're looking for something fresh in the world of superheroes, you turn to Valiant Entertainment. The company was originally founded in 1989 as a sort of alternative to your standard Marvel/DC fare, and has found tremendous success following its 2012 relaunch. Valiant characters like Ninjak, X-O Manowar, Bloodshot and more have become fan favorites, and the company's latest project will find those hit heroes leaping from the comic book page into real life.
Get your first look at Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe in the trailer below:
The company took to New York Comic Con 2016 to announce Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a new live action digital-exclusive series that will find ninja superspy Colin King, a.k.a. Ninjak, taking on the greatest characters of the Valiant Universe in a battle royale of epic proportions. The six episode series, set to premiere late 2017, will come to life thanks to Valiant Digital, a brand new branch of the company dedicated to producing original short form content for emerging media.
In a statement along with the announcement, Valiant Chief Operating Officer Gavin Cuneo elaborated on the groundbreaking nature of the series and Valiant Digital:
"In years past, it wasn’t uncommon for comic book publishers to prime new fans by expanding into Saturday morning animation or short-form programming. Today, that demographic has largely migrated online. With the launch of Valiant Digital and, soon, 'Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe,' Valiant will become the first major comic book publisher to create original, short-form content for the digital arena – and, with it, introduce our characters to one of the most engaged and passionate communities anywhere."
Thankfully, Valiant will have some help from directors Aaron and Sean Schoenke of Bat In The Sun Productions. The duo, who also wrote the series alongside Joe Harris, are best known as the creators of YouTube fan film sensation Super Power Beat Down. The show also has a killer cast which includes:
- Michael Rowe as Ninjak, an assassin for MI-6 armed with a slew of gadgets and weapons on top of his ninja skills.
- Jason David Frank as Bloodshot, a nearly unkillable super soldier with a mysterious past. The former Power Rangers star might be an unconventional choice, but his martial arts expertise makes him a perfect pick for the project.
- John Morrison as the Eternal Warrior, an immortal warrior tasked with protecting the planet from cataclysmic events.
- Chantelle Berry as Roku, a master martial artist and telepath with razor-sharp hair that she uses as a weapon.
- Kevin Porter as Armstrong, a hedonistic immortal who travels the globe looking for adventure with his partner Archer, a trained assassin.
- Ciera Foster as Livewire, a superhuman with the ability to control machines using her mind.
- Derek Theler as X-O Manowar, a.k.a Aric of Dacia, a Visigoth prince who came into contact with aliens and was deemed worthy of wielding their superweapon — an advanced exoskeleton known as the X-O Manowar armor.
And that's not all, as Valiant promises more characters will be revealed as the series approaches. Here's to hoping we get an appearance from fan favorite hero Faith among others.
We've heard rumblings of this top secret project for a while now, and Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani confirmed that the company's put a lot of effort into bringing the series to life. Shamdasani noted in a statement that:
"We've been quietly working over the last year to build a series of a scale and ambition that has never before been attempted in the digital space. 'Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe' is a showcase for the incredible characters and storytelling that Valiant has exhibited from its inception. ... We're bringing the same passion and intensity that helped us produce some of the best comics in the business and coupling that with an incredible, first-class team of filmmakers to create an experience that must be seen to be believed."
Diehard Valiant fans will definitely want to see their favorite heroes brought to life in live action, but the series should also serve as a great introduction to the Valiant Universe for newcomers. The company's already developing several film projects with Sony, and Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe should be a solid primer for bigger projects. If you're looking for another world of heroes and villains to dive into, you have one thanks to Valiant Entertainment.
Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe is set for release late 2017. Stay tuned for coverage of our visit to the series's set early next week.
Which Valiant character are you most excited to see in 'Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe'?