Long, long ago, in the Before Times, there was a movie called “Bloodshot.” This Vin Diesel-starring action film was the first attempt by Valiant Comics to create a cinematic universe using their brand of comic book characters. And why all plans – big and small – seem to be in a holding pattern these days, that doesn’t mean that Valiant is standing idle. To hear head honcho Dan Mintz say it, the future is brighter than ever for the comic industry’s most mature publisher.
In an interview with GamesRadar+, Mintz does not mince (ahem) words. When asked about the other major comic book franchises, the executive pivots to James Bond. “Don’t get me wrong, those cinematic universes are great, and I love them,” he explains. “They’re doing incredible work. But if you look at them as Roger Moore, we’re kind of like Daniel Craig. It’s this edge that comes from being a product of its time.” Mintz would later double-down on the idea that Valiant Comics are capable of telling more mature stories. “I’ve said this before, but if [Martin] Scorsese was going to make a superhero movie, he would make a Valiant movie.”
Valiant Comics was founded in 1989, which means that many of its characters are rooted in ‘90s excess. The idea that Valiant Comics would inherently be better because it is darker or more violent is probably not one that holds water. At the same time, however, that gives the comic book publisher a potentially more contemporary – and global – take on superheroes. In 2019, Forbes’s Jim Amos made this very case, arguing that Valiant Comics represented the “last boat out” for media companies without licensed superhero properties. “It also isn’t as rooted in truth, justice, and the American way,” Amos wrote, “which would play well in other regions of the world.”
So is it crazy to think that Valiant Comics could play on the big or small screens? Probably not, but framing the conversation around the idea that Valiant is the “Martin Scorsese” of the comic book world is perhaps not the best way to make headlines. For now, let’s focused on getting a second Valiant movie into homes, especially one that is more yours and less Diesel’s.