Now is the time for comic nerds worldwide to rejoice. Valiant Entertainment announced today that they have secured a deal with DMG Entertainment, the Beijing-based global entertainment leader, that will not only enable growth in publishing and licensing, but will also include Valiant Comics television and cinematic releases!
To further elaborate, DMG has made an eight-figure investment into Valiant and has agreed to another nine- figure investment specifically for television and movie production based solely on Valiant’s wide array of superheroes, villains and other characters.
This is the first time that an arrangement between an internationally based media company and a major indie comic book publisher has occurred. I have no doubt that the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was an eye-opener for many publishers and media giants. And having seen the fire ignited, so to speak, this Valiant-DMG agreement should do extremely well.
Another perk of this agreement is that the films and products will release simultaneously in the United States, China, and the rest of the world. This is great news, since China is the world’s fastest-growing box office market and has a near-perfect market for new licensed product and franchises. Valiant feature films that are currently in development include the previously announced Bloodshot; my personal favorite Valiant comic Shadowman (scripted by J. Michael Straczynski); and Archer & Armstrong, based on a script by BenDavid Grabinski.
Additionally, Valiant has begun preliminary work on several possible television properties. Valiant’s Chairman Peter Cuneo had this to say in statement made today:
“Valiant’s iconic stable of intellectual property and world class management team coupled with DMG’s unmatched skill with entertainment brand building in China make a formidable partnership. We will look forward to introducing some of the most popular superheroes of all time to the world’s fastest growing market across all media forms.”
But this is about more than movies, folks. This is about creating some extremely lucrative intellectual properties. It could lead to more toys, apparel, online games, animation, and will most certainly lead to a wider distribution of comics and comic-related materials in other languages. Can you imagine a theme park based around Valiant’s iconic creations? I certainly can! Who wouldn’t ride the X-O Manowar Roller Coaster, complete with special effects featuring The Vine? You may not know what I’m talking about right now, but thanks to this deal between Valiant and DMG you soon will!
If you are having any reservations about this being “all that and a bag of chips,” then please remember that DMG helped produce and finance Iron Man 3, the highest grossing foreign film of 2013 and sixth highest ever in China. That’s not chump change at all. They are also currently producing Autobahn, featuring Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley which releases later this year. They have a great track record and are fully invested in creating something grand from Valiant’s pool of over 2,000 distinct characters.
And let’s not forget that this May is also the 25th anniversary of Valiant Entertainment. They’ve sold more than 81 million comics making them one of the most successful publishers in the comic industry. Valiant was established by some of the medium’s top creators, such as former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter; Bob Layton (groundbreaking writer and artist of Iron Man); and Barry Windsor-Smith (best known for his amazing work on Wolverine: Weapon X) and the universe they created is the largest independent one anywhere in comics. There are so many heroes and villains that it’s difficult to comprehend that they are still a fairly young company in comparison to DC and Marvel. Fortunately for us, they never let a little thing like that slow them down.
The world is ready for some new faces. There’s a lot of remakes and reboots out there that always seem to find fans, but I think starting with a fresh set of heroes and villains will do wonders for the medium as a whole. Just look at how well Guardians of the Galaxy did! Besides comic book fans, who had ever heard of that series? Sure, everyone knows Batman or the X-Men, but I’m tired of rehashing characters and newly envisioned origin stories. I’m ready to see Gilad Anni-Padda on the screen as the Eternal Warrior! They’ve got a lot of imagination and a whole bunch of money to make it happen.