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` Greg Pak has spent the last decade as one of the real workhorses of mainstream comics. Having come to prominence with a short-lived Warlock series at Marvel, he became closely associated with the publisher with his lengthy run on comics featuring The Hulk as well as his co-writing The Incredible Hercules with frequent Outhouse interview victim Fred Van Lente. Pak recently launched a new Eternal Warrior series at Valiant, and recently spoke to The Outhouse at his table in Artist’s Alley at New York Comic-Con about that and his new crowd-funded digital comic with musical comedian Jonathan Coulton.
One of my favorite parts of X-O Manowar is the main character, Aric. He reminds me a lot of Conan the Barbarian, but, y’know, with ridiculously powerful space armor. Aric is exceedingly powerful with the armor, but what makes him truly dangerous is his lack of understanding of the modern world. His more ancient perceptions of power and control are going to cause all kinds of trouble in the very near future in the Valiant universe. That trouble is most likely going to lead into Valiant’s newest upcoming title, Unity.
Our friends at Valiant have some fun still cooking up for this summer. In July, we finally come to the end of Harbinger Wars, the first major crossover for The Flyin’ V. We’ve been talking about it for so long, it’s odd to think of it as coming to an end. But there are also new beginnings for Valiant. The new Quantum & Woody makes its debut this month. While we’re at it, X-O Manowar, which has been in the throes of its “Planet Death” storyline, will embark on a new arc, this one featuring The Eternal Warrior, who was last seen in Archer & Armstrong, in a story that will be collected in a trade paperback out this same month. See how it all ties together?
When Valiant Comics officially relaunched last year, they did so with intentions of being more than just a cheap nostalgia act. Although the publisher has been trafficking exclusively in the original properties they did twenty-something years ago, they are, for all intents and purposes, a brand new company. Valiant has truly found new, modern spins on their old characters and concepts, showing that they do have something to contribute in the current comic book marketplace. Indicative of that fact, Valiant is about to publish its first crossover of this new era, entitled Harbinger Wars. This crossover event between Bloodshot and Harbinger sets the forces of Project: Rising Spirit (the intelligence organization responsible for creating the titular nigh-unkillable mercenary Bloodshot, who’s looking for answers about his past) and the incredibly powerful Toyo Harada and his Harbinger Foundation against each other. Both factions have also vied with the young super-powered Peter Stanchek and his group of Renegades, who will also play a part in the crossover.
Harbinger Wars is being promoted by Valiant as a particularly explosive event, and the company invited The Outhouse up to their offices on the west side of Manhattan to talk about the story. There, we encounted a close-knit group of about fifteen employees in a cozy office decorated by artwork from Valiant’s past and future, comics arranged wherever there’s a bit of shelfspace, and a palpable sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm. Sitting down for an interview with The Outhouse were Publisher Fred Pierce, Director of Marketing and Communication Hunter Gorinson, the pink sweater-clad Head of Sales Atom! Freeman (“It’s more of a salmon…it does wonders for my skin tone”), and Assistant Editor Josh Johns. The four staffers talked about the process of putting Harbinger Wars together, as well as the big picture of the Valiant Universe, and why retailers wanted to give them an award.