Originally released digitally as part of comiXology’s original comics, Valiant High #1 is now seeing a physical release. Written by Daniel Kibblesmith, the series is a new and unique take on the Valiant universe and characters.
Before they became legends, the world’s most formidable heroes were roaming the halls at Valiant High – a super-powered preparatory academy where Aric “X-O Manowar” Dacia is a record-setting running back, Colin “Ninjak” King is a debonair foreign exchange student, and Coach Bloodshot is way, way too into dodgeball. Now, Amanda “Livewire” McKee and her best friend, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, are taking it all in for the first time at the one high school where power trumps popularity!
Valiant High is full of fun taking the familiar Valiant heroes and throwing them into a new situation, high school. Each in their own way are distilled down to their basic core. Writer Daniel Kibblesmith makes it works, it works really well, by playing off of tropes and types, the first issue feels familiar but at the same time fresh considering the characters involved.
“Teen” stories tend to feel similar in so many ways involving the outcast, the jock, the popular girl/guy, the burnout, some mix of all of that, and that’s all here with a charm and fun about it that it reminds me a bit of a comedic Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Not Another Teen Movie. We’re introduced to each character and get a good sense of their archetype in a first issue that nails it all when it comes to that. And while much of the issue is setup, there’s still a little bit of conflict to keep things interesting.
The art by Derek Charm and David Baron is fantastic translating each character into their teen self, with a couple of characters acting as teachers. The art is what really helps draw out the comedy of the issue with some fantastic moments involving Bloodshot who’s the driver ed teacher in a look that feels like it’d work perfectly in an animated show.
The first issue is a great debut and while it relies on familiar character types and conflict, the use of classic Valiant characters in this new setting is fresh and entertaining. If you missed the digital release or prefer your comics in the physical form, Valiant High is well worth picking up as it blends tropes, archetypes, and humor nicely into a series I wish we could see more of beyond this mini.
Story: Daniel Kibblesmith Art: Derek Charm and David Baron Cover: David Lafuente
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review