Valiant Comics Reading Order – The Whole Valiant Universe!

Whereas alternative music has since lost all meaning as a description of rock and roll, Valiant Comics is a truly legitimate alternative superhero comic book publisher.

Sure Marvel and DC Comics get all the credit for their Big 2 heroes, but meanwhile you have Valiant Comics churning out consistently high quality books about superpowered adventure, all within their own uniquely crafted universe.

I remember sitting down to read introductions to the Valiant Universe in the summer of 2012. Each character was refreshingly unique and modern, an updated fix on superheroes originating in the 1990s rather than the 1940s or 1960s. As a result, the Valiant Universe is particularly inviting to new comic book readers, and substantially more consumable in its entirety.

Simply put, Valiant Comics offers a great alternative to newer comic book fans, with a relaunched universe dating back to 2012 (rather than 1961). Here’s a complete guide of the entire Valiant Universe to date, including some of my favorite books like Archer & Armstrong, Unity, and Rai!

All the Valiant Universe

Index:

I) Valiant Universe Origins

II) Harbinger Wars & New Heroes

III) Valiant’s First Super-team: Unity

IV) 4001 A.D. Rai through Armor Hunters

V) Archer & Armstrong meet Quantum & Woody

VI) A New Wave of Valiant Heroes

VII) Imperium Through Bloodshot Reborn

VIII) Ninjak, Unity, and the Book of Death

IX) The Death-Defying Valiant Universe

Valiant Comics Reading Order

I) The Valiant Universe Begins! Origins and Major Players

X-0 Manowar Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Harbinger Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #5

Bloodshot Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

X-O Manowar Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

X-O Manowar Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #14

Archer & Armstrong Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Shadowman Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

I’ll be honest, when I tried ranking the first volumes of each of the 5 core Valiant titles at launch, I had an extremely difficult time. They are all wonderfully solid.

If I had to pick, I’d say X-O Manowar, Harbinger, and Bloodshot wind up the most thoroughly connected to larger Valiant Universe events, and Archer & Armstrong is probably just my favorite. Shadowman has never hooked me in quite the same way, but I do enjoy the early parts of the Shadowman run as well.

II) Harbinger Wars & New Valiant Universe Heroes!

Harbinger Volume 2

Issues: #6 to #10

Bloodshot Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #9

Harbinger Wars Deluxe Edition Volume 1

Issues: Harbinger Wars #1-4, Harbinger #11-14, and Bloodshot #10-13

Recommended Order: Harbinger Wars #1, Harbinger #11, Bloodshot #10, Harbinger Wars #2, Harbinger #12, Bloodshot #11, Harbinger Wars #3, Bloodshot #12, Harbinger #13, Harbinger Wars #4, Harbinger #14, Bloodshot #13

Harbinger Wars marks the first crossover Valiant event, and as you can tell from the issues included in this collection, it is far more reasonable than, say, the hundreds included in an event like Marvel’s Secret Wars.

Bloodshot Volume 4: H.A.R.D. Corps

Issues: Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14 to #17

Eternal Warrior Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Archer & Armstrong Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #9

Archer & Armstrong Volume 3

Issues: #10 to #13

Quantum & Woody Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Quantum & Woody Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

Quantum & Woody mark the first “new” book to enter the Valiant Universe, entering the Universe deeper in to the core series runs, just like they did back during Valiant’s first run in the 90’s.

Shadowman Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

Shadowman Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #13

III) Valiant’s First Super-Team: Unity!

X-O Manowar Volume 4

Issues: #15 to #18

Unity Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

A couple thoughts here on Unity, which currently ranks the highest of any Valiant title on my Best Comics of All Time list.

The first is that the modern Unity is entirely different from Valiant’s 1990’s Unity, which is one of the more gleefully insane comic book events of a decade that included the Onslaught saga.

The second is that Unity marks Valiant’s first connection to writer Matt Kindt, who is one of my absolute favorite story tellers in all of modern comics. Kindt’s Mind MGMT, released by Dark Horse, is in my top 5 favorite comics of all time. The Valiant Universe sees Kindt’s strong influence frequently in the books to come, and benefits for it.

X-O Manowar Volume 5

Issues: #19 to #22

Although you can read the first volume of Matt Kindt’s Unity without the Manowar issues, if you’re invested in the X-O Manowar series the issues should alternate Unity #1, X-O Manowar #19, Unity #2, X-O Manowar #20, and so on.

Unity Volume 2

Issues: 5 to #8

Harbinger Volume 4

Issues: #15 to #19

Harbinger Volume 5

Issues: #20 to #24

Archer & Armstrong Volume 4

Issues: #14 to #17

Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable

Recommended Order: Bloodshot #18 to #19, Archer & Armstrong #18, Bloodshot #20, Archer & Armstrong #19, Bloodshot #21 to #23 (also included in Bloodshot volume 5 below)

Bloodshot Volume 5

Issues: #18 to #23

Eternal Warrior Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

IV) Welcome to the Future: Rai through Armor Hunters!

Rai Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Rai Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

Rai represents Valiant’s foray into their 4001 A.D. future universe, with Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain at the helm of New Japan’s protector. Crain’s artwork is digitized to a degree that may be offputting for some, but it’s quite perfect for a book taking place in the distant future.

Shadowman Volume 4

Issues: #13 to #18

Shadowman: End Times

Issues: #1 to #3

Armor Hunters Deluxe Edition

Issues: Armor Hunters #1-4, Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1, Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1-3, Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1-3, Unity #8-11 and X-O Manowar #23-29

Armor Hunters is Valiant’s most involved crossover event to date, and certain series like Unity will simply not make any sense if you aren’t reading the event as a whole (trust me, I tried).

Harbinger Volume 6

Issues: Harbinger: Omegas #1 to #3, Harbinger: Bleeding Monk #0

Unity Volume 4

Issues: #12 to #14, read Harbinger: Faith #0 after Unity #12

Unity Volume 5

Issues: #15 to #18

V) Archer & Armstrong? Meet Quantum & Woody!

Quantum & Woody Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #12, Quantum & Woody: The Goat #0

Quantum & Woody Volume 4

Issues: Quantum & Woody Must Die! #1 to #4, Quantum & Woody Valiant Size #1

Archer & Armstrong Volume 6

Issues: #20 to #25

The Delinquents

Issues: #1 to #4

This is a delightful, highly recommended Archer & Armstrong + Quantum & Woody team-up book!

Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel

Issues: #1 to #3

VI) A New Wave of Valiant Heroes!

The Death Defying Dr. Mirage Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #5

Valiant has remained committed to steadily building their roster, and finding new entry-points for new characters. Dr. Mirage kicks off a new wave that includes Ivar Timewalker and Divinity.

X-O Manowar Volume 8

Issues: #30 to #32

Rai Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #12

The Valiant

Issues: #1 to #4

In 2014, Valiant moved away from the mega crossover and towards the 4 issue limited series “event.” It’s a fascinating take on audience preferences, and allows for a simpler, and more accessible “big” book. The Valiant features the skills of Jeff Lemire (Essex County, Sweet Tooth), Matt Kindt, and Paolo Rivera.

While The Valiant is positioned as a jumping on point, I do think it’s far better if you have familiarity with the Valiant Universe as a whole.

Ivar, Timewalker Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Ivar Timewalker Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

Divinity Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

As far as I’m aware, Divinity is the first net-new character series in the modern Valiant Universe, with a four issue launch from Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine. It’s a great opening salvo, and you will benefit from familiarity with Kindt’s work on Unity during this read.

Ivar Timewalker Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #12

VII) Return of the King: Imperium & Bloodshot Reborn

Imperium Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Imperium Volume 2

Issues: #5 to #8

Imperium Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #13

Bloodshot Reborn Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #5

Bloodshot Reborn Volume 2

Issues: #6 to #11

VIII) Ninjak, Unity, and The Book of Death!

Ninjak Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #5

Ninjak Volume 2

Issues: #6 to #9

Unity Volume 6

Issues: #19 to #22

Unity Volume 7

Issues: #23 to #25

X-O Manowar Volume 9

Issues: #33 to #37

X-O Manowar Volume 10

Issues: #38 to #42

Dead Drop

Issues: #1 to #4

Book of Death Deluxe Edition

Issues: Book Of Death #1–4, Book Of Death: The Fall Of Bloodshot #1, Book Of Death: The Fall Of Ninjak #1, Book Of Death: The Fall Of Harbinger #1, And Book Of Death: The Fall Of X-O Manowar #1.

Ninjak Volume 3

Issues: #9 to #12

IX) The Death-Defying Valiant Universe & Faith Solo!

The Death Defying Dr. Mirage Volume 2

Issues: Second Lives #1 to #5

Faith Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

Faith, aka Zephyr, gets her much-deserved first ongoing solo series. Note that Faith #0 is actually found within an earlier volume of Unity (I believe number four) during her brief stint with the team.

Bloodshot Reborn Volume 3

Issues: #10 to #13

Imperium Volume 4

Issues: #13 to #16

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior

Issues: #1 to #4

X-O Manowar Volume 11

Issues: X-O Manowar #43–46, X-O Manowar: Commander Trill #0, And X-O Manowar 25 – The Anniversary Special #1

A & A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong Volume 1

Issues: #1 to #4

X) 4001 A.D. and Other Tales

4001 A.D.

4001 A.D.: Beyond New Japan

Rai Volume 4: 4001 A.D.

Issues:  4001 A.D. #1–4, Rai #13–16, 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar #1, 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot #1, 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1, 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1

Checklist Reading Order:

4001 A.D. #1

4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar #1

Rai #13

4001 A.D. #2

4001 A.D.: Bloodshot #1

Rai #14

4001 A.D. #3

4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1

Rai #15

4001 A.D.: War Mother #1

Rai #16

4001 A.D. #4

Faith Volume 2: California Scheming

Issues: #1 to #4 (relaunched miniseries)

Bloodshot Reborn Volume 4: Bloodshot Island

Issues: #14 to #18, Bloodshot Reborn Annual #1

Ninjak Volume 4: The Siege of King’s Castle

Ninjak Volume 5: The Fist & The Steel

Issues: #14 to #21

X-O Manowar Volume 12: Long Live the King

Issues: #47 to #50

Generation Zero Volume 1: We Are The Future

Issues: Generation Zero #1 to #4

Bloodshot U.S.A.

Issues: Bloodshot U.S.A. #1 to #4

Divinity II

Issues: Divinity II #1 to #4

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior Volume 2: Labyrinth

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior Volume 3: A Deal with a Devil

Issues: #5 to #14

A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong Volume 2: Romance and Road Trips

Issues: #5 to #8

Britannia

Issues: Britannia #1 to #4

18 Replies to “Valiant Comics Reading Order – The Whole Valiant Universe!”

    1. I would go with Scribd. They have the whole catalog of Valiant stuff, but just like Marvel Unlimited, there’s about a 6 month delay for current issues.

  1. What an imbecile I appear to have copied almost the entire article into my post. Lets try again.

    This has been awesome help but I have encountered a few errors. The Harbinger Wars should go;

    Issues: Harbinger Wars #1, Bloodshot #10-12, Harbinger #11-13, Harbinger Wars #4, Harbinger #14, and Bloodshot #13.

    And for the Bloodshot, Archer and Armstrong crossover:

    Archer & Armstrong #14 to #17, Bloodshot Volume #18 to #19, Archer & Armstrong #18, Bloodshot Volume #20, Archer & Armstrong #19, Bloodshot Volume #21 to #23.

    This is as far as I have got. Will keep you posted with anynmore.

  2. X-O manowar volume 7 should be volume 8. Also anyone interested in the whole universe should avoid the harbinger wars deluxe edition as it omits the harbinger #0 issue. Buy the bloodshot volume 3, harbinger volume 3, harbinger wars paperbacks instead. The reading order is (HW#1,H#11,B#10,HW#2,H#12,B#11,HW#3,B#12,H#13,HW#4,B#13,H#14). Unity volume 3 is collected in the armor hunters deluxe edition.

  3. Archer & Armstrong volume 5 is missing!

    That left me quite confused when i was reading Bloodshot run, still thanks for all this reading order, it quite help me, to go through all this years of continuity, it would be good an update, and again thank your for this.

      1. Thank you!

        Really, i can’t thanks enough for this site and the help that it brings me, i’ve had enyojed so many books of this entire universe, so again, thanks for your order, and happy new year.

  4. Dave, will you update this column from time to time with a date at the top telling us when it was last updated (so we can tell which comments by date you have taken into account in your update?).

    This column is so close to perfect!

    Does anyone know of other places that keep this list updated? I’d prefer to have Dave’s list b/c he doesn’t give TOO much detail–just enough to keep it from being a straight list but not so much that I can’t scan through from beginning to end.

    Well-written, Dave! And Thank you for your work in putting this together!

  5. Oh, sorry to comeback, but the Bloodshot volume 6 is also missing, at least i find it before I read Bloodshot Reborn, also Harbinger #0 i think I read that later I finished Harbinger Wars, well, thanks for all your efforts in this great site, see you later.

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