Title: Valiant High #1
Writer: Daniel Kibblesmith
Artist: Derek Charm
Publication Date: May 30, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: A unique entry-point that’s perfect for new fans and longtime readers alike, Valiant High presents a hilarious reimagining of Valiant’s award-winning superhero universe – one where the next world-ending cataclysm will have to wait until after prom night! 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! Taking place outside of Valiant’s standard continuity, Valiant High is packed with never-before-seen incarnations of the greatest icons from the largest independent superhero universe in comics – including Archer & Armstrong, the Death-Defying Dr. Mirage, the Eternal Warrior, Toyo Harada, Kris Hathaway, Peter Stanchek, Quantum and Woody, and many more. You’ve never seen the heroes of the Valiant Universe quite like this before!
Review: The debut issue of Valiant High begins with the familiar image of kids shuffling into high school. However, these are not your average high-schoolers. Teens who attend Valiant High are a unique breed of teenagers each with their own superpowers that are almost as powerful as their hormones. The issue culminates around Amanda McKee, a sophomore with the ability to communicate with technology, as she navigates through high school with more than a few bumps and blunders.
Daniel Kibblesmith taps into the casual, teenage atmosphere of classic Archie comics, mixes in superpowers, and adds just a dash of sass to create the characters, setting, and plot of Valiant High. High school is a popular setting in books and television, and Kibblesmith connects with the emotions and tensions of those years. Kibblesmith supercharges this first issue with classic high school stresses: fitting in, navigating relationships, and passing the infamous driving test. Derek Charm’s vibrant colors and a classic style artwork mimic Kibblesmith’s tone, juxtaposing the cheeriness of the images with the dread of daily high school routines. Kibblesmith and Charm create an all around terrific first issue.
In this first issue, the superpowers are weighed against the trials and tribulations of typical high school students, making the comic highly relatable for readers of all ages. Fans of classic Archie comics and films like Sky High will not be disappointed by this first issue.
The Bottom Line: Valiant High #1 is a fresh and fun re-imagining of superheroes as high school students. In this debut issue, Kibblesmith creates dynamic characters that draw the reader in and keeps them interested until the very last second, and then, just a little longer.