web stats

CSBG Archive

Valiant Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – D

Today, we look at one of the top Valiant villains!

Enjoy!

Master Darque

Someone once noted that Valiant did not seem to have all that many villains, and really, they are kinda right, because Master Darque, one of the biggest villains they had, was a nemesis to, like, sixteen different Valiant heroes.

Okay, just Shadowman and Dr. Mirage, but still, it was kinda funny to see a guy be the arch-nemesis to more than one hero at the same time.

Master Darque was this really tough magic user who had mastered the Black Arts and lived a life with his sister, who was a little bit less evil.

He was notable because he actually had his own series (TWICE, really), which is pretty good for a villain.

Before Acclaim went out of business, I believe Warren Ellis had a pitch in for a Master Darque series. Does anyone happen to have any details?

14 Comments

You’d think he could maybe magic up some pants, if he was so all-powerful…

Valiant isn’t the worst offender when it comes to multi-tasking villains. Anyone remember the Marvel UK profliferation in the early 90s? The Knights of Pendragon, Motormouth, Dark Angel, Death’s Head II, Wild Thing… I can’t remember all of them because they were pretty forgettable, although Motormouth was cool — MyS-Tech the the central villain in every book! No surprise it all dried up pretty quickly.

I kinda liked that their villains were used in multiple books. It made them feel more important and dangerous, and allowed for more character development than standard villains.

It’s a fantastic idea to use 1 major villain, so that instead of having a bevy of schtick villains (like Spider-man and Batman) writers an focus on fleshing out the importance of one major character. The villain to hero ratio is already completely out of whack and Valiant did a fantastic job of keeping it down to earth.

Darque was pretty cool in the beginning, when he was mostly just a Shadowman villian. But then he started showing up everywhere, and got very lame, very quickly. He was also showing up in Solar, and that team book they had (Secret Weapons, I think?). And a bit in Eternal Warrior and Archer & Armstrong.

“Before Acclaim went out of business, I believe Warren Ellis had a pitch in for a Master Darque series. Does anyone happen to have any details?”

The Acclaim version of Darque’s next apperance before the universe was thankfully puut out of its misery was to be in the Final Solution, a crossover about Harbingers being put into concentration camps.

http://sonicdan.com/valiant/acclaimjuly98.html

There was some preview art for it either in the last few issues of Shadowman or the last issue of Acclaim’s Darque Passages mini series (I don’t recall). Any future plans for the character would have appeared there.

The Darque Passages mini from Acclaim was 4 issues written by Christina Z and drawn by Leonardo Manco. It’s one of my favorite Acclaim series and is truly creepy.

I guess I hadn’t thought of it until now, but that is one major point with the Valiant U : it doesn’t have enough good villains.

I’ll never understand why there’s so much hate for the Acclaim series. Sure it wasn’t the original Valiant, and I agree that the early Valiant was as good as any superhero stuff I’ve ever read, but Acclaim had some great stuff. The Acclaim versions of Shadowman, Bloodshot and Turok were preferable to the Valiant versions IMO and they had some great new properties including Quantum & Woody, Troublemakers, and Dr. Tomorrow. I always thought of Acclaim as the Valiant Earth-2 universe and am pretty sure that’s what Unity 2000 was going to show when they ultimately would have mooshed the two universes into a “best of” universe. Too bad that never finished.

Quantm & Woody is one of the funniest series ever, and the character interplay is fantastic, and it had some good healthy doses of drama. This is one series that I’m amazed didn’t make it on the Top 100 Comic Runs list.

Although I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone else that read it (thank you Hondo!) Len Kaminski’s Bloodshot was one of the best comics of its time, too. The rapport between writer and artist (Sal Velluto) was top-notch, it was sci-fi and superhero and spy at once, and the narration and dialogue were pure high octane poetry at times.

And Acclaim’s Shadowman was groovy too; I actually only started reading it once Serge Clermont and Clayton Crain took over, but it was a well-told story, a cool concept, and the storyworld seemed authentic.

Yeah, it’d be great if they could do a Unity storyline with the present properties. Does the new Valiant hold the rights to the Acclaim books? It does, doesn’t it? I’d hate to see the original Bloodshot send the Acclaim version back into the drawer.

“I always thought of Acclaim as the Valiant Earth-2 universe and am pretty sure that’s what Unity 2000 was going to show when they ultimately would have mooshed the two universes into a “best of” universe. Too bad that never finished.”

I’ve read Shooter’s script for the final issues and seen the completed artwork for the remaining issues.

Spoilers (of a 9-year-old incomplete series, heh)

In the end, it turns out that the original VALIANT heroes were fakes that a writer in the real world (the VH 2 reality) created using magic ink that Lucifer gave him.

All the VALIANT characters vanish when the ink falls on them and Solar drinks it to sacrifice himself.

In the end, the “real” people, the VH 2 characters, are the ones that survive.

It was a crappy ending to a crappier Crisis on Infinite Earths-rip off.

“I’d hate to see the original Bloodshot send the Acclaim version back into the drawer.”

Consider that if Unity 2000 had been finsihed, the Acclaim version would have taken over the original version, who would have vanished after it drank the magic ink.

VEI has already expressed their intention to return the character to their pre-Acclaim state.

Well I’m glad that didn’t happen. How lame is that ? Hopefully the current VEI will integrate the best of both universes as neither imprint had a lock on the best character versions. Maybe they could even do what DC did for years and retain parallel universes, building on different versions of each. The Acclaim stuff was just so good I’d hate to see it not acknowledge at least to some degree.

Priest had a new character in a series Concrete Jungle introduced. I’d like to see more of that as well as an updating of Trinity Angels and maybe even Giffen’s Punx.

I’m hoping for exactly the opposite.

If I want to read about multiverses, I’ll read DC.

VALIANT has to offer an alternative to what DC and Marvel do, not the same thing but different.

Be Yoohoo to DC’s Coke and Marvel’s Pepsi, Babylon 5 to Star Trek and Star Wars.

“I’ll never understand why there’s so much hate for the Acclaim series. Sure it wasn’t the original Valiant,”

And that’s why. The “Valiant” fans are possessed of Geoff Johns silver age lust, but to an extreeme, as Valiant only had 1 or 2 years before the creators all left and the books slid into mediocrity.

The Acclaim years…until the company folded, was filled with creators like Busiek, Priest, Nicieza, Waid, Peyer, Ellis, Delano, Kruger, Maquire, McDuffie. doing great books.

So Scavenger, your saying that Acclaim had major talent working on the old Valiant characters up until the end means what ? You agree with me that Acclaim had some good stuff that’s been unfairly condemned by the hardcore original Valiant fans or you agree with them that despite having some of that phat talent in their stable Acclaim still wasn’t very good.

IMO, Acclaim was a mixed bag but so was the original Valiant. Some of it was definitely better than others. One of the original Valiant concepts that never really grabbed me like some others was Rai. It seemed like I was missing something there.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives