This May, Valiant Comics will take us on a harrowing journey through the Deadside with their new event series, Rapture. This high-octane fantasy adventure will star the mighty Ninjak, a.k.a. The Greatest Superhero of All Time. Ninjak series writer Matt Kindt is heading up Rapture with artist CAFU, so you know that everyone’s favorite purple-clad ninja is in the for the ride of his life.
“It just grew out of everything that came before,” Kindt told Nerdist. “It’s what I love about the Valiant event stories–they only become events because it’s where the story leads us. A lot of what I touched on in Ninjak and some things that we set up early, as well as some elements that Jeff Lemire and I established in The Valiant, just came to a head.” Fans of The Valiant know that the new Geomancer, Tama, has become an important part of the Valiant Universe. “The first half of the first issue is going to be some of the most amazing Geomancer stuff you’ve ever seen,” Kindt said. “It’s really going to change how you perceive her as a character.”
Valiant is billing Rapture as a Lord of the Rings-style adventure, an epic superhero fantasy. Given the mystical nature of the Deadside, it’s easy to see how this fits into the Valiant Universe. “It’s set in the Deadside, which is something we’d played with in the Ninjak series,” Kindt said. “Ninjak hated the Deadside and all the magic stuff so much that it was just too fun not to keep forcing him back there. But the dual-edge of this story takes place in the Deadside, where we follow a sword-wielding barbarian who just tears up the scenery. There are a lot of really messed-up fantasy monsters and creatures, along with mythological mayhem, in this story. Valiant really let me loose on this one–there are some crazy things happening.”
Fans of Kindt’s work know that a big fantasy adventure is not his usual project. “I’ve always loved mythology and folklore, and this series is really letting me tap into all of the ideas and thinking that I’ve done over the years on that stuff,” Kindt said. “I grew up loving Conan and Lord of the Rings, but I haven’t really gotten a chance to develop my take on that kind of genre. I tend to gravitate to more grounded stories, relatively, with spies and gadgets and mystery. So it’s interesting to take that grounded sensibility and apply it to some crazy fantastical ideas. Exploring heaven and hell, and gods and demons, but doing it in a way that humanizes all of the characters. I think that’s what I want most out of a story like this.”
Aside from Ninjak and the Geomancer, Rapture will pull in some other fan favorite characters like Punk Mambo and Shadowman, as well as develop a few new figures for the Valiant mythos. We’ll get a complicated mix of heroes and villains who blur the edges between right and wrong. “Tama, the Geomancer, is going to be the revelation here,” Kindt said. “Imagine a mash-up of Indiana Jones and Nancy Drew, and then throw her in the Deadside to work on supernatural problems. She’s amazing, precocious, and I think she’s going to steal the show in this series.”
Kindt has done amazing things with the character already, so we’re excited to see what Rapture will bring. As Kindt said, “It takes a special kind of person to wield swords in a world filled with guns, bombs, and hell-spawned death-word spewing demons intent on breaking into heaven.” Special indeed.
You can see some of the Rapture #1 covers in the gallery below, which features work from J.G. Jones, Kano, Mico Suayan and CAFU. Also, make sure you hop in comments and let us know why you think Ninjak is the greatest comic book character of all time!
Images courtesy of Valiant Comics