Valiant Comics is one of the most realistic superhero universes in comics. While there are characters with supernatural powers, most of these characters feel much more like real people than the Marvel and DC heroes and villains in bright costumes.
However, there are some genuinely heroic people who use their abilities to make the world a better place. There are also a number of “heroes” who can fight various supernatural and real-world evils, but who are not exactly good people, or at least, they have done truly horrible things in their lives. But all the protagonists of Valiant, both heroes and antiheroes, make reading the comics a pleasure.
10 Heroic: Livewire is the heart of your team
A founding member of the Unity superhero team is Livewire, a psycho with control over technology and electromagnetic signals. She was trained by Toyo Harada and she still respects and cares for him, but he has done enough damage in the world to serve her own ego that she has since broken ranks with him.
While two of her teammates in Unity, Ninjak and Eternal Warrior, are arguably more skilled in combat and tactics, she is the heart of the team and ensures that the group is not simply a security force, but a team of real heroes.
9 Dark Anti-Hero: Nanomachines in bloodshot blood took away his identity
Tragedy defines Bloodshot’s life. The nanomachines in his blood turned him into a living weapon. These nanites give him his powers, but they also took away his identity and his memories. It was used as a military asset to kill terrorists, or anyone else its handlers wanted dead, until it was finally given agency.
Now, Bloodshot is trying to use his powers to help people, including his family. However, it is still a weapon, and every time he tries to end the cycle of violence, something causes him to kill again.
8 Heroic: Faith will risk her life to help others without hesitation
Faith Herbert is probably the most heroic character in the Brave Universe. It is a psycho with the ability to fly and can carry a second person into an invisible companion field. She is also a huge comic book nerd, so naturally she chose to become a superhero and help people use her powers, choosing the name Zephyr.
Despite having no other powers such as strength or invulnerability, he regularly risks his life to help others. There is no denying his bravery. In fact, Faith is one of the most compassionate, loving, and courageous Brave heroes.
7 Dark Anti-Hero: Peter Stanchek doesn’t respect boundaries
Peter Stanchek, one of the most powerful psyotes on the planet, has telekinetic and telepathic abilities. He can also use his powers to activate other Psyotes whose latent abilities have not manifested organically, something he did to give Faith her ability to fly.
Peter has a long history of not respecting limits, especially when it comes to the mental capacity and autonomy of other people. While he has opposed Toyo Harada, a wealthy psycho egomaniac who is one of the greatest threats to the planet’s security, he has saved numerous people from Harada’s influence. However, she has also used her powers to get laid, which is a serious violation of consent.
6 Heroic – Divinity altered the physical world to make people’s dreams come true
Soviet cosmonaut Abram Adams traveled to the edge of observable space with two others. Whether it reached the edge of the solar system or of reality itself, it collided with a strange place known only as The Unknown.
Here, he and his fellow cosmonauts gained new powers, becoming divine in their ability to manipulate matter, perception, and space-time. Of the three, only Divinity is truly benevolent. He returns to Earth and does his best to help the people, trying to make the planet more equitable in accordance with his Soviet ideals, even altering the physical world to make people’s dreams come true.
5 Dark Anti-Hero: Rai hypocritically demonizes others
There is a tragedy in Rai that is difficult to express. As protector of the New Japan space station colony in 4001 CE, he was (or will be) one of Valiant’s steadfast and most loving heroes. But upon learning that the AI overseeing New Japan is malevolent, Rai goes to war with the Technoarch.
After New Japan crashes into Earth, Rai discovers that there is a duplicate consciousness of Father known as Bloodking, Rai sets off to kill Father and all the AI created by him. Being an AI himself, Rai hypocritically demonizes others, even treating a partner of his and his previous model, Raijin, with unmasked contempt while exploiting Raijin for help.
4 Heroic: Archer does everything he can to make the world a better place
Obadiah Archer was raised by Christian-fascist creationist parents who brainwashed him in a cult setting and trained him to be an assassin. He was supposed to kill the immortal known as Armstrong (also known as Aram Anni-Padda, or as Archer was trained to call him, “The One Who Must Not Be Named”).
Upon meeting Armstrong, Archer’s entire worldview was challenged. He lost his faith, but he gained a new best friend. Additionally, Archer can connect your consciousness to the Akashic Record, giving you access to all human knowledge. Yet he somehow manages to be both naively innocent and wise far beyond his years, both of which are entirely due to his life experience rather than his powers. He cares for others, and in a gloomy world, he is willing to do whatever he can to improve that world.
3 Dark Anti-Hero: Ninjak feels no emotion
Ninjak is Valiant’s bad boy, a wealthy ninja mercenary spy with gadgets cooler than anything James Bond has ever used, martial arts training Bruce Lee would envy, and his own personal castle. It is pure wish fulfillment at its finest. He’s also a mess of psychological problems, although given his spy training, no one would ever know.
Ninjak has racked up a large death toll in his career, but what makes him so dark is his psychopathic profile. When they showed him the bodies of his murdered parents, he didn’t even react. After a lifetime of trauma, abuse, and intense training, Ninjak seems incapable of most normal human emotions, bringing him terribly close to being a sociopath.
two Heroic: Quantum puts others before himself
One half of the superhero duo Quantum and Woody, “Quantum” (aka Eric Henderson) is a cop and veteran who dedicated his life to service. When he and his foster brother are given powers, powers that can only be activated by jingling the quantum wrist gauntlets every 24 hours, he finds new ways to help people. This causes him all kinds of pain, as Woody is an impulsive, self-destructive, and dishonest man who always gets into trouble.
While he is incredibly uptight and perhaps a bit naive as to how much he trusts any government or business interests that may be considered part of the “establishment”, Quantum is an honest and honorable man who puts others before himself.
1 Dark Anti-Hero: Shadowman was forced to hunt magical artifacts
Shadowman (aka Jack Boniface) received powers from the same loa that has been in his family for generations, and who also gave his father the powers of the Shadowman, powers that allow him to influence spiritual matters in the magical realm of Deadside.
After a confrontation with the villainous wizard Master Darque, Shadowman became an entity known as the Magpie, stripped of his identity and forced to hunt down magical artifacts on Deadside and kill those in possession of these relics. He eventually found a way to return to his former status as Shadowman, but the suffering he caused will make redemption incredibly difficult, if at all possible.
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