October 29, 2013 1:10pm PT by Graeme McMillan
No Crossover with Dynamite's Gold Key Characters, Says Valiant
When Dynamite announced a revival of the Gold Key superhero characters in advance of New York Comic Con earlier this month, longtime fans of characters like Solar, Turok and Magnus, Robot Fighter, started wondering whether there could be a crossover with the superheroes of their previous publisher Valiant Entertainment could be on the cards. The answer, it seems, is a definite no -- at least, as far as Valiant is concerned.
The Valiant incarnations of the Gold Key characters ran from 1991 through 1999, with revised versions of Magnus, Solar and Turok placed firmly in the center of the Valiant universe, alongside original characters like Shadowman, X-O Manowar and Bloodshot. When Valiant ceased publication, the rights to the characters reverted to Random House, which holds the Gold Key assets, before being licensed first to Dark Horse Comics and then Dynamite. Meanwhile, Valiant relaunched its comic line in 2012 -- but without some of the characters that many considered central to its original appeal.
In an interview with Valiant's executive team at Comic Book Resources, the question was raised about whether the publisher had attempted to acquire the license to publish the Gold Key characters. "We never went after them," answered CEO Dinesh Shamdasani, adding "We own all the characters that we're launching now, and that's the big piece for us, because it means we can do what we want with them. We don't have to compromise the creative integrity because we have to get a licensee to approve something."
That echoed editor Warren Simons' earlier comment that he wasn't interested in working with Dynamite to tell a crossover story reuniting the characters from the two companies. "We have no plans for that right now," he said. "I have no interest on making sure that one of my writers' scripts needs to be approved by a third party somewhere else."
However, Shandasani didn't rule out an eventual return for the Gold Key properties to Valiant -- under certain conditions. "Down the road, once we've grown the company in a slow and steady manner, will we go after those characters to wholly own them? Potentially. They are a good next step," he said. "The fans ask us a lot: Are we going to get Magnus, Solar and Turok? The answer is, we don't know. But certainly not as a license."