Acclaim Comics, aka VH-2 (for "Valiant Heroes Two"), was a comic book publishing company and sub division of video game developer Acclaim Entertainment from 1994 to 2004.
In 1994, Acclaim Entertainment purchased the publication company Valiant Comics. Their goal was to make video games about the characters and use the comic books as additional marketing for the video games, however, for two more years Acclaim continued publishing the ongoing series under the Valiant banner (and logo). In 1996, they completely rebooted the Valiant Universe and re-branded it as Acclaim Comics, retooling many of the properties to make them more adaptable for video games.
The new universe, "Acclaim Comics / Valiant Heroes", became to be known as "VH-2" (for "Valiant Heroes Two") because of the drastic changes to the character's identities and backgrounds. Here is a list of Valiant's major properties and what Acclaim did to them:
- Bloodshot - One more identity was added to Bloodshot and to further the mystery about who he really was: Angelo Mortalli? Michael Lazarus? Or Raymond Garrison? Also, the Japanese-based Project Rising Spirit (P.R.S.) became the Domestic Operations Authority (D.O.A.), a secret division of the U.S. Government.
- Harbinger Renegades - This property was widely ignored by Acclaim that only published a one-shot, Harbinger: Acts of God, and only Peter Stanchek and Faith Herbert were still part of the team, and James "Tork" Torkelson was now a member of the Armorines.
- Magnus - Acclaim gave Magnus a complete name, Russ Magnus, and let him travel back in time to fight the beginnings and avoid that the cans would become to powerful one day.
- Ninjak - The British spy Colin King was turned into the nerdy teenage boy, Denny Meechum who discovered that he could switch into the body of his favorite video game character, Ninjak. Ironically, the fictional video game, Ninjak, that was played and mentioned by many of Acclaim's characters was never published by Acclaim Entertainment in real life.
- Shadowman - Jack Boniface and his Shadow Loa were replaced by the zombie hitman Michael LeRoi who couldn't really remember his past life. Later on, Acclaim altered his identity once again and LeRoi became a radio jockey and voodoo detective.
- Solar - The original Phil Seleski granted his powers to the Seleski twins of just another alternate universe (the Acclaim Universe). Later on, Unity 2000 was a (failed) attempt to reboot the universe once again re-introducing the original Valiant characters.
- Turok - The original nameless Turok was turned into Joshua Fireseed, a young college student from Oklahoma and reluctant heir to the Turok legacy.
- X-O Manowar - The time-displaced Visigoth warrior, Aric of Dacia was replaced by Special Forces officer Rand Bannion and young scientist Donovan Wylie while the X-O Manowar Armor's origin was still alien but the U.S. had taken it from the Nazis who had used it for the Teutonic Knight.
In 2004, the company eventually went bankrupt. The final comic books were Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion and Turok: Evolution in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and were based on the video games of the same name. All other publications had already been canceled by early 2000.
The rights to the Valiant Universe were then acquired by Valiant Entertainment in 2005, who rebooted the line again in 2012. For this reason, the period between 1996-2004 is thought of as the "Acclaim Comics" or "Acclaim Years" era in Valiant continuity. Only a few characters who were originally introduced by Acclaim Comics found their way into the Valiant Entertainment Universe, notably Quantum and Woody and the (location) Deadside. Valiant Entertainment would reboot the universe based on the characters' original identities with the exception of Bloodshot who would still keep the identity of Raymond Garrison that was added by Acclaim but the D.O.A. would be replaced with P.R.S. again.
The collector's consensus today divides Valiant into three sections:
- VH-1 for "Valiant Heroes One" published from 1991-1996 by Valiant Comics
- VH-2 for "Valiant Heroes Two" published from 1996-2002 by Acclaim Comics
- VEI for "Valiant Entertainment, Inc." published post-2012 by Valiant Entertainment
This section is for footnotes and citations.