THE VALIANT STARS
What was the first story you were ever told?
What was the first legend you ever heard?
What was the first dream you ever had?
I will tell you of a time of valour.
Of angels and demons.
Of battles beyond all imagining.
I will tell you of the Zap,
For its tale is the tale of all humanity.
So begins The Valiant Stars, and so begins an adventure that thirty years of discerning sci-fi fans have treasured above all others!
Ever since Flyknife Comics acquired the license for Laughing Lizard’s wide range of properties, we have been committed to making these astounding tales of adventure and derring-do accessible for readers from across all generations. The Valiant Stars possesses a famously dense cast of characters (numbering between 400 and 1000, by some counts), and as such, new readers, viewers, video-gamers, and afficionados of Multimedia Alternate Reality Game Experiences (MARGE-Heads) have found the story difficult to get into. As the availability of different media degrades, licenses change hands, pirate servers are microwave-bombarded from orbit by the BINARY ORDER, and undocumented, disputed-canon entries in the series are recovered from the Citadel of Tales by enterprising ruin hounds, the problem becomes only more potent. But no longer! Flyknife Comics, partnering with a splinter faction of heretical Record Knights from the Citadel of Tales, have created this reference guide to help you get started in this exhilarating world of high adventure and savage danger!
In here, you’ll find recaps of each of the books, as published. In time we will implement more features to make your reading experience more pleasant, like datacards for each character to tell you who they are and what they’ve done, and the option to temporarily replace your brain with a second, smaller brain that contains only information on The Valiant Stars and related properties.
A Note For New Readers: While this resource may be useful as you work your way through the story, please note that it does contain unmarked spoilers for each book, and is written with the assumption that you have read all but the latest (electronically) published book. At the current time, that is Kobra Stallion 2: Radical Astral Tilt. We therefore recommend that if this is your first encounter with The Valiant Stars, you read the stories in chronological order, as they are presented in the Librarium.
Read The Life Comix 2014 Chilled-Out Summertime Jam
Read Kobra Stallion Volume 1: Reptile Justice in the Stars
Read Kobra Stallion Volume 2: Radical Astral Tilt
The Original Snakepunk Adventure Returns
Original publication year: 2014
Based on: 'Life Comix' Season 3 Episode 2: Confusion in the Bark-etplace!
Read it here!
Summary: In their debut adventure, Snakes Leningrad and Captain Gunsmoke stage a summer music festival for the benefit of the people of Earth. Things start out a little shaky for the guys when the opening act, Robot Peter Chiykowski, doesn't go over as planned. And it all goes from bad to worse when their casual acquaintance Spooky Jim arrives with an awful single and an even worse b-side. When the boys shoot down his ambitions and revoke his backstage pass, Jim gets serious and ascends to godhood with the help of an ancient relic known only as the GodStone! Now more powerful than a large dog or several whales, Jim uses his newfound power to throw Gunsmoke and Leningrad out of the festival- and off the planet!
As Gunsmoke, Leningrad, and RPC drift unbound through space, they float past the borders of the Kaplan Sector and wind up on the distant world of Xaxo. Taking a breather to regroup and plan, they do their best to recall how Spooky Jim got his hands on the Godstone. They remember the last time they saw it- when they stole it from Pixel City! They blasted through Rogue Cryptograms and hard encryption and busted out, only to get rolled by Commander Joachim Pegasus- the galaxy's nicest space cop- and his trusty ensign, Conrad Toast. Just when it looks like Gunsmoke and Leningrad might get a stern talking-to, all three of them get rolled by fellow Zap Jockeys and intergalactic rock superstars, Ten-Volt Tom and his band- those high-flyin', hard-jammin' astronauts, the Ancient Circumstances!
Zap-Fu flies in the most classic fashion imaginable, until Gunsmoke and Tom fight each other to a standstill- Tom has the Godstone, but Gunsmoke still holds the much more powerful Prophecy Stone! Gunsmoke and Leningrad beat a snarky retreat, and then flash back to the present, just in time to realize that if Spooky Jim has the Godstone, that means Spooky Jim stole it from Tom's treasure planet- which means he has access to a dizzying array of terrifying weaponry and cool gadgets!
Meanwhile, things aren't going as well for Jim as he might like- turns out, he's on Earth in search of something called the Poet's Soul, a fantastical power that will elevate him to sole master of the entire universe! But the search isn't going well, and as Jim gets more and more frustrated, Earth gets closer and closer to being eaten whole! By Jim!
Back on Xaxo, the boys stumble across a black citadel, wherein shocking information is revealed to them- Xaxo is the homeworld of none other than Spooky Jim, and a fully-functional Battle Planet to boot! They fire it up, grab their gear from lockup, and get their butts in motion to take back Earth! With Pegasus and the rest of the Hercules Fleet backing them up, it seems like our guys can't lose.
Like the man says, though, it ain't ever that easy! A pitched battle for the fate of Earth erupts in the night sky. Spooky Jim sends his Spooklets into the fray, and Snakes and Gunsmoke hatch a plan to get inside Spooky Jim's head and mess with his brain- literally! When Tom shows up, all bets are off, and the Poet's Soul is finally revealed- inside Robot Peter Chiykowski's heart! The gang only just barely manages to beat Spooky Jim with their legendary weaponry and legendarily good looks. Medals are handed out, the spoils are divvied up, and Spooky Jim gets sent to Space Jail to cool his heels a while. Earth, it seems, will live to jam another day!
Original publication year: 2015
Based on: Kobra Stallion Season 1 Episode 1: The Quantum Triviality Menace
Read it here!
Summary: Gunsmoke and Leningrad are back, and this time, they're on vacation! But not for long- their quiet cruise around the edge of the galaxy is interrupted when they find Vicki Vanguard and Enioch Cruel robbing an alien pyramid on the distant planet of Verde 9. The boys intervene to stop them making off with a mysterious alien relic, but their Zap-Fu isn't tenacious enough to keep the dastardly villains from making their ominous escape! Looks like vacation's cancelled for our favourite Zap Jockeys.
Meanwhile, on the first-generation Earth colony, Armadillo 7, Rishi Everson, her husband Calico, and her best friend (and boss) Elegy Williams wake up after a night of celebrating. The reason for their partying? The renewal of Star Captain Calico Everson for another season. As Calico heads of for a day of shooting, Rishi and Elegy tend to their own work- the finest guerilla journalism in the galaxy. The scoop on everyone's minds? The Ranger Hawks, a mysterious fleet of alien ships who've offered their assistance in the wake of Spooky Jim's attack. They claim they're coming to help, but Williams wants proof. She gets a mysterious message telling her that the scoop of a lifetime is waiting for her in Moscow- how can she resist? She and Rishi hitch up their cameras and roll out.
Later that day, on Earth, at the border between the United States and the New Confederacy, secret agent Jenner Belasco rockets onto the scene in a high speed chase! Pursued by U.S drones, Belasco nearly gets himself blown to shreds. But with expertly dangerous driving and some skillful last-minute hacking, he escapes with his life- and most of his car- intact. He reaches his destination shortly thereafter- Las Vegas. There, he meets with his apparent boss- Bonaventure Del Solar, CEO of the whole city! The cause of his high speed chase is revealed: he's delivered a vital starship component to Del Solar, circumventing Earth's laws on the trade of starship parts and giving Del Solar a critical piece for the Confederacy to build its own battleship! But as Belasco takes his leave, his real purpose is revealed- he's a double agent for the United Nations Space Commission, and he's setting up Del Solar for the fall of a lifetime!
Gunsmoke, RPC, and Leningrad make their way to Club Cavalier, there to meet with their ol' pal (and sometime landlord) Fox Burke, and pick up some of their gear that might help thwart Vicki. After enduring a stern talking-to from Fox regarding the state of their apartment, the guys head inside to tidy up a little before saving the universe. While they scrape the party residue off the wall, Fox chats with fellow Jockeys Fractal Fatale and Darkshark Murderstar. Seems trouble's afoot back on earth- Councillor Garrison Locke, head of the U.N Security Council and until recently Gunsmoke and Leningrad's employer via the Yojimbo Directive, has been suspiciously hasty to deploy the forces of Earth's navies on missions around Earth and its colonies. They can't help but wonder why- and if the Yojimbo Directive, for which many of them worked, has something to do with it.
Fractal and Darkshark take off for their shift defending Earth, and Gunsmoke, Leningrad, and Robot Peter Chiykowski come down after cleaning up the room. They and Fox head down to the vault, where all their coolest gear and raddest stuff is stored. There, they retrieve a suspicious canister, of a kind matching one that Vicki retrieved from Verde 9- one built by the Zybo, a mysterious alien race who aided humanity during the Hundred and One Secessions, then mysteriously disappeared. When Fox hears that Vanguard is involved, she decides to get involved too- and she wants to involve everyone's best friend and intergalactic rock star, Ten-Volt Tom, too. There's just one problem- Tom is still cranky at Gunsmoke and Leningrad on account of how he didn't get the Godstone after the Spooky Jim incident. Fox is convinced that she can square this circle with a heartfelt apology from the dudes, however, and with a little hectoring and a lot of heart, she gets them on board with a plan to make nice.
If only things were going so well back on Earth! Pegasus, acting under U.N orders (and intelligence from Garrison Locke), dispatches a squad of marines to Earth, to bust Del Solar for the starship parts Belasco planted. But the Confederates have been warned that they're coming, and the entire operation starts spiralling out of control. It's only with the timely intervention of Fractal Fatale and Darkshark Murderstar that Del Solar gets rolled and everyone goes home happy. And speaking of happy, in the distant reaches of space, Fox manages to coax/bully an apology out of Snakes and Gunsmoke, therby mollifying him enough to get him and his gigantic war-cruiser, the Whitesnake, on board for the operation. Realizing that the only place Vicki Vanguard could've gone to lay low is the safehouse capital of the universe, Klaxon Prime, they make tracks in that direction at best possible speed.
On Earth, at a hotel that caters to military personnel, Jenner Belasco meets with his handler, Qing Xe, and gets his last assignment- to travel to Moscow and dupe Elegy and Rishi when they arrive. It seems the distribution of a critical bundle of information- straight from trusted journalist Elegy Williams- is essential to the last phase of their mysterious operation. He sets out straightaway, just in time to make sure Elegy and Rishi get their information from his dead-drop. Back in their hotel, they unlock the information Jenner and Qing want them to: an allegation that Senator Locke has been using unprecedented deployments of Hercules Navy forces to soften up any opposition to United Nations authority. The reason? A prelude to his full-scale seizure of power, backed by the enigmatic Ranger Hawk fleet, who will be his personal army in exchange for a cache of alien artefacts recovered by the Zap Jockeys for Locke under the Yojimbo Directive! Jenner places a spurious phone call, posing as an informant, to seal the deal- and Elegy and Rishi buy it hook, line and sinker.
The Jockeys catch up with Vicki and Cruel- as well as Hollywood Starkiller and Maximum Hauser, two other Jockeys who went bad, on Klaxon Prime. Meanwhile, Pegasus and the fleet prepare for a showdown with the Ranger Hawk fleet, in light of Elegy Williams' report. The good Jockeys fight the bad Jockeys to a standstill, and Vicki and Cruel unleash the contents of the container they recovered from Verde 9- a mobile streak of reddish goo that takes to the sky and beelines straight for Earth! Snakes and Gunsmoke take off after it while Fox and Tom stay behind to deal with Vanguard, Cruel, Hollywood, and Maximum.
The battle for Earth is in full swing, but the Admiral of the fleet is down- struck by the creature unleashed by Vicki, though none know that- and Pegasus is in command! Snakes, Gunsmoke, and RPC arrive just in time to deflect a missile salvo and join Fractal and Darkshark in the defense of their homeworld. But things get dire when the Ranger Hawks reveal that one of their ships- a massive, crystalline entity- can freeze the Zap Jockeys in blocks of crystal and capture them! Just when things seem to be at their most dire, a warp portal opens, and a Zybo ship comes through! Although it seems like it's here to help, Robot Peter Chiykowski reacts to this development in the worst of ways- he shoves Gunsmoke into the path of the crystal's beam, and the two of them are dragged inside! Snakes is captured too when he won't abandon his friend, but the Ranger Hawks retreat after that, the Zybo ship driving up their losses far too high. As quickly as it began, the battle is over.
Jenner gets his retirement, with mixed feelings, and Pegasus and Toast prepare to address their Zybo saviours. But the fight isn't over- and neither is the adventure! Kobra Stallion part 2 is available online- read it now!