The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has proven that there is a healthy appetite for superhero tales on the big screen. People appreciate not only the imaginative stories and larger-than-life conflicts, but they also enjoy the characters and how they develop over time. As readers of Valiant Comics can attest, there were plenty of intriguing characters and stories in that library that rivaled anything that the MCU had to offer. When thinking about starting a possible Valiant Cinematic Universe of films from their new Hollywood owners DMG Entertainment, it would all need to start with one compelling character whose story could draw people in and be the prism through which other characters could be introduced. There may be no better character for this task than Pete Stanchek, aka Sting.
Who is Pete Stanchek?
Pete Stanchek begins his story as a normal teenager. As we have seen with the success of the Spiderman films, this can be a very fruitful place to start. He has normal teenage problems, like his relationship with girls and navigating high school. It is not long before he discovers he has superpowers. These superpowers are of the psionic variety, like mind control. This brings up many issues and quandaries in his life. In the spirit of “with great power comes great responsibility,” Pete must discover how he will use his powers. He has struggles and makes questionable decisions, like mind-controlling high school cheerleader Kris Hathaway into being his girlfriend. Like all great heroes in films, Pete encounters a mentor that is interested in teaching him how to harness his powers. This mentor is Toyo Harada.
An Intriguing Conflict
At the heart of every great film is an interesting conflict that the audience can get invested in.
While Toyo Harada does offer to mentor Pete and teach him about his powers, Harada is a very flawed mentor.
As Batman Begins did effectively with Bruce Wayne and Ra’s Al Ghul, a Valiant film focusing on Pete Stanchek could do with his conflict with Harada. Harada is an intriguing villain made for the silver screen. He has founded a group called the Harbingers.
This group is a collection of people with psionic powers that have been brought together by Harada. Harada, in a very Thanos-like fashion, has decided that the only way to save the Earth is to conquer it. Over time, he has amassed a great fortune and uses his resources in an attempt to achieve his ultimate goal.
Like Magneto, Harada views the Harbingers as superior to regular people. He has great powers, including telekinesis, mind-control, and telepathy. He attempts to recruit Pete by teaching him about his powers, hoping to secretly use him to further his agenda. In time, Pete and Harada become so close that Pete acts as a sort of second to Harada.
Pete’s best friend expresses his view that Harada should not be trusted and is murdered by Harada’s Harbinger group.
It is at this point that Pete discovers the truth about Harada and the Harbinger Foundation.
The Introduction to Many Other Valiant Characters
By having a film that focuses on Pete Stanchek and his struggle with the Harbinger Foundation, it would open the door to introducing many other popular characters in the Valiant Comics Universe. To combat Harada’s elite Harbingers, the Eggbreakers, Pete forms his own squad of superpowered Harbingers. This team includes popular Valiant heroes like Livewire, Zephyr, Flamingo, and Torque. Each of these characters has rich backstories of their own and could be fleshed out in standalone films. As the universe begins to expand, many viewers may get to see the rich tapestry of Valiant superheroes and the layered stories that follow them. Since so many of these characters connect to Pete in some way, it makes sense that a film is made about him. The new owner of the VCU is Hollywood producer Dan Mintz of DMG, responsible for the sci-fi classic Looper and Marvel blockbuster Iron Man 3, so one can expect filmmaking of a quality worthy of the richness of the Valiant characters.
The Construction of the Valiant Cinematic Universe
Pete Stanchek is a hero that moviegoers can fall in love with. He has the problems and moral quandaries of Spiderman, as well as the immense powers of Dr. Charles Xavier. He struggles with his powers and is an easy person for the audience to root for and sympathize with. His story carries emotional weight, as his best friend is murdered by the mentor who made him feel like he belonged. With a compelling story and the ability to expand into further Valiant tales, Pete Stanchek is the best choice for a film to spearhead the VCU.