The Blood of Heroes
Published after the events of Rai #8, the special served as a bridge for the reformatting of "Rai" as "Rai and the Future Force" with issue #9 by way of introducing the new Rai.
The special also featured the first appearance of Valiant hero Bloodshot as well as setting up a basic outline for the history of the Valiant universe from 1992 until the post-"Unity" crossover 41st century. It also was used by Valiant as the springboard for the "Deathmate" crossover between Valiant and Image Comics, which caused the special to become sought after by collectors, staying on Wizard's Top 10 hot list for several months.
When Unity compromised the timeline, it fell to the Geomancers to ensure the stability of reality.
It began when Geoff McHenry broke into Project Rising Spirit and rescued Angelo Mortalli, whose silicone–based blood gave him incredible strength and computer–like mental powers, a discovery that his creators found out the hard way when he killed them during his escape. Months later, the organization known as the H.A.R.D. Corps took an interest in Bloodshot’s activities.
In the spring of 1993, Geoff discovered several timeline anomalies and sought help from Aric Dacia, but the barbarian–born hero was having too much fun to notice the change in him. Aware that he had to meet the danger that was coming, Geoff got help wherever he could find it.
Geoff found Bloodshot and told him of the Darque Power, the Corporate War between Toyo Harada, the HARD Corps, and other economic powers-that-be that took sides in the conflict, and warned him that the planet hovered on the threshold of dark times. Geoff was relentless in his crusade to recruit help against the Darque Power.
In 1999, these events came to a terrible finale when the dark vested hero Shadowman gave up his life to rid humanity of the Darque Power. When the heroes of Earth gathered to pay their respects to their fallen comrade, they all turned their wary eyes toward the future and the wars that loomed in the horizon.
As time passed, Obadiah Archer became a guru of sorts and, by 2020, his Archies were a symbol of peace and order in a turbulent world torn by warring corporations, though Obadiah knew that whatever he did was not enough. While the Harbinger Foundation grew stronger every day, Toyo Harada grew very old despite all his power and became obsessed with the secret of immortality, so he took desperate measures to secure them for himself and kidnapped Aram Anni-Padda. After Obadiah succeeded in rescuing his friend and repaid the debt that he owed him with his life, Aram vanished from the Earth for parts unknown; some believed that he went off–world, while others said that he finally succeeded in drowning his troubles.
In 2028, robotics and computers were the only defense against Harada’s mental powers, and while he fixated over the ability to control them, the Harbinger renegade Ax, who was determined to possess the Blood of Heroes, defeated Bloodshot in a battle on a lunar base and drained the blood from his body.
In 2056, Ax’s trail grew cold and he and the blood simply vanished, but Geoff never stopped looking for him. Ax was not the only person from that era who vanished; Pete Stanchek, the leader of the Harbinger Resistance, fell off the face of the Earth and left his daughter-in-law and grandchildren in the care of his best friend, Kris Hathaway, who lived a secluded life far removed from the strife that raged in the world around her. It was in those twilight years that Kris decided to put her feelings down in words and wrote a letter to the son that she bore but never knew, a child that would not enter the world for another nineteen centuries. Once she was done, Kris summoned Geoff McHenry to deliver her message through time.