DMG, the Chinese and US film production group, is to take an equity stake in independent comic book company Valiant Entertainment. It plans to adapt Valiant’s characters into movie franchises.

The company said that the deal is “a new partnership to span motion pictures, television, publishing, and licensing that will culminate in the big screen debut of Valiant’s universe of characters in theaters around the world.”

“Today marks one of Valiant’s biggest milestones yet with a huge step towards bringing the Valiant characters to the big screen and forging the foundation of the first truly international cinematic universe,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani in a statement.

DMG, which was an investor and co-producer of Disney/Marvel’s “Iron Man 3”, says it has made “an eight-figure (USD) series C round of equity investment into Valiant,” which the company will use to further its efforts in international publishing, film, television, licensing and beyond.

DMG said that it has agreed to provide “an additional nine-figures (USD) of film financing capital toward the production of theatrical films and television programs based on Valiant’s library of iconic superhero characters.”

Valiant owns some 2,000 characters that include X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong.

Current Valiant feature films in development include the previously announced “Bloodshot” from Sony Pictures in partnership with Original Film; “Shadowman” in partnership with the Sean Daniel Company from a script by J. Michael Straczynski; and “Archer & Armstrong”, also with the Sean Daniel Company from a script by BenDavid Grabinski.

The companies say that the partnership creates the ability to develop and co-produce tent-pole theatrical films for distribution and release simultaneously in the U.S. and China, respectively the world’s two largest theatrical markets.

“Global markets, like China, offer the greatest opportunities for monetization from merchandising, licensing, as well as revenues from film and television properties. Comic superheroes are the most lucrative and sought after IP for movie franchises, so taking a stake in the last independent massive comic universe is a strategic investment for DMG that will produce movies and TV that are both appealing and relevant to a global audience,” said DMG CEO Dan Mintz. “
“DMG and Valiant will work in concert to form China-focused licensing partnerships for Valiant’s stable of characters in areas such as Chinese language publishing, animation, online gaming, toys, apparel, live events, theme parks, and more, with a focus on bringing Valiant’s iconic heroes to new audiences in China and Asia-Pacific,” a statement continued.

Valiant was formed 25 years ago by comic book creators from including former Marvel editor-in chief Jim Shooter, and “Iron Man” artist Bob Layton, and has sold over 81 million comics.