Thursday, May 27, 2010

Comic Cavalcade 1993 Valiant Catalog

Back in 1993, when the speculator market was at its height, I mailed away for the Comic Cavalcade back issue catalog. Now back then these guys, along with Kingpin Comics, were the back issue experts (it even says so right on the catalog!). I recently found that I still had the catalog and was interested to see the kinds of prices key Valiant books were bringing. Below is a scan of the Valiant section of the catalog (click to enlarge).

Now, 1993 was smack dab in the middle of the Valiant Era. Had Acclaim not come along and revamped all the great Valiant characters for video games a few years later, I think Valiant had a real shot at becoming the third major universe along with Marvel and DC for good. In 1993, everyone was looking at Valiant and seeing similarities to what Marvel had done in the 1960s. Valiant had the same quality of storytelling, uniqueness of characters and strength of fan excitement. It made sense then to believe that the key Valiant books would in time be as valuable and and sought after as the key Marvel books had become. They certainly were and still are the most valuable and sought after new books created in the 1990s.

Let's take a look at some interesting specifics.
  • All the gold books are priced at around $75-$100+
  • Eternal Warrior #1 gold flat is the most expensive one at $125
  • The Deathmate golds are the cheapest at $40 each
  • Armorines #0 gold is split into gold flat and gold foil. The foil being more expensive. I am not aware of two versions of Armorines #0 gold
  • The first issue of Eternal Warrior and of Archer & Armstrong are $12. This despite the higher print runs they have compared to the first issues of other characters that debuted earlier. Goes to show just how popular the immortal brothers were
  • Eternal Warrior #4 (the joint first appearance of Bloodshot along with Rai #0) is $30
  • Eternal Warrior #5 & #6 (the two part Barry Windsor-Smith story) are $15 a piece!
  • Harbinger #0 send away (pink variant) is priced at $175 and #1 is $160!!
  • Even the later Harbinger issues are crazy expensive. #2-5 are $75 each, #10 (first H.A.R.D. Corps) is $20, #7, 11 and 14 (random issues) are $15 which is more than the first issues of Eternal Warrior or Archer & Armstrong. Hell even the limited blue TPB is $65!
  • Magnus Robot Fighter #1 without card is cheaper than I would have expected at $75. #12 (first apperance of Turok) is $100 though
  • There is a Ninjak chromium card listed at $35
  • Rai is pricey. #0 is the same price as #1 ($40) and the famously rare #3 & 4 are $80 each
  • Shadowman #1 is $50
  • Solar: Man of the Atom is cheaper than expected. Solar #1 (the first ever Valiant book) runs $35 (less than first issues of X-O Manowar, Shadowman, Harbinger and Magnus Robot Fighter)
  • Solar: Man of the Atom (first appearance of Eternal Warrior) is $80 though
  • Turok was worthless even in 1993
  • UNITY #0 red variant is $150. And there is a signed by all (drool...) variant for $200.
  • X-O Manowar #4 (first appearance of Shadowman) is $45 and #14 (Bart Sears art) is $10
  • There is a Ninjak #1 VVSS?
  • Bloodshot #6 is listed as a VVSS not as a seperate Valiant signed project.
  • Overall the prices are about right for 1993, maybe even a tad cheaper than expected.
Did I miss anything interesting?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What would Master Darque look like?

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Valiant characters would look like in real life? If you have then this is not the post for you! But, if you've ever wondered what a Serbian terrorist version of Master Darque from Shadowman would look like in Second Life then cast your eyes at the moderately professional looking image below.

Original Art - Predator Vs. Magnus Robot Fighter Trade

Wow. I found this beauty at It's the painted cover for the collected edition of Predator vs. Magnus Robot Fighter by Dave Dorman. The trade is one of the rarest and most sought after Valiant comics with a reported print run of under 2,000 copies. I believe it was only distributed internationally which makes it even harder to find in the US. What a pity because the cover is gorgeous.

Even this cover can't make the red mini skirt and white go-go boots not look gay!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Unpublished - Rai #0 panels

I found these very interesting unpublished panels from Rai #0 at Its quite a treat to see unpublished moments from the early Valiant books, especially from a book as important as Rai #0.

Rai #0 was billed as Valiant's bible to the future. It contains an overview of the major events in the Valiant universe from the present through to the creation of the last Rai in the 42nd century. Rai #0 also includes the ultimate fates of a number of key characters such as Toyo Harada, Aric of Dacia and Obadiah Archer. The story telling is incredibly clever - all the moments shown are brief and told from within a specific context and perspective. Events may be drastically different when told later from a more objective context even though the event itself doesn't change. For instance, we see a memorial for Shadowman, however, we can't truly believe that he is dead since his death is not depicted, his body is not visible and few details are given.

These two panels do not come with accompanying script but we can quickly recognize a few major characters. Specifically, Sting (of Harbinger) and Archer. There are also three unidentifiable women in the panels. The woman in panel one, immediately to Archer's right may potentially be Flamingo (Rai #0 as published explained that they were eventually married). The second women in panel one could be Kris. All the characters look similar in age here to how we know them so we can assume this takes place near present day. Could this be how the Harbinger kids form a relationship with Archer?

Additionally, we can gleam from the art a sense of placement and story by looking at the words written around the art. Above the second panel we see that the panels would have appeared on "page 9" of Rai #0. Below are pages 8 and 9 of Rai #0 as printed.

These pages deal with Archer and Flamingo in present day and in contempary settings. The unpublished panels seem to take place in a more futuristic or scientific setting and do not seem to fit within the panels printed. Can they be an alternate story point or possibly a additional story point that was cut for space or even because it would give away too much of a future storyline.

We also see above the second panel the words "Thelma kills" and then some words that I can't make out. Archer's mother is named Thelma and did try to kill him but I don't think that's what is being discussed here. I have no idea who the women in the second panel is but she is definitely not Thelma Archer. If anyone has any more information please share.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chinese X-O Manowar: The Movie

Last month Mei loi ging chaat also known as Future X-Cops was released in Hong Kong to little fanfare despite starring Hong Kong sensation Andy Lau. Now what's interesting about this film allegedly based on an original idea is that the suit of armor Andy Lau wears looks eerily similar to the one in X-O Manowar. Especially the suit from volume two. Take a look at the cover.

And now have a look at the suit from X-O Manowar volume two.

And for fun, here's the suit from X-O Manowar volume one (any excuse to post the Joe Quesada cover!).

What's worse is the plot summary is basically the X-O Manowar story backwards plus some crisis about energy.

Of course the movie is now on my must see list. I'll have a full report once I've located a copy.
A cop travels back in time to take on a corporation that's out to eliminate a doctor who has created a new technology which can break up the monopoly on a energy resources.
UPDATE: Watch the movie trailer below:

Credit to the original source:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fan Art - Solar: Man of the Atom sunday morning cartoon

Here is a piece of fan art I found of Solar: Man of the Atom drawn in the style of a Sunday morning cartoon.

Custom Figures - Video Game Shadowman

I found this today and while the figure itself is very average I'm blown away by the number of accessories that have been created to go with it. Using ingredients which include Kleenex, paper plates, cardboard from a potato chip box, paper clips and fuzz from a Q-tip the creator has managed to create, from scratch, a Michael LeRoi as Shadowman action figure with 21 points of articulation and 17 accessories!

Accessories include:

a Handgun

a Shotgun

an MP909 Uzi

an SMG Machine gun

an Asson

a Baton

a Flambeau

 a Marteau

an Enseigne

a Calabash

a Flashlight

a Prison Key Card

a Violator

an Accumulator

 an Engineer's Key

a Cadeaux

 and my favorite, Luke's Teddy Bear

Best Moments - Rai breaks into the Lost Land

This is a new segment in which I will offer up some of what I feel are the best moments in the Valiant Universe. In this first installment I endeavored to find a moment not commonly brought up in best of lists but one that still resonates.

As Magnus, Gilad and Rai approach the portal to the Lost Land they encounter a giant metal barrier. In order to get to the Lost Land and join the the forces fighting Mothergod and her plan of UNITY they must get past the barrier. Gilad first tries to move the lever but even with his immortal strength he can't budge it. Magnus, who can famously cut through metal with his bare hands, tries to punch through the barrier but he can't even scratch the metal. Rai is the only hope left. Forming a spirit sword he decimates the barrier. At once we learn the power of the Rai energy and how it stacks up against Magnus and the Eternal Warrior. Rai will clearly be a force for Mothergod to reckon with in the coming UNITY battle.

Original Art - Second Life of Doctor Mirage #2 cover

Here's a look at the original black and white pencil and ink art to the cover for The Second Life of Doctor Mirage #2 which was illustrated by Bernard Chang and inked by Ken Branch. A lot of people aren't fans of Bernard Chang's work but I love how his style not only fit The Second Life of Doctor Mirage but defined the books tone.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Magnus Rocket Suit Design

Here we have a rare look at an unused Barry Windsor-Smith design. This unfinished pencil and ink design sketch is for Magnus Robot Fighter‘s rocket suit and probably dates from around 1990. Interestingly, he has done away with the tunic and given Magnus pants and some cool armor. The jet pack itself is very modern looking and strives to be feasible. Barry Windsor-Smith has even labeled where the air intake is.

This is Greg Holland, grand poobah of the Valiant collecting community and owner of what I imagine is one of the finest Valiant Universe collections around. Just in this picture you can see a few treasures (a framed Valiant checklist poster, a framed piece of Rai original color art and one of the only Joe Quesada designed X-O Manowar statues that had a minuscule press run) Greg is also the webmaster of the finest Valiant Comics website around -

Bob Hall's Original Master Darque Notes

Here is a scan of what I believe is the first drawing of Master Darque as well as some exploratory ideas for his character by Shadowman writer/artist Bob Hall. Interestingly, the final design and character did not change much from these early ideas.

Dollar Bill Art - Valiant Style

Dollar bill art is all the rage. Here is one of President Rai.

Unpublished Acclaim 'copycat' covers

Back in November 1997, Acclaim Comics had the bright idea to boost sales with a series of homage covers. They dubbed November the 'Acclaim Copycat Cover Month' and each book they published featured a cover that was a homage to a famous cover of the past. Here is a visual list of the covers that were published:

Originally, there were to be homage's to DC books too but once word was released that Acclaim was planning a copycat month the DC legal team put a stop to it. The covers were never printed except for these early promotion appearances which show that Ninjak #9 (???), Trinity Angels #5 (Superman #123) and Magnus Robot Fighter #7 (Action Comics #1) would have been different.

And as a bonus I also managed to find the original ink art for the unpublished Action Comics #1 homage.