Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ninjak - How Many Covers






How many Ninjak covers(so far)?

I have 17 currently, if I count my digital card from Lootcrate.

Cover A
Cover B
Cover C
Cover D
Cover E BLANK Cover
1:10 Valiant Next Variant
1:20 Character Design Variant
1:60 B&W Sketch Variant
SHARED EXCLUSIVE COVER
Collector's Paradise EXCLUSIVE Cover
Gold
Comicspro
Yesteryear Comics
Emerald City
4 Color Grails
BAM

Still waiting on my London Comic Con one to show up.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

X-O Manowar - Just how many does one need?






One of my favorite titles from the original Valiant universe was X-O Manowar. It was a pretty simple concept: 5th century warrior with a living armor. As some say, Conan meets Iron Man. Aric of Dacia basically wields the greatest weapon, talks like Conan and favors fist over thinking. It was a fun book. When Valiant became Acclaim and the book relaunched, I was not as much of a fan.

It was great when Valiant Entertainment relaunched and right out of the gate we got a new X-O Manowar. Written by Robert Venditti with pencils by Cary Nord. I felt this was a really good read and I've enjoyed X-O a lot. I really like X-O's involvement in the book Unity, too. Right now, X-O Manowar is the longest-running Valiant title.

So, I've bought a lot of X-O Manowar 1s. Haven't gotten too crazy with any variants. I don't tend to buy them, but then Valiant has their pullbox variants. I've bought quite a few of those for many of their titles.





23 copies of X-O Manowar 1. Why do I buy these?  Well, Discount Comic Book Service still had a bunch of these that they were offering up at about 90% off price, so every month, I would buy 5. I have more coming, too.





10 copies of the X-O Manowar pullbox variant. Again, DCBS has them cheap and I have more on the way.





I try to keep up with signings of creators I like. I like Venditti. I think X-O is great. I like his Green Lantern work, too for DC Comics. Now, Midtown Comics does plenty of signings. If you look on Ebay and see someone selling a book signed at a Midtown signing, check Midtown's site. They usually sell for cover price. Pretty cool.





This is something a bit different. This was something concocted on Valiantfans.com that I found on Ebay. VF.Com will sometimes do a forum project and leave it numbered pretty low. A lot of the people there get the same number for each project. I got someone's 47/50. Maybe they don't get that number. I don't know but there's a chance there is a VF.com member who just passed on this item. It's signed by Venditti, Nord and then Warren Simons and Dinesh Shamdasani.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Valiant Value Box


I'm a sucker for mystery box auctions. Sometimes, it has worked in my favor and I've gotten great books. Other times, it's just pure garbage. Recently, I saw this listing, I knew I had to take a chance. Key issues? Autographs? Variants? How can one pass that up? There was the chance it could have been filled with Turok #1s but damnit, this was a chance I was going to take.

$25 for a box of stuff is not a bad deal. Was it the first Valiant? Acclaim? VEI? The suspense was killing me on this.


First, let's go through the current stuff:

Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps 0, Archer & Armstrong 24, Eternal Warrior 4, Divinity 1, Quantum and Woody 1, Harbinger 1 and Imperium 2. Not bad at all. I had Q & W, Harby and Divinity. I will gladly take doubles. If nothing else, I can try and give those to someone to try. I had not picked up Imperium 2 yet.


Now for the old school:

Here we have Chaos Effect epilogue 1 and 2. Deathmate through all the main colors, Bloodshot 0 chromium and Rai 0. The Rai 0 is in great shape and I am glad to have another. Deathmate...I have a lot of these but you take the good with the bad. I have a few Bloodshot 0s, too.

The pros:
Even the stuff that I already had is good stuff. I could probably put the #1s on Ebay and make some of this back. Same with the Rai 0. Right now, Rai 0 is a great key issue to have. All the books looked to be in great shape and were bagged and boarded. The packaging was great. I could probably have drop kicked the box and it would have kept the books safe. Someone new to these books could jump into a lot of this and not be lost. And most importantly, there was a lot of stuff here.

The cons:

I need more issues of Deathmate like I need a hole in my head. Seriously, I have a lot of these. They show up all the time in lots that I buy off Ebay.On the plus side, these were nicer copies that what I already have. Also, no cards. I don't know what it is but recently, I've been looking at Ebay at the price on boxes of cards. It's the kid in me for sure, but I just want to open packs of cards. I have sets of Valiant cards already but would have loved to have gotten a pack or a box or something.

Easily, this was worth $25.

Like I said earlier, I buy mystery lots off Ebay. Usually, it's not a seller with a love for Marvel/DC/Image. It's usually a person with too many yellowing copies of Secret Defenders or The Ray. Maybe, they throw in some WildC.A.T.S. to spice things up. There's no passion. The books are never bagged and boarded. This was great. I think one difference with this as opposed to another random seller who would do a mystery box is that this person probably has a lot of love for Valiant. A lot of #1s. A set of Deathmate. Even with my feelings of Deathmate, it's most of the story. No Deathmate Pink or Orange but those are just previews. No biggie. What more can you ask for?


Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Will Be My Valiant Year Of Comics

VEI's 25 Anniversary  poster by Kano

As a collector of comics, everyone has a goal. Maybe it's a weekly goal to get all the Marvel books that come out. Maybe you buy every variant cover for the Batman books put out by DC Comics. I used to have a yearly goal of getting that one item that I just had to have and for the life of me, I can't remember not doing it. Once, I wanted to finish off a full run of Grendel, fulfilling it with a purchase of #27 of the Comico series at San Diego Comic-Con. Other times, I wanted to patch the holes in a Transmetropolitan run. Another time, I had to have an Iron Man 55, featuring the first Thanos and first Drax. Absolute Authority? One year, it was the goal. It's pretty easy to do that when you are focused on one item.

What about one universe?

Valiant Entertainment has been around since 2012, putting out a small but great line of comics featuring most of the Valiant characters of the 1990s. Currently, I pick up a copy of all of their monthly books through Discount Comic Book Service and for pretty cheap. For under $20 a month, I get the entire universe and have been enjoying it since VEI started putting books out. And I still liked the old universe, with characters no longer under the Valiant banner, such as Solar, Magnus and Turok. Problem was, I was missing a lot of issues of everything. What about getting everything from the 90s, before the entire line was relaunched under the banner of Acclaim? Could it be done? Should it be? Let's be honest and admit that the first year of the early titles were as good as comics could be in the 90s, but once Unity, the big mega event that Valiant put out to tie the titles together came out, the books did lose a bit of steam. There's a few years of decent stories and then there's some stinkers too.

I had probably half of the superhero line in boxes. Was missing some key issues.  So I got to thinking: What about trying to get everything? I mean, price-wise, there was no action on the 90s Valiant titles and plenty of issues could be rescued from bargain bins in comic shops. Harbinger 1 was a $20 or $30 dollar book and maybe the 0 issue was more. So, I've set out to accomplish this task.

At the beginning of the year, I had started out buying what I considered to be the key issues; had to have Harbinger 1 and maybe Harbinger 10. Had to have Solar 3 and 10. X-O Manowar 4. Archer & Armstrong 0. Eternal Warrior 4-Rai 0(there is much complaining as to which one is Bloodshot's first actual appearance with the online community). I figure, not much key after that, since the print run for most of these books were so high, they should give you Turok 1 for just liking comics.

Things were going great until about two weeks ago on a Sunday night when news broke that VEI had brokered a deal with a Chinese production house for a nine-figure sum to help move along a series of movie projects. All of a sudden, there was a mad dash to start getting stuff. Any real collector worth his time dabbles a tiny bit into speculation and I do enough to know one golden rule about back issue buying: If news breaks of a television or film property, you better start spending and fast. I don't need 10 copies of X-O Manowar 1, but I didn't have 1. I had a second printing of Solar 10. That wasn't going to do. I needed a gold Archer & Armstrong 0. I also had to start figuring out what all could be considered key. Was Shadowman 16, the first appearance of Dr. Mirage going to be sought after? Probably not. Was Bloodshot 6, first Ninjak, going to get pricey? Probably not, but I am sure someone was trying to price it up on Ebay like it was hard to find. Rai 1-5? Yeah. Need that, too.

Comic speculation is the worst. I love it, in the sense that I have been lucky with the Marvel/DC side of it. I have or had so many key appearances and when I needed to, profited off selling my one copy I had. But really, if you don't buy books you need when these stories come out, then you have to spend more money. Cheap copies disappear.

My goal is to get the remaining copies I need. Not trying to get every variant. A copy of Bloodshot 0 with the gold cover would be nice, but I am not looking for the very rare platinum edition. The following list is the remainder of what I feel I need to do this.

Armorines: 0, 0 Gold, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8-12
Bloodshot: 0 Gold, 50
Captain Johner: 1-2
Darque Passages
Deathmate Pink
Deathmate Green Comic Defense
Eternal Warrior: 1 Gold Embossed, 3, 15, 17, 23, 25, 29-49, Yearbook 2, Wings Special, Fist and Steel 1-2
Geomancer: 1, 3-8
H.A.R.D. Corps: 1 Gold, 8, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21-30
Harbinger: 3-7, 30, 35-41
Magnus: 0, 64
Ninjak: 1 Gold
Original Doctor Solar
Outcast Special
PSI-Lords: 1 gold, 2-10
Punx: 1-3, Manga Special
Rai: 8, 20, 22-23, 25-31
Secret Weapons: 6, 8, 11-12, 14-21
Secrets of the Valiant Universe: 1, 3
Shadowman trade w/ Darque Passages
Solar: 2, 5, 7-9, 11, 33-36, 38, 43-46, 48-60
Solar: Alpha & Omega, Second Death
Turok: 1 Gold
Valiant Era trade w/ companion
Vintage Magnus: 2-3
Visitor Vs: 1-2
Visitor: 1-6, 8-13
X-O Manowar: 0 Gold, 9-13, 15 Pink, 16, 20, 27, 29, 36, 38-67

The only thing that isn't added to this list are the Valiant Validated Signature Series editions. Valiant put out its own line of signed books, complete with certificate of authentification. I actually have a lot of these.

So blogging this...I thought it would be a nice way to document 2015's comic book purchases. Put some pictures up of some of the completed runs, or key issues, or just anything related to Valiant, old and new. It should be a good year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wytches 1 from Image Comics has already sold out

Wytches 1

Wytches 1 is a comic book by Scott Snyder and Jock. Both of these creators are comic book household names, so it was no surprise that Wytches, their new book from Image Comics, would be a hit. Snyder has knocked it out of the park with his Batman work and while Jock has worked on some of that Batman stuff in the form of back-ups and The Black Mirror, he's more known for work such as Losers and projects from 2000 A.D. and he's a pretty good cover artist.

The first issue was released on Oct. 8 of this year and is already sold out. Could it be due to news that the series was picked up by New Regency? Probably. It really seems like a lot of new books that Image Comics puts out get picked up for some sort of television or film deal.

So what covers are available? Bleeding Cool had a great showing of what is out there and you can check the link to see images of the various variant covers. Hastings, Midtown Comics and Fourth World Comics all have variants. There's a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund cover. There was one released for last week's New York Comic Con, which from what I have read in various places online, might be limited to 500 copies. There's also a ghost variant. As of this posting, I've seen plenty of copies on eBay of the regular edition selling for more than cover.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Big Hero 6 Started Where?

First Big Hero 6?





By now, you have to have seen the trailer for Big Hero 6, the animated film from Marvel/Disney. It is the first time that Disney has taken a Marvel property and done anything with them. I am not going to count what Marvel Studios does because it doesn't. Anyway, Big Hero 6 is a nice-looking animated feature that is most-likey going to kill at the box office, much in the way that Disney animated flicks do.

Being that it is a Marvel Comics property, people have been buying up the early appearances. But what are they? Yes, this one is a tiny bit confusing.

First Big Hero 6?
Big Hero 6 was scheduled to make its first appearance in Alpha Flight #17 in December of '98. However, there was a mini-series of the characters that beat them out of the gate in Sunfire and Big Hero 6. From what I have read on the internet(take that as you may) the AF creative team of Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau didn't have time for the mini-series so it was handed off to Scott Lobdell and Gus Vasquez. Their series came out first but Seagle and Rouleau are the creators.

As it stands, checking eBay and shops will get you mixed results. People list both as first appearances and both do seem to have a claim to lay. In my opinion, it is a bit more telling that the creators listed are the Alpha Flight team and to me, regardless of shipping issues, makes Alpha Flight 17 their true first appearance.

If you have either, now is a great time to sell them. Also, check out Claremont's Big Hero 6 series. It's worth reading.

From that guy who didn't create the X-Men but kinda did create them.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lots Of Villains Heading To DC TV

First appearance of Komodo. Incredible run.
There is a lot of new characters from the comics heading straight to Arrow and Flash.

First up, from the current run of Green Arrow, Komodo will be popping up in Arrow next season. Sort of a villain-of-the-week but here's hoping for more. He's a newer villain, coming straight out of Lemire and Sorrentino's Green Arrow run. I am not going to go into how much I like this run, but it's been great and in my opinion, there hasn't been a good amount of Green Arrow to read since Brad Meltzer's The Archer's Quest. One of the best runs to come out of DC's New 52. Their run starts with 17, which is Komodo's first appearance. He'll be played by Matt Ward.

First Plastique. Also, a very ugly costume.
 Meanwhile, over on The Flash show, you'll see Plastique and Girder. Plastique was more of a Firestorm villain, first popping up in issue 7 of Conway/Broderick's The Fury Of Firestorm, complete with a horrendous purple outfit and gigantic red hair. That said, not a bad character and it makes sense to feature Firestorm villains because we know at this point that Firestorm, or at least Ronnie, is showing up at some point. Also, it should just be assumed that if you were once in the Suicide Squad, you are ending up on one of these shows. Actress Kelly Frye will play her.

The Flash: Iron Heights. Great one-shot.
Last, we have Girder. I'm so interested in how this one looks on TV. His body is living iron, he rusts and he's pretty strong. I hope that he's not just some regular-looking guy who's got strong skin or something similar to Luke Cage. Greg Finley from Star-Crossed will play Tony Woodward, who becomes Girder. His first appearance is in the Flash: Iron Heights one-shot from the acclaimed Geoff Johns run.