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Collector’s Corner: Ninjak’s “First Appearance”

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This week we travel back to 1993 and take a look at BLOODSHOT issues #6 and #7; the EARLIEST appearances of British Playboy COLIN KING, the man we know today as VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT’s NINJAK.

Last week, VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT released the highly-anticipated NINJAK #1, written by Matt Kindt, the interior artwork illustrated by Butch Guice, and multiple variant covers by almost every artist on the Valiant pay-roll. The release of NINJAK #1 has been one of the highest selling issues (if not THE highest selling issue) that VALIANT has released since its 2012 re-launch. The critics have spoken and the reviews are positive with mostly scores of 4.5 to 5 out of a possible 5 Stars.

The jury is out. The verdict is in. FANS and COLLECTORS love NINJAK!

The success of NINJAK is nothing new. This character has appeared in multiple on-going and mini-series over the past 22 years, has had two volumes covering both the original VALIANT and the ACCLAIM years, and appeared early in X-O MANOWAR #5 after the 2012 re-launch. NINJAK #1 was cited as the BEST-SELLING comic book of 1993 by the three leading distributors at the time (Diamond, Capital City, and Heroes World). It debuted at number one on WIZARD MAGAZINE’s “TOP TEN HOTTEST COMICS” of the month in its February of 1994 edition, and was the FIRST VALIANT comic EVER to hit number one in sales.

NinjakBut NINJAK #1 was NOT the FIRST APPEARANCE of the character. For that honor, we have to look as far as 1993’s BLOODSHOT #6, which was constantly listed as one of the TOP TEN Hottest Books month after month by WIZARD magazine back in the day for demand and future collectibility.

THE FUTURE IS NOW!

In a strange way speculators of the 1990’s WERE RIGHT! They misjudged the length of time that it would take to make money on these books (LOL!). But make NO mistake, BLOODSHOT #6 is not as abundant as it once was and finding a NM copy or CGC/CBCS 9.8 remains a daunting task (not unlike ETERNAL WARRIOR #4 featuring the FIRST APPEARANCE of BLOODSHOT; or X-O MANOWAR #4 featuring the FIRST APPEARANCE of SHADOWMAN). Prices are going up for these books and they are HOT items right now.

Additionally, while BLOODSHOT #6 was the FIRST APPEARANCE of NINJAK (aka COLIN KING), the very next issue (BLOODSHOT #7) featured the FIRST APPEARANCE of NINJAK in FULL COSTUME.

BLOODSHOT #6 and #7 go hand-in-hand when it comes to early NINJAK and while BLOODSHOT #6 is clearly the one to buy if you can only get one of the two, they should be read and/or collected as a pair.

BLOODSHOT #6 was the beginning…

NOTE: X-O MANOWAR #5 was the FIRST VEI APPEARANCE of NINJAK since the the 2012 re-launch.

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  • Barry

    I totally agree that Bloodshot #6 is the first TRUE of the character Ninjak. Just like Marvel Super Heroes #13 is the first appearance of Carol Danvers who becomes Ms. Marvel and later Captain Marvel. But I feel that the most desirable first appearance of Bloodshot is Rai 0 because it’s his first FULL appearance. Eternal Warrior #4 is only a first CAMEO. Very similar to Wolverine’s first appearance in Incredible Hulk 180 Vs. 181.

  • Very valid points Barry.

  • Barry, Hulk #180 & #181 are often cited in this debate, as is ASM #288 #299 & #300 (Venom has a FULL FRIGGIN SPLASH WITH NAME In #299, but #300 had a cooler cover sooooo….).

    Jack Bonface practicing safe-sax in X-O #4 was before we ever saw him as Shadowman, but that counts in the minds of collectors as the 1st appearance.

    Adam Warlock’s cameo (Fantastic Four #67) sells for more than his 1st full appearance (The Mighty Thor #165).

    Darkseid’s cameo (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134) sells for more than his 1st full appearance (Forever People #1).

  • Collectors determine price, and I suspect that in the case of Hulk #181, having Wolverine physically on the cover helps that perticular case. Additionally, if more people invest in the 1st full appearance than they do the cameo, then the 1st full appearance carries higher value and is therefore in greater demand.

    The same is true if more people invest in the cameo, in which case that issue will likely carry a higher value and be in greater demand.

    Print size also is a factor that I believe collectors consider. X-O #4 is FAR more rare than Shadowman #1.

    But in the end, the market will tell the story as it does. Easy test will be to compare the value of Rai #0 with that of EW #4 in 9.8 and see which is more expensive in few months. That will be the answer, and I suspect strongly that it will be EW #4.

  • Barry

    You are 100% correct about collectors determining the value. Personally, I enjoy owning both the first cameo and first full appearances of characters I like. Mystique, for example, had two cameos in Ms. Marvel #16 & # 17 before her 1st full appearance in #18. Collectors value #18 much more than the other two cameo issues. Apocalypse’s full appearance in X-Factor 6 is worth more than his cameo in X-Factor 5. So there’s two examples of full appearances being valued more than cameos. Also, Bloodshot is featured on the cover of Rai 0, so like Hulk 181, that may play a part in the value of it versus EW #4. I don’t know the print run for EW #4, but the print run for Rai 0 was pretty large, so that’s a bit of a strike against Rai 0. Both issues are excellent with very cool cover art, but I feel Rai 0 should be considered the gem in any Bloodshot fan’s collection.

  • Agreed on Rai #0’s importance, visual appeal, and collectibility.

    I went shopping for multiple copies of EW #4 this past week, and had a difficult time locating them; so I bought a few CGC 9.8 Rai #0’s instead. My feelings are that EW #4 is the one that will emerge as the Bloodshot key; but also that Rai #0 IS a Valiant key. The cover of Rai #0 is one of the MOST iconic Valiant covers EVER, and much like A&A #0, looks great with a signature on it.

    I do disagree (somewhat) on Bloodshot being on the cover of Rai #0 however. Rumor says it was actually The Punisher… (http://www.coverbrowser.com/lab/top/image/rai-comparison.png) 😉

    • Barry

      Haha! That link was great. Thanks!

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