Collector’s Corner: Top 5 Rarest Unity Comics

Data provided by Martin Ferretti, Greg Holland, and Comichron.com.

Released in November of 2013, Unity #1 had a print-run of 60,003 copies which made it (at the time) the highest printed modern Valiant book since the 2012 re-launch. [Note: Unity #1 (at the time of this writing) is now the 2nd highest modern Valiant print-run behind 2015’s Book of Death #1.]

Jim Shooter’s original concept of Unity was that of a company-wide crossover event in 1992 that encompassed the the entire Valiant Comics line. It was selected as No. 1 on CBR’s the 25 Greatest Valiant Comics Stories list which was published in 2015. The Unity story featured 18 chapters spanning nine different titles, and actually read as a single cohesive story!

In 1999, after Valiant had been sold to Acclaim Comics, Jim Shooter wrote Unity 2000 which was supposed to be a six issue mini-series that would connect the original Valiant Universe with the Acclaim Universe. This would have subsequently re-booted the entire Valiant line and for the new millennium, and new series and titles would have commenced. However, this clearly did not occur, and Unity 2000 was cancelled by issue #3 due to Acclaim’s administrative issues and/or poor business moves.

In late 2013, Valiant Entertainment’s Unity was a departure from the original concept of a crossover event, and instead served as the Valiant Universe’s “Super-Team” book along the same lines as Marvel’s Avengers or DC’s Justice League.

The 2013 Unity series ran 25 consecutive issues, ending in 2015

With the help of both Greg Holland (site owner and manager of ValiantFans.com for more than a decade), and Martin Ferretti (site owner and manager of Valiant Database); as well as historical sales data as provided by Comichron.com, we can list (with some variance) the estimated quantities of these books that are (highly likely) in circulation today.

While there are vastly differing opinions with speculators, investors, collectors, and casual readers, it is a solid bet that the demand for these books (regardless of personal reason) is going to be greater than the supply.

The purpose of this article is to educate collectors about the Top 5 Rarest Unity Comics published and/or distributed.

 

Unity #2 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant)

5. Unity #2 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant): 

No. 5 is the Unity  #2 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant). Published in December of 2013, Unity #2 had a print run of 18,845 copies (source: Comichron sales data for December of 2013).

This variant was listed at #20 on Greg Holland’s Top 100 Rarest Valiant books 2012-present list. Between both Greg and Martin’s estimates, has a variance of only +/-8 issues which strongly indicates that both estimates are very close to accurate.

180 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans

188 copies according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database

 

 

 

Unity #6 (CAFU 1:50 Variant)

4. Unity #6 (CAFU 1:50 Variant): 

No. 4 is the Unity #6 (CAFU 1:50 Variant)Published in April of 2014, Unity #6 had a print run of 9,351 copies (source: Comichron sales data for April of 2014). There are only 175 known copies of this book.

This variant was listed at #15 on Greg Holland’s Top 100 Rarest Valiant books 2012-present list.

175 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans

No Data according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database

 

 

 

 

Unity #3 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant)

3. Unity #3 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Variant):

No. 3 is the Unity #3 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Variant)Published in January of 2014, Unity #3 had a print run of 13,277 copies (source: Comichron sales data for January of 2014). Between both Greg and Martin’s estimates, has a variance of only +/-5 issues which strongly indicates that both estimates are very close to accurate.

This variant was listed at #5 on Greg Holland’s Top 100 Rarest Valiant books 2012-present list.

127 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans

132 copies according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database

The Unity #3 (Braithwaite 1:100 B&W Variant) is listed at No. 5 on Greg Holland’s Insane Five List which features the five rarest modern Valiant comics released since the 2012 re-launch.
 

 

Unity #5 (Suayan 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant)

2. Unity #5 (Suayan 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant): 

No. 3 is the Unity #5 (Suayan 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant)Published in March of 2014, Unity #5 had a print run of 12,268 copies (source: Comichron sales data for March of 2014).

Between both Greg and Martin’s estimates, has a variance of only +/-4 issues.

This variant was listed at #3 on Greg Holland’s Top 100 Rarest Valiant books 2012-present list.

118 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans

122 copies according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database

The Unity #5 (Suayan 1:100 B&W Sketch Variant) is listed at No. 3 on Greg Holland’s Insane Five List which features the five rarest modern Valiant comics released since the 2012 re-launch. This book features art by a number of artists, including the story “Glitch” featuring art by Lewis LaRosa.

Unity #1 (Foreman Golden Ticket)

1. Unity #1 (Golden Tickets):

This is a five-way-tie. So rare and unique that it is excluded from most lists to make room for other variants (since it would always occupy the top 5 spots).

On Nov 21, 2013 Valiant Entertainment announced its “Unity #1 Golden Ticket Contest” (Source: Official Golden Ticket Announcement). Unity #1 had a print run of 60,003 copies, and what Valiant did was to print a #UNITYGOLDENTICKET hashtag in gold ink on the UPC box of only copy of each of the five Pullbox Exclusive Variants, and then place them at one of five pre-selected local comic shops across the continental United States. The five Golden Tickets were:

  • Unity #1 (Crain Golden Ticket)
  • Unity #1 (Foreman Golden Ticket)
  • Unity #1 (Jones Golden Ticket)
  • Unity #1 (Hitch Golden Ticket)
  • Unity #1 (Rivera Golden Ticket)

 

Unity #1 (Crain Golden Ticket)

Each Golden Ticket is a one-of-a-kind book. The prize for finding and obtaining a Golden Ticket included the chance to win one of ten exclusive prize packages, including tickets to New York Comic Con 2014.

ValiantFans.com forum member “Magnus9178” was the first, finding the Unity #1 (Jones Golden Ticket) on Dec 14, 2013 at Ed Greenberg’s Collector’s Paradise in Canoga Park, CA. The second was ValiantFans.com forum member “Beware Cyclops” who found the Unity #1 (Crain Golden Ticket) on Dec 16, 2013 at Forbidden Planet in New York City, NY. The third was Mr. Jesse Fresco, who is perhaps best known for his Bloodshot Cosplay (see: Jesse Fresco’s Twitter) as well as his movie reviews on youtube’s “Someone Has to Review It!” (see: Someone Has to Review It!). Jesse found the Unity #1 (Foreman Golden Ticket) at the 2014 SDCC (reportedly at the Midtown Comics booth during the convention).

Unity #1 (Foreman Golden Ticket) was later sold (privately) to a well-known (yet, un-named…) collector, who later sold it to me (DBS, writer of this article). After submitting to CGC for grading, it was auctioned in February of 2016 on eBay with a winning bid of $2,140. That auction can be found HERE.

Both the Unity #1 (Hitch Golden Ticket) and the Unity #1 (Rivera Golden Ticket) have never been located, and are still out there somewhere…

 

 

The Unity #1 (Crain Golden Ticket) and Unity #1 (Jones Golden Ticket) are both still owned by the original owners. All three have been CGC graded as follows:

Unity #1 (Jones Golden Ticket)

  • CGC 9.6 Unity #1 (Crain Golden Ticket):
  • CGC 9.6 Unity #1 (Foreman Golden Ticket):
  • CGC 9.4 Unity #1 (Jones Golden Ticket):

There is no debate that of all modern Valiant Comics (released after the 2012 re-launch) that these three are at the top of the list. The only recorded public sale for this book occurred in February of 2016 for the CGC 9.6 Unity #1 (Foreman Golden Ticket) which sold at auction for $2,140.

The Unity #1 (Golden Ticket) is listed by Recalled Comics as “Ultra-Rare” and among the top 12-15 rarest comics in the world today.

 

 

 

 

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Rounding out the Top 10 (for those interested in such things) are the following:

No. 6 Unity #24 (Barrionuevo 1:20 Variant):
(Read the All-Comic review of this issue HERE)
(214 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans) 
(494 copies* according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database)
*NOTE: The Valiant Database lists this book as a 1:10 variant as opposed to a 1:20 variant. Depending on which ratio is correct, then that quantity would be 247 copies (for a 1:20) or 494 copies (for a 1:10).  

No. 7 Unity #0 (Dauterman 1:25 Variant):
(246 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans) 
(350 copies** according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database)
**NOTE: The Valiant Database lists this book as a 1:20 variant as opposed to a 1:25 variant. Depending on which ratio is correct, then that quantity would be 280 copies (for a 1:25) or 350 copies (for a 1:20).  

No. 8 Unity #21 (Grace 1:20 Variant):
(246 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans) 
(No data according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database) 

No. 9 Unity #17 (Ryp 1:20 Variant):
(Read the All-Comic review of this issue HERE)
(254 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans) 
(266 copies according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database) 

No. 10 Unity #22 (Dekal 1:20 Variant):
(Read the All-Comic review of this issue HERE)
(255 copies according to Greg Holland’s Valiant Fans) 
(514 copies*** according to Martin Ferretti’s Valiant Database)  
***NOTE: The Valiant Database lists this book as a 1:10 variant as opposed to a 1:20 variant. Depending on which ratio is correct, then that quantity would be 267 copies (for a 1:20) or 534 copies (for a 1:10).

 

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Unity #1 (Braithwaite Gold)

Unity #1 (Braithwaite Gold):

Unity #1 (Braithwaite Gold) has proven to be one of the harder to find modern Valiant Gold books. 55 copies were signed by writer Matt Kindt as part of the ValiantFans.Com Validated Signature Series, with a certificate signed by Valiant Entertainment CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani and Greg Holland, who is the owner and founder of ValiantFans.com (as well as an Overstreet Advisor and well respected collector).

Though the exact number in circulation is unknown, we do know that Valiant Entertainment reportedly prints 1,000 Gold books which are typically provided to fans and/or collectors at conventions, contests, promotions, and favorable actions.

Unity #1 (Braithwaite Gold) is one of several Valiant Gold books; however, even several years after its release there are still a few collectors who are surprised to discover it even exists having never seen one before!

CGC graded copies of the ValiantFans.Com Validated Signature Series will always have a green qualified label; however, most long time Valiant fans DO NOT appear to care about the stigma normally associated with qualified labels, as the history of such books has been tracked and documented very well over the years. Universal copies are also a prize for collectors. All high-grade copies sell for a premium.

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Unity #0 (Red Incentive Edition)

Unity #0  (Red Incentive Edition)

Read ‘s 2015 article: Kickin’ It Old School: Unity #0

While NOT a Gold Book per se, it was similar insomuch as 1 copy was made available to retailers as a reward for either themselves or their customers.

The 1992 Marketing Plan cites the following:

“Our intention is that you share them with your loyal customers. Allotment is for every reorder of 100 copies mixed of May or June VALIANT titles ordered, you receive one copy of this limited, extremely rare edition.”

One of Barry Windsor Smith’s most iconic covers of the early VALIANT era, the Red logo version of the regular cover had only 5,000 copies printed (while the Blue Logo had 250,000 copies printed, so think of it as 2% of the print run, or in other words a 1:50 incentive variant); however, the original distribution methods are unknown.

 

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Unity #1 (Gold Incentive Edition)

Unity #1 (Platinum Incentive Edition)

Unity #1 (Gold Incentive Edition) and Unity #1 (Platinum Incentive Edition)

Read ‘s 2015 article: Kickin’ It Old School: Unity #1

Released two months later in October of 1992.

Unity #1 (Gold Incentive Edition) had 8,000 copies

Unity #1 (Platinum Incentive Edition) had 7,000 copies

The 1992 Marketing Plan cites the following:

“UNITY #1 Platinum: We want to reward you and Diamond together – as a team – for ordering and promoting our UNTIY program to our highest level of expectations, reaching beyond the Gold to achieve Platinum. This special, limited edition of UNITY #1 will be printed along with the regular UNITY #1 and sent to Diamond who will forward them on to you, one copy for every retail account that made up Diamond’s UNITY orders. Again we thank you and Diamond for your support.”

Obtaining a full (or as close to full as possible) modern Valiant Unity collection is a incredible undertaking that only the most determined and obsessed collectors might hope achieve. Without a question, a complete modern Valiant Unity collection would be the most expensive Valiant collection ever assembled, and likely would be viewed as an achievement in modern comic book collecting.

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