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Collector’s Corner: Modern Valiant 1st Appearances

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“The appearance of a single great genius is more than equivalent to the birth of a hundred mediocrities…”
― Cesare Lombroso

The modern Valiant Universe (since 2012) is constantly evolving and expanding. Month after month, each new issue released has the potential to reveal a new character; often that will not appear again until later on. The purpose of this article is to identify (and briefly discuss) several of the more significant of those 1st appearances.

This article is organized alphabetically.

4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1 (Lee 1:20 Variant)

4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1: 1st Appearance of Kaia & The Shadowman Loa in 4001 A.D.

Written by Jody Houser with artwork by Robert Gill and colors by Mike Spicer, 4001 A.D. Shadowman #1 was released on July 6th, 2016 with a print run of 7,843 copies.

There are four covers for this book;

  1. 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1 (Travel Foreman Regular Edition)
  2. 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1 (Meghan Hetrick Variant)
  3. 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1 (Ryan Lee 1:10 Character Design Variant)
  4. 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1 (Ryan Lee 1:20 Mega-Connecting Variant)

On the very first page of the story, three characters make their 1st appearance; Kaia (blond woman), Jardon (dark haired male), and Kym (dark haired woman). Several pages later the Shadowman Loa (spirit) appears in female form and meets the three new characters for the first time.

While the Shadowman Loa does not bond with any of the three characters in this story, there is strong indication that Kaia would/will be the one as she is clearly the dominant figure in this story and holds the stronger connection to the Shadowman Loa. As such, it is highly likely that Kaia will be featured in future 4001 A.D. story arcs in connection with the Shadowman Loa. With Valiant Entertainment building and expanding the Valiant Universe of 4001 A.D., this is an early character appearance of that effort.

This is at worst, the 1st appearance of the Shadowman of 4001 A.D.; and at best, it would be the 1st appearance of Kaia, the Shadowman of 4001 A.D. (which is a story that has not yet been written).

(NOTE: Jack Bonface was the original Shadowman, and first appeared in X-O Manowar #4 published in 1992)


 

Archer & Armstrong #1 (Suayan Gold)

Archer & Armstrong #1: 1st Appearance of Mary-Maria

Written by Fred Van Lente with artwork by Clayton Henry and colors by Matt Mila, Archer & Armstrong #1 was released on August 8th, 2012 with a print run of 23,464 copies.

There are eight covers for this book;

  1. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Mico Suayan Regular Edition)
  2. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Clayton Henry Pullbox Variant)
  3. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  4. Archer & Armstrong #1 (David Aja 1:20 Variant)
  5. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Neal Adams 1:100 Line-Variant)
  6. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Clayton Henry 2nd Printing)
  7. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Mico Suayan Gold Variant)
  8. Archer & Armstrong #1 (Clayton Henry 3rd Printing)

While not the 1st appearance of Archer or Armstrong (see Archer & Armstrong #0 published in 1992 for that), Mary-Maria makes her 1st appearance (cameo) on page 9 and is then referred to by name on page 10.

Mary-Maria is a significant and reoccurring character in Archer & Armstrong. She is intelligent, ambitious, skilled, attractive, and a quite formidable warrior/assassin with strong potential in not only Archer & Armstrong, but also Ivar, Timewalker and other titles.

With the correct creative team, Mary-Maria could actually have her own title that would be worth reading.


 

Book of Death #1 (Rivera 1:60 Variant)

Book of Death #1: 1st Appearance of War Mother (and a lot of other new characters)

Written by Robert Venditti with artwork by Robert Gill and colors by Brian Reber, Book of Death #1 was released on July 15th, 2015 with a print run of 61,465 copies.

There are more than 20 covers for this book;

  1. Book of Death #1 (Robert Gill Regular Edition)
  2. Book of Death #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic Variant)
  3. Book of Death #1 (Pere Perez 1:20 Variant)
  4. Book of Death #1 (CAFU Mile High Comics Exclusive Variant)
  5. Book of Death #1 (Zachary Dolan Level Up Entertainment Exclusive Variant)
  6. Book of Death #1 (Clayton Crain Variant)
  7. Book of Death #1 (Rafa Sandoval Ssalefish Exclusive Variant)
  8. Book of Death #1 (Juan Jose Ryp 1UP Collectibles Exclusive Variant)
  9. Book of Death #1 (Paolo Rivera 1:10 Character Design Variant)
  10. Book of Death #1 (Stephen Segovia Shared Retailer Variant)
  11. Book of Death #1 (Robert Gill Books-a-Million Exclusive Variant)
  12. Book of Death #1 (Ultimate Comics Fake Polybag Bloody Variant)
  13. Book of Death #1 (Ultimate Comics Fake Polybag Ultimate Edition)
  14. Book of Death #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  15. Book of Death #1 (Cary Nord Variant)
  16. Book of Death #1 (Ryan Lee The Nerd Store Exclusive Variant)
  17. Book of Death #1 (Meghan Hetrick Borderlands Exclusive Variant)
  18. Book of Death #1 (Scott Eaton Atomic Comics Exclusive Variant)
  19. Book of Death #1 (Scott Eaton Four Color Grails Exclusive Variant)
  20. Book of Death #1 (Ryan Lee Comics Dungeon Exclusive Variant)
  21. Book of Death #1 (Robert Gill 2nd Printing)
  22. Book of Death #1 (Paolo Rivera 1:60 Variant)

The Retailer Exclusive Variants have a minimum print run of 500 copies (each) with a few in the 750 or 1,000 copy range. As nearly 50% of the variant covers were Retailer Exclusive with print runs of approximately 500, determining the “rarest” variant is not presently possible in that many variants had similar runs. While the Rivera 1:60 Variant had the highest ratio for this book, due to the large print run of the title it is estimated that about 1,000 copies were printed (+/-).

Retailer Exclusives for Comics Dungeon, Four Color Grails, Atomic Comics, Boarderlands, The Nerd Store, Ultimate Comics, 1-Up Collectables, Ssalefish, Level Up, and Mile High Comics all either match the print run of the Revera 1:60 Variant, or have lower print runs.

Book of Death #1 features a ridiculous number of 1st appearances and is the gift that keeps on giving. There are 1st appearances of The Beast Brigade, War Mother, and multiple (yet unnamed) new characters (to include Tamara from Harbinger: Renegade who seems to appear in this book).

The most important 1st appearances (so far) are Ana the War Mother and Tamara (if this is indeed her 1st appearance). Both characters have strong future potential in the Valiant Universe, and Book of Death #1 quite possibly features the greatest number of 1st appearances of any modern era Valiant book to date.

(NOTE: War Mother later appeared again in 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 which presented significantly more information on the character and also more information on her appearance)


 

Britannia #1 (Nord 2016  Ashcan Variant)

Britannia #1: 1st Appearance of Antonius Axia and The Vestal Virgins

Written by Peter Milligan with artwork by Juan Jose Ryp and colors by Jordie Bellaire, Britannia #1 was released on September 21st, 2016 with a print run of 19,910 copies.

There are ten covers for this book;

  1. Britannia #1 (Cary Nord 2016 SDCC Ashcan Edition)
  2. Britannia #1 (Lewis LaRosa Variant)
  3. Britannia #1 (Dave Johnson 1:50 Variant)
  4. Britannia #1 (Ryan Lee 1:20 Variant)
  5. Britannia #1 (Andres Guinaldo 1:10 Variant)
  6. Britannia #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  7. Britannia #1 (Cary Nord Regular Edition)
  8. Britannia #1 (Cary Nord 2nd Printing)
  9. Britannia #1 (Cary Nord 3rd Printing)
  10. Britannia #1 (Cary Nord 4th Printing)

The 2016 SDCC Ashcan Edition is the least common of the books as it was limited to 500 copies, with the Dave Johnson 1:50 Variant being similar number. Britannia #1 undisputedly is the 1st appearance of the story’s main character, Antonius Axia and the Vestal Virgins who secretly control events behind the scenes.

(NOTE: The Dave Johnson 1:50 Variants for Britannia #2, #3, and #4 are highly sought after by collectors. It stands to reason that the Britannia #1 (Johnson 1:50 Variant) would also be included in this as it is the more significant of the four, and also a bookend of the set). 


 

Divinity #1 (LaRosa  1:40 Variant)

Divinity #1: 1st Appearance of Divinity (Abram Adams)

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork by Trevor Hairsine, inks by Ryan Winn, and colors by David Barron, Divinity #1 was released on February 11th, 2015 with a print run of 12,079 copies.

There are eleven covers for this book;

  1. Divinity #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic Regular Edition)
  2. Divinity #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 2nd Printing)
  3. Divinity #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 3rd Printing)
  4. Divinity #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 4th Printing)
  5. Divinity #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 5th Printing)
  6. Divinity #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic One Dollar Debut)
  7. Divinity #1 (Tom Muller 1:10 Variant)
  8. Divinity #1 (Valiant Next 1:10 Variant) (Cover art by Tom Muller & Trevor Hairsine)
  9. Divinity #1 (Lewis LaRosa 1:20 Character Design Variant)
  10. Divinity #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  11. Divinity #1 (Lewis LaRosa 1:40 Variant)

On May 18th 2015 Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani stated on the Valiant Fans forum (read it HERE) that the print run of the LaRosa 1:40 Variant was only 350 copies. Print run calculations based on total sales indicate close to 300 copies, however, what is clear is that the LaRosa 1:40 Variant is among the most desired variants of the modern Valiant Universe.


 

Divinity #3 (LaRosa  1:20 Variant)

Divinity #3: 1st Appearance of Myshka & Kazmire 

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork by Trevor Hairsine, inks by Ryan Winn, and colors by David Barron, Divinity #3 was released on April 22nd, 2015 with a print run of 9,582 copies.

There are eleven covers for this book;

  1. Divinity #3 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic Regular Edition)
  2. Divinity #3 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 2nd Printing)
  3. Divinity #3 (Tom Muller 1:10 Variant)
  4. Divinity #3 (Robert Gill 1:10 Variant)
  5. Divinity #3 (Lewis LaRosa 1:20 Variant)

Divinity #3 featured the 1st appearance of Myshka and Kazmire, who were the other two characters in the Divinity story that were sent to explore deep space by the Russian space program. While Abram (Divinity) returned to earth in Divinity #1, Myshka would be the center of Divinity II released in April of 2016, which led into Divinity III: The Stalinverse released in December of 2016.

Myshka is incredibly powerful, and a dominant force in the Valiant Universe. Kazmire is equally as powerful, though his existence has mostly been in the background as of the time of this writing.


 

Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Gorham  1:50 Variant)

Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1: 1st Appearance of The Red Legend & Kostiy the Deathless; as well a two additional 1st appearances

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork by Trevor Hairsine, inks by Ryan Winn, and colors by David Barron, Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 was released on December 21st, 2016 with a print run of 15,936 copies.

There are eight covers for this book;

  1. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic Regular Edition)
  2. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 2nd Printing)
  3. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Jeffery Veregge 1:10 Variant)
  4. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Valiant Cat Cosplay Variant)
  5. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  6. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Tom Muller Variant)
  7. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Greg Smallwood 1:20 Variant)
  8. Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1 (Adam Gorham 1:50 Variant)

On the second to last page of Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1, in the bottom panel, there is a brief 1st appearance introduction to The Red Brigade which features Myshka (from Divinity and Divinity II), as well as four other characters who at the time were yet unknown.

Later with the release of Divinity III: Komander Bloodshot #1, the origin story for The Red Legend was told and she was introduced as one of the four members of The Red Brigade who again 1st appeared in Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1.

Shortly thereafter, with the release of Divinity III: Aric, Son of the Revolution #1, the origin story for Kostiy the Deathless was told and she was introduced as one of the four members of The Red Brigade who again 1st appeared in Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1.

There are (at the time of this writing) two remaining unnamed characters that 1st appeared in Divinity III: The Stalinverse #1.


 

Harbinger #1 (Djurdjevic   1:50 QR Variant)

Harbinger #1: 1st Appearance of The Bleeding Monk 

Written by Joshua Dysart with artwork by Khari Evans and colors by Ian Hannin, Harbinger #1 was released on June 6th, 2012 with a print run of 32,111 copies.

There are eleven covers for this book;

  1. Harbinger #1 (Arturo Lozzi Regular Edition)
  2. Harbinger #1 (Arturo Lozzi 2013 One Dollar Debute)
  3. Harbinger #1 (Khari Evans 2014 One Dollar Debute)
  4. Harbinger #1 (Arturo Lozzi 2015 One Dollar Debute)
  5. Harbinger #1 (Arturo Lozzi Gold Variant)
  6. Harbinger #1 (Suayan Pullbox Variant)
  7. Harbinger #1 (Patrick Zircher 2nd Printing)
  8. Harbinger #1 (Doug Braithwaite 1:20 Variant)
  9. Harbinger #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic 1:50 QR Variant)
  10. Harbinger #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  11. Harbinger #1 (Mico Suayan DMG Promo Variant)

While not the 1st appearance of the Harbinger kids (see Harbinger #1 published in 1992 for that) or the 1st appearance of Toyo Harada (see Solar Man of the Atom #3 published in 1992 for that) The Bleeding Monk makes his 1st appearance in this book. This character hold tremendous places in the modern Harbinger mythos, and is considered a key character that is able to (and does) significantly influence and alter events in the Valiant Universe.

There are a number of highly collectible variants for this book, with the Djurdjevic 1:50 QR Variant and Lozzi Gold Variants both near the top of the list. The Braithwaite 1:20 Variant is also quite difficult to locate.

However, the Suayan DMG Promo Variant is the king; so much so that it belongs in a different category all together due to its unique collector appeal.

On Mar 9, 2015 Valiant Entertainment announced “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” (Source: ValiantUniverse.com).

During the announcement in Beijing, China, promotional comics for both Harbinger and Bloodshot were distributed to members of the Chinese press who attended the press conference. These promotional comics were reprints of Harbinger #1 and Bloodshot #1 written in Mandarin Chinese.

The exact number of printed copies is unknown; as is the number of copies that were actually distributed to the press. Additionally, while seasoned collectors and/or speculators have a proud history of protecting and caring for their comics; non-collectors typically DO NOT and tend to toss such “gems” haphazardly into a bag filled with business cards, company pens, and, business flyers.


 

Harbinger #3 (Zircher   1:20 Variant)

Harbinger #3: 1st Appearance of Livewire (modern era)

Written by Joshua Dysart with artwork by Khari Evans, and colors by Ian Hannin, Harbinger #3 was released on August 15th, 2012 with a print run of 15,482 copies.

There are two covers for this book;

  1. Harbinger #3 (Arturo Lozzi Regular Edition)
  2. Harbinger #3 (Patrick Zircher 1:20 Variant)

The character known as Amanda McKee, aka Livewire, 1st appeared in Harbinger #15 published in 1993 (NOTE: The Valiant Era card incorrectly depicts both Stronghold and Livewire as being in Harbinger #14; however, a quick read will debunk any rumor of her appearing in that issue).  The character was a caucasian woman who serves Toyo Harada and his Harbinger Foundation initially, and later played a significant role in the Secret Weapons series.

In 2012, writer Joshua Dysart completely re-imagined the character from the ground up (NOTE: it is speculated that the modern Livewire character design was heavily influenced by Randy Cartier who 1st appeared in X-O Manowar #12 published in 1993) and created arguably the most significant female character in the Valiant Universe. Amanda McKee, now a woman of African decent, has completely different abilities, personality, story, and role within the Valiant Universe.

The modern era Livewire is comparable to the original Livewire in name only. She is hugely significant to the Valiant Universe and has a level of future story and character development potential that is dramatically higher than almost any character introduced by Valiant since 2012.

The Zircher 1:20 Variant is nearly impossible to find.


 

Harbinger Renegade #1 (Mahfood 1:50 Variant)

Harbinger Renegade #1: 1st Appearance of Alexander Solomon

Written by Rafer Roberts with artwork by Raul Allen, Juan Jose Ryp, and Darick Robertson (inked by Richard Clark), and colors by Patricia Martin, Frankie D’Armata, and Richard Rodriguez, Harbinger Renegade #1 was released on November 16th, 2016 with a print run of 33,937 copies.

There are fourteen covers for this book;

  1. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Darick Robertson Regular Edition)
  2. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Darick Robertson 2nd Printing)
  3. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  4. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Mike Krome Most Good Hobby Exclusive Variant)
  5. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Bob Layton 1:20 Variant)
  6. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Kano Variant)
  7. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Clayton Henry 1:10 Variant)
  8. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Pere Perez CGC Replica Variant)
  9. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic Variant)
  10. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Dave Johnson Variant)
  11. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Darick Robertson Gold Variant)
  12. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Mike Sheinkopf Variant)
  13. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Jim Mahfood Local Comic Book Shop Day 2016 Variant)
  14. Harbinger Renegade #1 (Jim Mahfood 1:50 Variant)

As previously stated, Harbinger Renegade #1 is the 1st appearance of Alexander Solomon. This character has the potential to be a complete game changer, and while he lacks the force and power of Toyo Harada or Pete Stancheck, he makes up for this in a number of ways that are quite formable and significant.


 

Harbinger Wars #1 (Zircher 1:50 Variant)

Harbinger Wars #1: 1st Appearance of Generation Zero

Written by Joshua Dysart with artwork by Clayton Henry and colors by Brian Reber, Harbinger Wars #1 was released on April 3rd, 2013 with a print run of 18,729 copies.

There are four covers for this book;

  1. Harbinger Wars #1 (Lewis LaRosa Regular Edition)
  2. Harbinger Wars #1 (Clayton Henry Pullbox Variant)
  3. Harbinger Wars #1 (Clayton Crain 1:20 Variant)
  4. Harbinger Wars #1 (Patrick Zircher 1:50 Variant)
  5. Harbinger Wars #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)

Harbinger Wars #1 features the 1st appearance of the Generation Zero kids, which are a significant faction within the Harbinger mythos and were later featured in Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 through #3, as well as the Generation Zero series.


 

Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Kitson 1:50 Variant)

Ivar, Timewalker #1: 1st Appearance of Dr. Neela Sethi

Written by Fred Van Lente with artwork by Clayton Henry and colors by Brian Reber, Ivar, Timewalker #1 was released on January 21st, 2015 with a print run of 15,784 copies.

There are eight covers for this book;

  1. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Raul Allen Regular Edition)
  2. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Valiant Next 1:10 Variant) (Cover art by Tom Muller & Clayton Henry)
  3. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Jorge Molina Variant)
  4. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (David Aja 1:20 Variant)
  5. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Raul Allen Gold Variant)
  6. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Barry Kitson 1:50 Variant)
  7. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  8. Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Raul Allen Pullbox Promo)

Dr. Neela Sethi makes her 1st appearance in this truly phenomenal series in Ivar, Timewalker #1, and by the conclusion of Ivar, Timewalker #12 this character is well enough established to become either Neela, Timewalker or Future Neela the Mother God of Death (or both!) for many years to come.

 


 

Ninjak #1 (LaRosa Gold Variant)

Ninjak #1: 1st Appearance of Roku

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork by Clay Mann and Butch Guice with colors by Ulises Arreola, Ninjak #1 was released on March 11th, 2015 with a print run of 24,358 copies.

There are 20 covers for this book;

  1. Ninjak #1 (Lewis LaRosa ComicsPRO Exclusive Variant)
  2. Ninjak #1 (Lewis LaRosa Regular Edition)
  3. Ninjak #1 (Lewis LaRosa 2nd Printing)
  4. Ninjak #1 (Lewis LaRosa 3rd Printing)
  5. Ninjak #1 (Lewis LaRosa 1:60 B&W Variant)
  6. Ninjak #1 (Lewis LaRosa Gold Variant)
  7. Ninjak #1 (Jamie Tyndall Yesteryear Exclusive Variant)
  8. Ninjak #1 (Rafa Sandoval Books-a-Million Exclusive Variant)
  9. Ninjak #1 (Rafa Sandoval Four Color Grails Exclusive Variant)
  10. Ninjak #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  11. Ninjak #1 (Dave Johnson Variant)
  12. Ninjak #1 (Valiant Next 1:10 Variant)(Cover art by Tom Muller & Trevor Hairsine)
  13. Ninjak #1 (Clay Mann Variant)
  14. Ninjak #1 (Clay Mann B&W Variant)
  15. Ninjak #1 (Clay Mann 1:20 Character Design Variant)
  16. Ninjak #1 (Emanuela Lupacchino London Super Comic Con 2015 Variant)
  17. Ninjak #1 (Four Color Grails Blank Sketch Variant)
  18. Ninjak #1 (Trevor Hairsine Collector’s Paradise Exclusive Variant)
  19. Ninjak #1 (Marguerite Sauvage Variant)
  20. Ninjak #1 (Ian McGinty Emerald City Comic Con Exclusive Variant) 500

While not the 1st appearance of Ninjak (see Bloodshot #6 published in 1993 for that or X-O Manowar #5 published in 2012 for the 1st modern Ninjak) Roku and Kannon make their 1st appearances. Roku is positioned to evolve into a highly significant character in the years to come and is incredibly capable and formidable as a warrior.

The Emerald City Comic Con Exclusive Variant had 500 copies printed, and the LaRosa Gold Variant in particular sells quite well.


 

Rai #1 (Crain Gold Variant)

Rai #1: 1st Appearance of Rai (modern version), Spylocke, Lula, and Father

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork by Clayton Crain, Rai #1 was released on April 30th, 2014 with a print run of 29,937 copies.

There are 22 covers for this book;

  1. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain Pullbox Preview)
  2. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain Regular Edition)
  3. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain Plus Edition Variant)
  4. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain 2nd Printing)
  5. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain 3rd Printing)
  6. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain 4th Printing)
  7. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain 2014 One Dollar Debute)
  8. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain 2016 One Dollar Debute)
  9. Rai #1 (Stephen Segovia 1:10 Variant)
  10. Rai #1 (Bryan Hitch 1:10 Variant)
  11. Rai #1 (Raul Allen 1:10 Variant)
  12. Rai #1 (Khari Evans Variant)
  13. Rai #1 (Trevor Hairsine Variant)
  14. Rai #1 (Pere Perez Borderlands SC Comic Con Variant)
  15. Rai #1 (J. G. Jones Cards, Comics, & Collectibles Variant)
  16. Rai #1 (Kalman Andrasofszky Graham Crackers Variant)
  17. Rai #1 (Sina Grace Hastings Variant)
  18. Rai #1 (Riley Rossmo Midtown Comics Variant)
  19. Rai #1 (Jeff Dekal Mile High Comics Variant)
  20. Rai #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)
  21. Rai #1 (David Aja 1:75 Variant)
  22. Rai #1 (Clayton Crain Gold Variant)

In the original Valiant Universe, there have been many Rai over the years. Tohru Nakadai (the 42nd Rai) 1st appeared on a trading card included with Magnus Robot Fighter #4 published in 1992 and made his 1st appearance in comics (universally accepted as such) in Magnus Robot Fighter #5 also published in 1992. Takao Konishi (the 43rd Rai or “The Last Rai”) later appeared in (the legendary) Rai #0 published in 1992 and established Rai & The Future Force in Rai #9 published in 1993.

When Valiant Entertainment re-launched in 2012, it was only a matter of time before a new Rai title would be published. This title launched in 2014 (featuring artwork by Clayton Crain), and featured the 1st appearance of the modern Rai who has served as the primary character of this title (as well as 4001 A.D. published in 2016) ever since.

Several other highly significant characters 1st appeared in Rai #1. Father (the primary antagonist), Lulu (a young girl who grows significantly throughout the story), and Spylocke (a future hero of the legacy of Ninjak). If there will be a “Future Force” (or “team” as indicated by the end of 4001 A.D.) then both Lulu and Spylocke will be part.

There are a ridiculously high number of variants for Rai #1;  however, the Crain Gold and Aja 1:75 are solid books in high grade. The Blank Sketch Variants painted by Clayton Crain at conventions have been simply astonishing (he paints each by hand).


 

Rai #11 (Maybury 1:20 Variant)

Rai #11: 1st Appearance of Sai and Reiko

Written by Matt Kindt with artwork by Clayton Crain, Rai #1 was released on October 21st, 2015 with a print run of 7,549 copies.

There are four covers for this book;

  1. Rai #11 (Clayton Crain Regular Edition)
  2. Rai #11 (Clayton Crain Variant)
  3. Rai #11 (Ryan Sook Variant)
  4. Rai #11 (Paul Maybury 1:20 Variant)

Similar to Rai #1, the pages of Rai #11 also feature 1st appearances of characters expected to have significant roles in the Valiant Universe (specifically in the aftermath of 4001 A.D.). Sai appears briefly after her young son (Reiko) engages in hand-to-hand combat with Rai during their first encounter. Reiko states that Rai is not his father, which is confirmed by his mother a few pages later.

Sai appears again in Rai #14 (the entire issue is her origin story as the female Rai prior to the current Rai), where she meets Aboto (the Rai who existed before her). Rai #15 tells the origin of Aboto (which is a really incredible story) and his relationship with Sai (and *SPOILER* how Aboto falls in love with Sai and gets her pregnant with Reiko) before the events that lead into his encounter with the current Rai in Rai #16 which lead into the events of Rai #1.

So, in a nutshell, Reiko is the son of two Rai (his father Aboto being arguably the most bad @$$ Rai of them all), and his mother (Sai) has been in the game for nearly 400 years.

In the aftermath of 4001 A.D. the odds of these two characters being seen again is 100%.


 

Savage #1 (LaRosa 1:50 B&W Variant)

Savage #1: 1st Appearance of Kevin Sauvage Jr. (Savage)

Written by B. Clay Moore with artwork by Lewis LaRosa, Clayton Henry, and colors by Brian Reber, Savage #1 was released on November 30th, 2016 with a print run of 7,549 copies.

There are 10 covers for this book;

  1. Harbinger Renegades #1 / Savage #1 (2016 Diamond Retailer Summit Exclusive Ashcan Preview)
  2. Savage #1 (Lewis LaRosa Regular Edition)
  3. Savage #1 (Lewis LaRosa 2nd Printing)
  4. Savage #1 (Lewis LaRosa 3rd Printing)
  5. Savage #1 (Lewis LaRosa 4th Printing)
  6. Savage #1 (Jared Fletcher Variant)
  7. Savage #1 (Lewis LaRosa 1:10 Character Design Variant)
  8. Savage #1 (Renato Guedes 1:20 Variant)
  9. Savage #1 (Lewis LaRosa 1:50 B&W Variant)
  10. Savage #1 (Blank Sketch Variant)

Savage #1 features the 1st appearance of its title character Savage. For reasons that completely defy logic, retailers did not order many copies of this first issue, which led to subsequent 2nd, 3rd, and 4th printings due to customer demand.

On November 19th 2016 Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani stated on the Valiant Fans forum (see HERE) that the print run for Savage #1 (LaRosa 1:50 Variant) was less than the print run for Divinity #1 (LaRosa 1:40 Variant) which we know to be 350 copies.

This information available indicates that Savage #1 (LaRosa 1:50 Variant) is the rarest modern Valiant variant (that can be confirmed) at the time of this writing.


 

Shadowman #5 (Grampa 1:125 Line-Variant)

Shadowman #5: 1st Appearance of Shan Fong (Doctor Mirage)

Written by Justin Jordan with artwork by Patrick Zircher, Shadowman #5 was released on March 6th, 2013 with a print run of 13,145 copies.

There are four covers for this book;

  1. Shadowman #5 (Patrick Zircher Regular Edition)
  2. Shadowman #5 (Patrick Zircher Pullbox Blackout Variant)
  3. Shadowman #5 (Dave Johnson 1:20 Variant)
  4. Shadowman #5 (Dave Johnson Editorial Kamite Variant)(published in Mexico)
  5. Shadowman #5 (Rafael Grampa 1:125 Line Variant)

The original Doctor Mirage 1st appeared in Shadowman #16 published in 1993, and was a man named Hwen Mirage. Later that same year, The Second Life of Doctor Mirage #1 was published. The series ran for 18 issue until ending in 1995.

In 2013, Doctor Mirage (this time a woman named Shan Fong) made her 1st appearance in Shadowman #5. The character is entirely different in all but name (and even that is only slightly a variation of the original). The modern Doctor Mirage has since appeared throughout the Valiant Universe in The Death Defying Doctor Mirage and again in The Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives.

Perhaps the most consistently sought out variant for this book by collectors has been Shadowman #5 (Grampa 1:125 Line-Variant). To order one copy, retailers had to first order 125 copies of any Valiant title for the month of March 2013 (e.g. a “Line Variant” is connected to all books ordered by a retailer from a publisher in a given month. So, retailers did not have to order 125 copies of Shadowman #5 to get this variant; they needed to order 125 Valiant books that month to get it).


 

Shadowman #13 (Davis 1:50 Variant)

Shadowman #13: 1st Appearance of Punk Mambo The Voodoo Priestess

Written by Peter Milligan with artwork by Roberto De La Torre, Shadowman #13 was released on December 4th, 2013 with a print run of 9,403 copies.

There are five covers for this book;

  1. Shadowman #13x (Roberto De La Torre Preview)
  2. Shadowman #13 (Roberto De La Torre Regular Edition)
  3. Shadowman #13 (Miguel Sepulveda Variant)
  4. Shadowman #13 (Ben Templesmith 1:20 Variant)
  5. Shadowman #13 (Shane Davis 1:50 Variant)

Punk Mambo 1st appeared in Shadowman #5, and later in Punk Mambo #0 published in 2014, and again in the story arc Ninjak: Operation Deadside which occurred in Ninjak #10 through #13 where Punk Mambo demonstrated her increased powers and abilities.

Shadowman #13 (Davis 1:50 Variant) is on the short list of most desired modern Valiant variants, and commands strong market value.

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