My previous cheap comics to speculate picks didn’t turn out too well, it seems. The Hellfire Club show was cancelled and Avengers Academy didn’t receive any news. Hopefully this pick will be better. However, buying cheap comics is always risky. There is a REASON that they are cheap. Sometimes, the characters just don’t reasonate or there is simply too much supply. Nevertheless, if we get some winners like Ms Marvel or Kate Bishop, we should be able to cover the cost of others since they are cheap.
Today’s focus was inspired after watching the Ninjak’s preview. The characters look better than I though then it would especially for Livewire and Bloodshot. After watching it a couple of times, I noticed an interesting thing: some of the Valiant characters introduced here are actually part of a group called the Unity.
Who is the Unity
If Harbinger can be said to be the X-Men of the Valiant University, then the Unity can be said to be the Avengers equivalent. Most of the members had their first appearance elsewhere but were bought together to solve problems bigger than any of them can handle.
Unlike Avengers, the members are not always on the best of terms and this makes the story more believable and unique. If you enjoy team based book, I highly recommend this series. It gets you from the first issue and never gets go.
Why speculate in Unity?
Although Unity was never mentioned in any of the movie releases, having its members show up so early implies that it is possible to see the team in action, sooner than we expect.
Besides the movie/tv hype, Unity is really a cornerstone of the current Valiant universe. If you believe that the Valiant universe is ready to be on prime time, there is no reason why their premiere team’s first appearance should not be in your collection.
Key issues – First appearance of Unity
There was some confusion over what is the first appearance of Unity. The team appeared in Unity #1 and X-O Manowar #19 which were published in the same month of Nov 2013. I had to check the dates and found out that Valiant #1 came out a week in advance of X-O Manowar so this settles the first appearance debate.
Print run of Unity #1 is high as Comichron shows a 60k sales figure. So I would go after the variant covers instead. If I am not wrong, there was around 7-8 variants covers. The rarest would be the Neal Adam’s Colored and Sketch versions, which has an incentive ratio of 1:100 and 1:200 respectively. Beyond these 2, the next rarest would be the retailer incentive 3D cover and the Bart Sear 1:30 incentive ratio cover.
Below are their covers:
Risk of investing in Valiant
Unlike other spec sites, I feel that it is important to know the risks so that you don’t go into these blind.
- Movie saturation: Movie effects are not as strong as before. We can no longer take for granted that key issues will rise just because a movie or tv show is coming. This risk increases when the media properties are not from the Big two.
- How strong is the fan base: Going by current sales numbers, Valiant doesn’t command a big market share. That is partly because they only ship 8 to 9 titles per month. Per title wise, it is not breaking into the top 100 either. For August 2016, their biggest selling titles was Generation Zero #1 and it ranked only 152 with 16k sales in North America.
Silver Lining for Valiant comic investing
Despite the risks, I feel there is a potential silver lining on the horizon.
First, unlike other indie titles, Valiant had a strong base in the 90s. A strong media presence might bring back the nostalgic factor and increase collectors’ interest to reconnect with their childhood comics.
Second, under the right conditions, a small sales run can sometimes increase a comic’s desirability. Henchgirl is a good example. Its sales is low and yet its back issue commands a high price. This is of course due to speculation sites hyping this up. Who says this will not happen for Valiant?
Third. the quality of the comics is really high judging by the awards they are getting. Quality books always have a chance to turn it around as the foundation is strong.
Overall, investing in Valiant is risky but if certain conditions are meet, the result might surprise a lot of people.