There’s gold in them thar funnybooks.

§ July 9th, 2012 § Filed under collecting, market crash, retailing, turok, valiant § 9 Comments

While the Valiant Comics collectability heyday of the 1990s is now a distant memory, along with most collectability of ’90s comics for that matter, there still remains some market desirability for certain Valiant releases: the early “pre-Unity” issues (Unity being Valiant’s line-wide crossover event series), the last issues of some of their series (with their smaller print runs, you see), the early video game comics (Captain N, Super Mario Bros.), some of the #0s and mail-away/promo books, and the gold logo/gold foil variants of some of their regular issues.

Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about how these gold variants were distributed to retailers…I don’t think it was like how variants are doled out by the big publishers today, where you get one special variant for every 10, 25, 100, whatever regular covers you ordered. I suspect, at least in some cases, that the gold editions were just mailed out to retailers for us to do with as we wish. In any case, in recent years these gold variants have been selling for a pretty penny on the eBay, and the few we’ve acquired in collections over the last few years turned over some sizable profit via the online auctions.

However, I suspect we may experience where the line is drawn vis-à-vis Valiant gold-logo collectability with this recently-acquired golden edition:

It’s probably a bit hard to tell, but that’s a gold corner box and a gold foil logo on that Turok #1. Now, as I’ve written before, Turok #1 was, if not a cause, at least one of the primary symptoms of the ’90s market crash. Hot collectable company produces what should be a hot collectable #1, every retailer on the planet orders a royal assload of said #1, #1 comes out, nobody cares. So all those retailers end up with a huge ol’ turkey that they try to blow out in their bargain bins in the subsequent decade or two since.

Now, it’s possible that someday we’ll experience the Shazam! effect, where the greatly-anticipated release of Shazam! #1 in 1973 resulted in a huge abundance of that comic in the marketplace, with many copies going straight to quarter boxes. There they sat, thumbed over and exposed to the elements, until suddenly…oh, hey, it’s awfully hard to find mint copies of that comic nowadays, and now price guides have mint copies of Shazam #1 at, I don’t know, $40, $60 maybe? I don’t have my guide in front of me, but you get the idea. But if that happens to Turok #1, ever, it may not be until after I’m long dead, so, you know, in ten years or so. But basically what I’m saying is that Turok #1 is not seen as a desirable collectable by pretty much anyone, and I suspect even having a gold logo may not make that much of a difference. This site, which has been monitoring online Valiant sales, notes the market value at about $12, but ain’t too bad, I guess, but not really a patch on some of the money we’ve made on other gold Valiant variants.

But still, that gold edition Turok is nice-looking. And I do like Turok comics. Maybe I’ll just keep it.

Speaking of gold editions…this strictly isn’t just a variant, as such:

…but a second printing, which DC indicated by changing the frame of the cover from the first printing’s dark blue to this printing’s gold adding a gold border (thanks, Old Bull Lee!). Mostly I was just going to bring up the fact that Deathstroke, at one point in history, was popular enough in his own title (due in part to a brief renaissance of the Teen Titans franchise at the time) to warrant a second printing for his first issue, but then, oh yeah, it happened twice.

9 Responses to “There’s gold in them thar funnybooks.”

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Sorry, nitpicky correction: the original Deathstroke #1 had the image filling up the cover, no border.

    This book and Adventures of Superman made me realize that Marv Wolfman’s writing was not for me.

  • swamp mark says:

    Sorry to interupt,but I’ve got Rotworld news.It looks like the cross-over includes Frankenstein 13-14-15 and Beast Boy feels the effects in Ravagers 5.Just thought you Swampfans would like to know.

  • Snark Shark says:

    Deathstroke- one of the WORST named characters in comics!

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    Swamp Mark, why don’t you start up your own Swamp Thing site, or a wordpress blog for Swampy news at the very least?

  • swamp mark says:

    You’re right,White Lantern,I probably should.I miss Rich’s site so much.He was so good about telling us of Swampy appearances,no matter how obscure.Now that I have to keep track of it myself,I just wanted to share the info with others who can use it.I was also hoping if I missed anything,someone would chime in.I figured that every swampfan out there must have this great site on their favorites so it was the perfect venue to share info.I apologize for using your comments section for my own purposes,Mike.I just get so excited when I see all these various appearances to buy and feel the need to share.I’ll try to control myself.

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    Go for it, Swamp Mark. Let nothing stop you!

  • Mikester says:


  • Rich says:

    I’m interested in Mike’s reaction to the new Alan Scott GL origin in ‘Earth 2.’ I’ll refrain from saying more to avoid spoilers.

  • Sean Neprud says:

    Those gold books are certainly nice. At least some of them. I’ll buy Archer & Armstrong and Eternal Warrior gold books all day. Turok, not so much. I’ve still got the Turok 1 gold though.

    The big Valiant announcement from SDCC this year is that they are starting up their gold book program again. I’m curious if the original gold books will pick up some steam with da New Valiant starting up their gold book program.