Lone Wolf & Cub Retailer Incentive

Lone Wolf and Cub is a wonderful manga series that has come to North America twice: prestige format comics from First Publishing in the 1980s and in twenty eight 4.25×6.5″ softcover volumes from Dark Horse.

For anyone who hasn’t sampled this series go now and grab a paper or digital copy.  It’s an engrossing story of a ronin and his son best summed up by the tagline on the original ad poster: “he cut a bloody path of vengeance across a nation of samurai”.

To celebrate the initial decent orders of the first volume in 2000 Dark Horse created a retailer incentive: a red hardcover version with a signed and numbered plate.  The beauty of a signed and numbered edition is we know how many were produced: 230.  Unfortunately the indices is for the regular softcover volume and no ISBN number so we don’t know when this was published but it must have been 2001 at the latest.

I was able to pick up this copy at Montreal Comiccon 2011 for $15.  The retailer had three in a pile but this was the only one with the signature plate: the others were identical otherwise.  Scouring the internet turns up a good number of copies without the signature plate which leads me to believe Dark Horse had two releases of this volume, with and without.  In 2010 Dark Horse ran a contest on Facebook offering this volume as a prize, only commenting it was a “limited edition”.

Neither volume seems to hold much value, with online prices varying wildly between $50 and $300 on eBay but no completed auctions.  I couldn’t find this book at all on AbeBooks and Amazon.com listed $50 but no stock.  Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 1 Retailer Incentive numbered edition is a fairly obscure and rare collectible for the comic or manga fan.

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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  1. Ed Campbell
    September 29, 2011

    A friend of mine introduced me to Lone Wolf and Cub when I was in college. He saw me reading an X-Men comic and told me he had some cool ones to read. The next time I went to his place he handed me the stack of comics. If I remember right (this was 17 something years ago)he was only missing a couple of the 28 issue run.

    I was blown away by the art of the comic. I don’t remember all the stories, but I do remember the one panel where the villain was cut in half, but before he was bisected his last word was “excellent”.

    All these years have gone by, I still remember that panel. Scott, you picked up an awesome book for a great price.

  2. Stanley Jon
    September 29, 2011

    I think that panel came from issue 3 from the First Publishing run. The story was called The Gateless Barrier. He was paid to “kill the Buddha” who was a Buddhist monk loved by the people. That was him killing the monk. Not my favourite Lone Wolf and Cub story but, as you said, a very memorable panel.

  3. Ed Campbell
    September 29, 2011

    Stanley, thanks for the correction. It’s been a long time since I read it. I hope I’ll get a deal like Scott and pick up the collection for a great price in the future.

  4. Arbel Ratzin
    October 2, 2011

    this manga is just awesome. it is smart, beautiful, well-written and full of action. get “shogun assassin” (the movie) that was based on the characters. there is also a tv show from back in the 70’s if i’m not mistaken. SLASH!

  5. Theresa
    June 19, 2012

    I have a near complete set of the 1987 lone wolf and cub series in very fine condition (13,14,15,16,21,22,23,26,27,28 and 37 still in sealed clear wrap package with mailing sticker) and I am missing 9,34,39 thru 42. I do have 43 thru 45, however. Does anyone know where would be the best place to sell them? I have a sense of how much they are worth individually, but, I am not sure if there is a worth as a set or if I really have enough copies to sell them as a set. I would really appreciate some feedback and advice on how and where to sell them.

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