A Guided Tour of Pre-Unity VALIANT, May 1991 to July 1992

The VALIANT UNIVERSE began in the early 1990s with a revival of the 1963 Gold Key title Magnus Robot Fighter 4000AD.Gold Key
May 1991
The first comic in the Valiant Universe was Magnus Robot Fighter #1, with a cover date of May 1991.
September 1991Gold Key


Another Gold Key character Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom from 1962 was reimagined in Solar, Man of the Atom #1 for September 1991.
The first original Valiant universe character was Rai, first appearing on the flipside of Magnus #5 as a Rai #1 mini-series cover.

Rai is the earliest original Valiant character included in the current Valiant universe.


October 1991
November 1991Solar #3 introduced Toyo Harada and the Harbinger Foundation.
December 1991Magnus #7 showed the first X-O Commando armor, worn by the first Spider-Alien shown with four fingers on each hand. X-O Commando armor is a lower class than the X-O Manowar armor.
January 1992Harbinger #1 was the first original Valiant universe title, introducing five teen Harbinger renegades: Peter, Kris, Faith, Charlene (Flamingo), and Torque.
February 1992X-O Manowar #1 followed as the second original Valiant title with the first appearance of Aric of Dacia and the first appearance of the X-O Manowar armor.
March 1992Rai #1 was the third regular series Valiant title, following the Rai four issue mini-series published as the flipside of Magnus #5-#8.

May 1992Shadowman #1 presented Jack Boniface as Shadowman, the same month as his brief appearance as a jazz musican in X-O Manowar #4.
Magnus #12 re-introduced Turok, first appearing in Four Color #596 from Dell Publishing in 1954.

Harbinger #6 included the death of Torque, one of the renegade teenagers.
Harbinger #1 through #6 include coupons for Harbinger #0 Pink edition.

Solar #10 introduced the Eternal Warrior (Gilad) and Geomancers Buck and Geoff McHenry.
Solar #10 had a second printing six months later.
The solid black cover is embossed, and the second printing has Roman numeral II on the cover.

June 1992
July 1992Archer & Armstrong #0 is the first issue and the first appearance of Obadiah Archer and Armstrong (Aram Anni-Padda). A gold edition of 5,000 copies was also released as the earliest dated Valiant retailer premium.

Valiant comics with cover dates through July 1992 are Pre-Unity Valiant, indicating their publication prior to the Unity crossover storyline. A complete set of Pre-Unity Valiant comics is 54 books.

In alphabetical order:
Archer & Armstrong #0
Harbinger #1 – #7
Magnus #1 – #14
Rai #1 – #5
Shadowman #1 – #3
Solar, Man of the Atom #1 – #11
Vintage Magnus #1 – #4
X-O Manowar #1 – #6

Harbinger #1 – #6 and Magnus #1 – #8 included coupons for sendaway books (Harbinger #0 and Magnus #0), so those books often have the coupons cut out of the interior. Without the coupons, the books are considered damaged and are less valuable than intact copies.
The 51 comics shown above were released prior to the Unity storyline beginning with Valiant comics dated August 1992. Three additional limited edition books were written prior to Unity, but were released later with special distribution. These three are usually included in the Pre-Unity list of 54 comics.

Magnus #0 exists with and without a trading card insert. The trading card was included in the sendaway edition of Magnus #0 and the retailer edition of Magnus #0 does not contain the trading card. The version including the trading card has higher average sale prices.

Harbinger #0 was reprinted later with a different cover featuring dark blue clouds and the title “HARBINGER” written in red. Despite also stating “1992” on the cover, the blue clouds version is a more common reprint from mid-1993 and not a Pre-Unity comic. The original 1992 Harbinger #0 sendaway edition has pink clouds and the title “HARBINGER” written in blue on the cover.

The only difference between Archer & Armstrong #0 (regular edition) and Archer & Armstrong #0 Gold edition is the upper left information box on the front cover with the gold background.


A quick-reference printable page for 1991-1992 first appearances is available.

QUICK LINK: The Valiant 1991-2002 comics are listed on a single page here.
QUICK LINK: The Valiant 2012-present comics are listed on a single page here.