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.

lone wolf and cub promo poster

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”.

Lone Wolf Cub Vol 1

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.

Lone Wolf Cub Vol 1 Interior

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.

Originally published at Comic Book Daily.