Solar, Man Of The Atom: Gold Ink Prototypes
Valiant, produced: November 1991 (note: #5 published date is January 1992).
These are unique prototype gold ink test books, experimental books to see if gold ink was a viable alternative to the more expensive gold foil used by other publishers.
Valiant artist and colorist Janet "Jay Jay" Jackson kept the books as keepsakes at the time and, in the process, kept a key piece of Valiant history.
Jackson's comic collection was eventually sold as a whole and both prototypes were subsequently auctioned separately by the buyer on the Valiant Fans website in April of 2015.
The Solar, Man of the Atom #5 (below) sold for $1,050:
The Solar, Man of the Atom #3 (below) sold for $1,250:
Note that each has "JJ" written on the comic in the top right.
Note also that the seller at the time kindly gave back half the proceeds of the auctions to Jackson.
Jackson made a post in the forum after the auctions ended; a shortened extract is shown below:
"If I remember correctly, Fred Pierce got on the phone with the printer and negotiated a test. He convinced the printer to take a sample of their gold ink and make a couple of special prototypes on our comics so that we could see how the ink looked. Those two Solar, Man of the Atom test books became the genesis of the successful limited edition Gold Logo program. And the program did its job. It helped get VALIANT noticed and once we got some attention people found out how good the stories were."
Jackson then concluded:
"I hung on to these two comics for all these years, kept in a notebook with some of my reference issues. I'm quite sentimental and the idea that these two comics had such a significant effect always made them feel special to me. They are a part of VALIANT history as well as my own personal history. I'm glad to see them appreciated."
Given the sale of the Bloodshot #1 "Pink" Prototype in December 2016 for an astounding $5,200, these could sell much higher now than the previous auctioned values, if they are ever put up for sale again of course.
Right now on eBay