My Experiment with Rai Companion #1

by Norman Robinson III

rai-companion-194x300 My Experiment with Rai Companion #1I recently came across a very high-end companion comic to Rai TPB. Rai Companion #1 was the comic and this thing had never been removed from the original bag. Never been opened and by that I mean it was as the publisher printed it. It was bright, clean, looked brand new, no dings, corners perfect, zero spine damage, paper-white, and it smelled like it was straight off the printer. So naturally, as a speculator, the thought occurred to slab and grade it for sale.


I am an above-average grader with my books, usually within one grade to half a grade of CGC designation for a comic. For instance, high-end Ultimate Fallout #4 which I had at 9.6 to 9.8 in the same shipment came back a 9.6 grade.  Which deserves an “attaboy” to be sure! The point? I am usually very close to CGC on my grades, especially the low and high grades. What grade did I get on this companion book for a TPB? Are companion books worth money?


rai-companion-194x300 My Experiment with Rai Companion #1Rai Companion #1 (TPB companion book)

This comic book is one of Bob Layton’s babies. He did the script with the team of Sean Chen and Don Perlin in 1993.  Apparently, “the story is a prequel to Rai (Volume 2) #0 and tells what happens between the end of Unity and the beginning of the zero issue. (Funny thing) Despite being titled “Rai Companion” there is no mention of any Rai in this story.” This issue was bagged and shipped with the Rai (TPB).

I found this comic book in pristine condition during a fifty-cent bin sale.  It was in such great shape, basically new that the idea to potentially CGC it popped into my noggin. Just in case I missed something I took this pint-sized book to my presser. The man does 1000’s of books a year with over ten years of experience.  I asked him what he thought and as a collector, he liked the idea.

Rai0Comp5c-interior-208x300 My Experiment with Rai Companion #1The conversation went something like this:

Nam: “What do you think of me sending this into CGC?

Presser: “Great idea Nam, it is in great shape it might score a near mint.”

Nam: “Okay, do you think there is merit and therefore value in slabbing one of these? My thought is it is probably pretty rare and one of a couple of dozen copies CGC’d.”

Presser: “Absolutely.”



With that, I committed myself to send this tiny tome to CGC. When my presser was done with the book I did my research using Analysis from engine I researched historical returns and even FMV (future market value)  for this companion book. I thought this is a shoo-in at least 9.4 maybe a 9.8 grade. What grade do you think I received? After you pick the potential grade read on.

Title Grade Last Sale Return
Rai Companion#1 (TPB companion book) 9.8 $30 (FMV potential $230) n/a recent sales
9.6 $70 +229%

rai_001_0041-crane-195x300 My Experiment with Rai Companion #1Conclusion

I got the answer back from CGC and was obviously disappointed with a meager 8.5 grade (moderate spine stress). My presser then told me, “Some slab companies have trouble with obscure books, like this Rai Companion#1 (TPB companion book), and tend to grade it harshly. “ Well thanks for telling me after the fact, I wish I had known that going in. The book was in such good shape even my presser thought we would score with it.  The end result is I have a book that I will probably sit on. I think it will someday have value, but for now, I can’t even cover the cost of CGC.  But the experience is invaluable as a speculator, despite being in the red.


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Doug October 24, 2020 - 11:06 am

I found that cgc grades some books harsly even though they were them .I got four books pressed by them all two came back 9.8 and two 9.2 even though all the same book

Norman Robinson III October 26, 2020 - 11:22 am

Look CGC is great at grading. I would suggest sending your books to another outside presser and see if your scores improve. Nam

Hank October 24, 2020 - 7:46 pm

Hello Norman:
Where do you sell your comics? Do you sell them online thru eBay or what? I have mostly modern age comics that I want to sell but am not sure how to sell them. They are raw comics and are not graded and in slab form. Thank you for your reply…regards, Hank R.

Norman Robinson III October 26, 2020 - 11:12 am

Hank, most folks sell on eBay for their comics. Modern Age is a crapshoot, they have to be near mint to be worth anything because of the age. Good luck! Nam

Dave Stevens October 25, 2020 - 1:13 am

Why would you do this? There is no high end rai companion. I hope you learn from this mistake.

Norman Robinson III October 26, 2020 - 11:40 am

Wrong, be sure to check on GoCollect past sales. Additionally, this book costs me only $.50 cents and it is probably rare to find one in good shape. I hope this clarifies.

Troy October 26, 2020 - 9:58 am

In relation to Marvel Team up 141 being the first chronological appearance of the black suit.
Amazing Spider-Man 252 went on sale January 31 1984.
Marvel Team Up 141 went on sale February 14 1984.
252 still beats it.

Norman Robinson III October 26, 2020 - 11:41 am

ok, thanks.


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