The most sought after and collected books besides issue number one, are “The First Appearance” books. The first appearance of a character is just that. The first time we are introduced to a particular character. First, let me clarify. This is a point in which the collecting community for the most part and myself have a disagreement. There are two types of first appearances. The “first cameo appearance”, and the “first full appearance”. I argue that the first time you meet a character no matter how many pages or frames they are in, is still the first time you meet them. The collector world says, if it is only one page or a single panel introduction, then it is a first cameo appearance. In return, the cameo is never close to the value as the first full appearance.
A perfect example of this is The Incredible Hulk #180. It has Wolverine on the very last panel in the book as he confronts Hulk. But The Incredible Hulk #181 is considered the first appearance since he is in the story plot of that book. Now research value and you will see what I mean. Same goes for Venom and Bishop. There are quite a few more. So make sure when someone tells you it is a first appearance, you ask if it is full or cameo appearance. If you don’t, you will be sorry when spending a lot of your hard earned money.
More Than Characters
There are also first appearances of items, places, special weapons and the like. Example; The Baxter Building, The Bat cave, Iron Man’s Stealth Armor, The Fortress of Solitude. Even the changing of a costume or the color can be reason to grab said books. Alas, Spider-Man’s 1st appearance in the Black Costume is one. There are many more items and places that are just as important to the comic world, so they are sought after just as much.
There is one last item about 1st appearances you need to know about. Some characters have more than one 1st appearance. Let me give you an example. Carol Danvers, AKA “Ms. Marvel”, she has 5 different 1st appearance. Let me list those for you
- Carol Danvers: Marvel Super Heroes #13
- Ms Marvel: Ms. Marvel #1 Volume 1
- Binary: Uncanny X-Men #164 Volume 1
- Warbird: Avengers #4 Volume 3
- Captain Marvel: Avenging Spider-Man #9
So, if you want all her first appearances, you would need to have all the above books in your collection. Marvel Super-Heroes will run the most expensive in high grade. While Ms. Marvel is next. The others are still quit affordable. Betsy Braddock, Steve Rodgers, and quit a few others will fall under the more than one identity and more than one 1st appearance conundrum. Do your homework and happy hunting. Join me next time when we discuss Direct Editions Versus New Stand Editions.