The Real First Appearance

This week Chris and Walt dig deep to get to the bottom of the “what’s the real first appearance” debate. Word on the street is they fail miserably but we’ll let you be the judge.

If you have any insights feel free to share with the rest of us, this is a complex topic and one that often contradicts itself, any input would be valued.

Please let us know what you thought of the show in the comments field below.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1702


  1. I am going to be that guy. Topic starts at 6:10, no 7:45, no 9:43.

    First appearances: I will only deal with a few points, if I mention Overstreet it is issue #49.

    My thoughts. There are too many opinions and not enough facts. A first appearance is an appearance in the comic story, not a “Coming Soon” or “Next Issue” panel, which we know happens throughout comic history, usually at the end of a story. Ads are another topic.

    So for Wolverine; Incredible Hulk 180 should be listed as 1st appearance of Wolverine at end of story, one panel, and 2 speaking panels. I added in the speaking panels as Wolverine is a top 5 comic book character and deserves more information. You could also give the dimension of that appearance panel as it is larger than usual. FOOM 2 is listed in Overstreet with a “Wolverine prototype” notation, which is also good. For the Timber Wolf prototype information, I guess I have to look a little harder. I hear the groans. See, I added an opinion and this should not be done. This is my opinion and while we can note similarity of characters my opinion is not important. Stay with facts.

    Incredible Hulk 181 should be noted as: 2nd appearance of Wolverine, 1st full story-line appearance.

    All of the above is true, no opinions.

    For Strange Tales 180 Overstreet lists Gamora’s first appearance as “Intro Gamora (5 panels)” perfect! However Strange Tales 181 is listed as 1st full app. Of Gamora. No, this is not true, who made the decision (opinion) that 5 panels is not a full appearance. 181 should be listed as 2nd appearance of Gamora.

    We can also get into Gambit. My giant Marvel Coffee Table book cites Uncanny X-Men 266 as 1st appearance and Overstreet notes: “1st full app. Of Gambit”, while we all know it is really Uncanny X-Men Annual 14, and he appears in many panels and speaks! Overstreet notes for UCXM14: “1st app. Gambit (minor app., 5 pages)”. Wait, now 5 pages (opinion) is a minor appearance? This description has been in place since Overstreet #23, 28 years ago.

    I will also add another Pet Peeve. Since you mentioned DD #1 in your podcast. DD #5 has an Overstreet notation as “Minor costume change”. Again an opinion, instead state the changes to the costume. More facts please.

    I will stop for now.

  2. How can we not be confused Chris, when you and Walt are? Good topic though! I also wonder about these appearances and their market place weight! I have an example which I may have mentioned before… I have both E.C.’s Happy Houlihans #1 and Moon Girl #1 which both are considered the first appearance of Moon Girl, however CGC lists HH #1 as her first appearance by a week. Why then is the first issue of Moon Girl valued as more ( and yes I realize that the first issue of MG is all about her and has the cover as well)! I never would consider a fanzine appearance as a first, but then again its not that different from Walts Cap appearance in Human Torch 2, so yes I am a bit confused at the distinctions!

  3. Not your finest but luckily Alex’s comment saved the day. If you try Proper Thirteen we will probably get forty minutes of snoring.

    What is the “real” first appearance of Venom? Can The Hulk beat The Thing? How far can Mr. Fantastic Stretch before he breaks? Can Green Lantern make a device that shoots green goo, such that nothing is yellow by the time it reaches him? How come he’s “The Watcher” if he’s always getting involved. Etc. Yes fun if you’re sipping Proper Twelve and discussing, not as much as if you’re just listening to people sip.

    At least Alex has The Facts. These are True Facts, I would go as far as to say they are Verifiable True Facts of a Truthful and Factual Type. What I mean to say is they exude Truth in the most Factual and True way. Put another way, their Truthy Factualness is a shining beacon of Factualosity.

    You see what happens if people listen to other people sipping Proper Twelve. Take that to heart.

    Anyway, first appearances are just a rumor if their occurrence is between the covers of a newsprint magazine sealed in a plastic box. I am more attracted to Walt’s idea of comics becoming more like baseball cards because of this. If a first appearance is reflected on the cover, that is a book I am interested in (Hulk #181). If the interior (Hulk #180), not so much. Otherwise I will let the market tell me what it believes, which as Walt points out, is capricious.


    – I think there was a movie, “She Rides My Craw” – not great film quality or cinematography, but very evocative.

    – Stop saying “Darkseed”, the kids will think that’s the pronunciation. (If you say that you have to say “Theynos”.)

    – You never read Jimmy Olsen #134!!! And you call yourself a Kirby fan. You need to get yourself some Improper 420 and then read those stories, and then you will really get why he was The King.

    – Alex’s Fact about first appearances is of course True, but a further distinction should be made between a speaking and non-speaking appearance (not an offscreen Iron Fist speaking appearance, mind you). DarkSIDE speaks in JO #134 – that may seem like a cameo, but in a comic book that has to count as an appearance. “First full appearance” is bogus – let’s stick with Facts and say “early appearance” or “early multi-panel appearance”.

    – Adjusted for grade, Forever People #1 is a bit more valuable than Jimmy Olsen #134, it’s just that FP #1 is a lot easier in grade. SPJO #134 also has a very cool Adams cover going for it.

    – I got sucked in on the Web #18 story and that has gone nowhere, but a lot smaller investment than Human Torch #2.

    Finally – you guys should not groan but rather take Alex up on the prototype idea. Chris came up with a whole show of connections – prototypes are good for this kind of exploration as well. I don’t know if there was ever any discussion of whether Fang of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard _was_ Timber Wolf or had simply gotten his costume (either of which would have involved time travel, and the latter would have spelled bad tidings for Timber Wolf), but certainly Wolverine got a lot of mileage out of that garb. We need to tie all these threads together (especially the crystal clear Dr. Doom prototype of Tales of Suspense #31) into a glorious tapestry of Facts.

  4. Hey wait! I forgot to mention the Fact of the famous comic I own from my birth month, which is Avengers #8, first appearance of Kang! This book is going crazy these days along with all the other MCU-related books. Once it is revealed that Kang kidnapped Timber Wolf from the 30th century, Timber Wolf was driven mad by traveling through time to the present day, and then Kang sold him to the Shi’ar, expect Avengers #8, X-Men #107 and #108, and especially Adventure #327 (with its ultra-beautiful green background “Menace of Superboy’s Father!”) to go completely off the charts.

  5. Good work Alex, you just needed to add on of those time links so they could just click on the 6:10.

    Meli, September boy, turns out you’re just a kid, and by the way this show will one day be considered a classic with the first 6 minutes and 10 seconds studied for all its subliminal glory.

  6. Aussie: we buy booze anywhere, everywhere, anytime!! ‘Bottle-O’ or ‘bottle-shop’ are some terms we use, we don’t use ‘liquor store’. Often we will just use the name of the store ‘hon, I’m heading to Dan Murphys, need another bottle of gin?’


    I hate ‘cameo’…it makes no sense! A cameo is a small appearance of a well-known person.

    Wolverine is not well-known at the end of #180 he is Un-Known.


    I just finished completing my Symbiote collection (thanks to Walt completing my run!)…ASM#252, team-up #141 and Spectacular #90 then all the issues when he was wearing the symbiote too (about 5 or 6 issues each series). then I have Secret Wars series…all to complete a black alien outfit!!! Don’t get started on what you need to do to track Venom!!!! Walter’s Undervalued Spotlight Web Of Spider-man #18, well let’s just say i won’t be hanging my retirement fund on that one!!!

    Chris, I thought Spidey is actually on the front cover of Transformer #3?…is he in there at all? have it on my want list!

    Now, the younger generation that got into Carnage…those guys got it right, they know the host (Cletus) they know 1st appearance, they know first cover, first kill. Those people got it sorted!!!

  7. Alex, you make some good points. I think I was trying to evoke discussion on the looseness of how the industry handles it. AND what we didn’t cover, was, can they change it now? Could Hulk 180 be the new first appearance?

    Gerald, great point about covers. Certainly this does change the desirability for one more than the other. And really, aren’t Walt and I ALWAYS confused?

    Chris M. I have seen “She Rides My Craw”. Great movie. Way ahead of it’s time. Almost Jodorowski or Fellini in style. But the casting choices were strange.

    Spider, Yes. Spidey is IN the book, but apparently this was all done as a way of getting the Transformers into the current Marvel 616 universe.

  8. Yes, I understand where Walter and Chris O. are coming from. And thank you Chris M. for those factive words.

    Overstreet #6 had the first appearance of Archie as Jackpot #4, only to be changed to Pep 22 in Overstreet #7. Publishing dates were not well known in the 1970s so I get this.

    The first Sandman was Adventure #40 until it became New York World’s Fair 1939 around 1990. Of course let’s be real and note that NYWF39 is the first published appearance of Sandman while Adventure 40 was first drawn. Whatever that means as far as value. I think Ditko’s first art has similar wording with Daring Love 1 and Fantastic Fears 5. Quick, all you comic book artists, put together a comic with your first drawn works, it should be worth a lot of money.

    The first Sgt. Rock was Our Army at War #81 until someone did research and it became #83.

    The first Rocket Raccoon. Take your pick. If Sgt. Rock can be moved to #83 because in #81 he was called Rocky and did not have enough Chevrons, then Rocky Raccoon in Marvel Preview #7 is a prototype. Oh, wait, explanation time, Rocky is short for Rocket in Hulk 271, I smell a retcon or maybe something legal. Couldn’t Sgt. Rock have been called Rocky, and maybe he advanced in military rank. Isn’t the Raccoon prototype from Side 2, Track 5 of the Beatles White Album back in November 1968. Maybe….Rocket Raccoon created by Mantlo, Giffen, with an assist from Lennon, McCartney.

    First Teen Titans, well let’s make it Brave and the Bold 54, because it does not say Teen Titans anywhere in this book and three young guys getting together in the DC universe, well it must be the Teen Titans. Shouldn’t B&B 54 be a prototype Teen Titans?

    As far as changing it, I will leave that up to……………..

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