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Debatable Firsts

Featured in this category are comic books that are often debated, sometimes heatedly, with additional images to let you make the decision for yourself

Low $5
Mid $20
High $65
  • 1st cameo appearance of John Constantine, Hellblazer
  • ⚠ It is widely accepted that this is the first cameo appearance of John Constantine but the character in question is not identified nor does he wear the classic trenchcoat that is seen when Constantine first appears in full, 12 months later, in Swamp Thing #37
Low $1
Mid $3
High $12
  • Debut of Tony Stark’s ‘War Machine’ armor, a heavy artillery suit
  • Tony dons the armor but continues to refer to himself as Iron Man
  • 1st team appearance of the Masters of Silence
  • James Rhodes does not appear in this armor until Iron Man #284
Low $1
Mid $5
High $15
  • 1st full appearance of Angel as the Horseman Death, later becomes Archangel
  • Angel's first appearance as Archangel is often cited as X-Factor #24 (view additional images)
  • The Horseman Death, formerly known as Angel, becomes Archangel in X-Factor #38
  • 1st full team appearance of the Horsemen of Apocalypse: Death, Famine, War, Pestilence
Low $12
Mid $40
High $120
  • 1st appearance of Black Widow, Yelena Belova
  • [Yelena Belova confirmed to appear in the Hawkeye Disney+ series]
  • There is dispute as to whether this is a full or cameo appearance
  • CGC labels this issue "1st appearance of the new Black Widow (Yelena Belova, face not shown)"
Low $10
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High $100
  • 1st cameo appearance of Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian warrior
  • 1st cameo appearance of Ezra Bridger
  • 1st cameo appearance of Hera
  • 1st appearance of Kanan Jarrus
  • [May 4 - Caleb Dume, alias of Kanan, appears in Bad Batch]
  • CGC labels Kanan #1 the first appearance of the above listed characters without distinction of cameo or full
  • View additional images of the single panel appearance
  • 📖 Reading Order: next read Kanan The Last Padawan #2, then read Darth Vader #1 (2017 series)
Low $15
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High $150
  • 1st appearance of Tarantula
  • 2nd appearance of the Punisher
  • Many sources cite The Amazing Spider-Man #135 as the second appearance of the Punisher and categorize this appearance as a cameo
Low $12
Mid $45
High $140
  • 2nd cameo appearance of Venom
  • Many consider this the first full appearance of Venom
  • Todd McFarlane explains in an interview that The Amazing Spider-Man #299 was considered the first full appearance of Venom for years until various comic book resources changed it to The Amazing Spider-Man #300
  • View additional images by tapping the cover image and swiping left
Low $7
Mid $18
High $70
  • 1st appearance of Gambit
  • This issue is often cited as a cameo of Gambit which would imply that the appearance is brief although he appears in 15 panels throughout the book with at least 10 instances of dialogue
  • This includes a full page-and-a-half interaction with Storm where she addresses him by name and refers to him as a thief (see images by tapping cover and swiping left)
  • Later Gambit appears in his classic suit and then again in an X-Men uniform
  • This issue went on sale June 19th whereas X-Men #266 went on sale July 10th
  • Uncanny X-Men #266 was written as if it were to be published prior to the annual
  • CGC recognizes this issue as a cameo appearance of Gambit and Uncanny X-Men #266 as his first full appearance
Low $90
Mid $600
High $1.9k
  • 1st cameo appearance of Wolverine
  • Marvel Value Stamp Series A #67 - Cyclops
  • This issue, by far, is the most debated "cameo versus full" book and likely the main reason "cameo" became such a significant yet loosely defined term in comic book collecting
  • Theoretically, The Incredible Hulk #180 being labeled "cameo" of Wolverine was due to an oversight by Overstreet (see additional images)
  • In the 1980/1981 edition of Overstreet, Hulk#181 is labeled - 1st app of Wolverine and Hulk#180 is without a descriptor, commanding the same value as issues #151 - #176
  • In the 1981/1982 Overstreet, the description had been amended to read #180 - 1st app. Wolverine but mislabeled #181 and #182 - Wolverine cameo
  • Finally, in 1982/1983, Overstreet labeled Hulk #180 - 1st app. Wolverine (cameo) and #181 - Wolverine app. #182 - Wolverine cameo
  • In recent years, Marvel has taken a stance on Hulk #180 as the first appearance of Wolverine, wanting to eliminate the term "cameo" altogether, presumably to avoid this exact debate
  • But in years past, official Marvel guidebooks and trading cards would often trade-off which issue was given the coveted 1st (full) appearance designation (see additional images)