True Firsts: Damian Wayne
The collectible comic market has a problem. With no universal definition of what a true first appearance is, many collectors are left to wonder. Until the market finds a way to sort out this problem, we will continue to see mistakes at auctions, on web resources and in print. What follows is one of many examples that need to be discussed and possibly corrected.
Damian Wayne does make his first appearance ( in shadows ) in this issue:
Note: There is a regular cover, variant and a second print for this comic.
His first full appearance and first cover are in issues 656 and 657, respectively, but the market does accurately reflect this:
Some like to make the argument that this is his first appearance but that is not the case either:
DC branded Son of the Demon as out-of-continuity. When Grant Morrison took over Batman writing duties he really wanted to incorporate parts of Batman’s history that people had forgotten about including Batman’s unnamed son. But the origin of Damian is quite different from the ending of Son of the Demon. Damian was grown in a lab, not born and given up for adoption. The baby in Son of the Demon could be called a prototype at best as he was only inspiration for the today’s Damian Wayne.
In some ways this is similar to Cable. Cable’s first appearance is in New Mutants 86…um 87! But he appeared as a baby in UXM 201. No one considers 201 Cable’s first appearance even though if falls within Marvel continuity which gives it a better shot than an out-of-continuity book like Son of the Demon.
Here’s another example: Even when companies retcon characters to appear in earlier books it doesn’t change the true first appearance. Marvel said that ASM 4 vol. 1 features Jessica Jones ( she was not named in the comic ) but Alias 1 is still her first appearance. Son of the Demon remains a collectible comic but it should not be considered Damian Wayne’s first appearance.
Here is how I would list the key books for Damian:
- Son of the Demon ( First son of Batman, out of continuity )
- Batman 655 ( first appearance of Damian Wayne in shadows )
- Batman 656 ( first full appearance of Damian Wayne )
- Batman 657 ( first cover for Damian Wayne )
- Batman 666 ( First Damian Wayne as Batman )