Skott: Incredible Hulk #180. This book has some pro’s and cons. Pro, it’s the first appearance of a character named Wolverine. It’s a “cliffhanger cameo” in the largest panel of the last page. Cons, It’s just one panel. Wolverine doesn’t appear on the cover. The market has already chosen IH#181 and I just don’t see the market correcting itself regardless if it should or not. Still, at the end of the day it’s the first time Wolverine ever appears.
Incredible Hulk #181. Pros. This issue has everything and it’s easy to see why collectors have gravitated to it. Wolverine on the cover and in action no less. The story is called “And Now… The Wolverine”. Wolverine fighting everybody inside. It’s a full appearance, not a cameo. Cons. IH#181 is not Wolverine's first appearance.
Topher: Skot I agree with your assessment of this long-standing argument. Revising history to correct ancient misconceptions and errors is not an easy task in this market. Some of us have discussed the reasons why ad-nauseum so I won’t revisit those points. I will say this though, when we put aside the interest of investors and look at facts, IH 180 is clearly the first appearance of Wolverine. What you refer to accurately describes the cover effect and it has happened to other popular characters like Archangel and Cable. 181 is the more valuable book for all the pros you mention but that doesn’t mean it’s a first appearance.
Skot how do you feel about books like DD 115, Marvel Premiere 19 and Thor 229? They all contain ads which publish the cover to IH 181 prior to 181’s release? And what of that Foom issue? At the very least it contains a Wolverine prototype amongst other blatant steals by Marvel.
Skot: Should an ad that is the same across multiple books count? I don’t know about that. Maybe if it was one ad in one magazine or comic, That would be one thing, like Malibu Sun as an example.
There’s definitely a market for single types of ads or appearances. Like in Spawn’s case. To be honest, I almost think that type of stuff deserves its own classification. Sadly the real issue comes down to bragging rights and money.
I agree, Wolverine's first appearance is Incredible Hulk 180. He’s right there. It’s one panel and that’s a cameo. All the books you mentioned pertaining to Wolverine and are ads … if it was only one book, sure. But across multiple books running the same ad, I doubt it’ll catch on.
We live in a time where information flows like never before. There’s no reason not to break all this stuff down into categories and have the comic appearance classified: “first appearance in comic, cameo”, “first ad appearance” and “first full appearance in comic”, stuff like that. Why not and just let the market decide?