Darth Maul, Superior Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, Ugly Dolls and More!
Welcome back to True Firsts! This week everything is back to normal for me. I'm working on my Dead Pooh costume for some cons, attempting to get Amazon to do a Little Big Awesome comic and teaching my kid how to bag and board books. None of these things are going well. I did have the time to assemble a short list of comics you might be interested in. Enjoy!
Avengers ( 2013 ) 14,14b,15
First appearance of The Superior Spider-Man redesign.
It looks like ASM 800 is a legit game changer and completes a legacy often mired in controversy. Slott may not go down as the best Spider-Man writer but he sure took chances and really that's all you can ask from a writer of fiction, the willingness to take a risk. This is especially true in comics when we often crave change for both financial and creative gains. And yet we rarely want the stewards of our most cherished heroes to go too far.
I'm not going to dive into the developments from ASM 800. Other pages will do so in great detail today as it’s the culmination of a saga where first appearance hype caused speculators to lose their collective minds. But I have a feeling the first appearance of another will simply get lost in the shuffle. I hope not. I am going to pose a theory that has a really great chance of being a wrong. So bear with me as I make a case for Eliot Tolliver.
When the epilogue tells you it's a smart move to have read this far then you know it's important. Tolliver is the newest addition to the Spider-Verse and he is an acclaimed Dr. that we have never heard of before. That seems odd. He is presented as a hot shot hire by Horizon U, a man who had made significant scientic advancements. As he is given the grand tour no one seems to pay him to much attention. But someones senses something.
Anna Maria Marconi and everyone else at Horizon University seem undisturbed by Eliot that is until he calls Anna Mrs. and she corrects him to say Ms. Her facial expression is one of near horror. That got me wondering. And when Tolliver reveals the Superior Spider-Man suit we can presume that he will eventually be wearing it. So let's look at Tolliver and why I think he's deeply connected to Otto Octavious. First he looks like the clone that Otto currently inhabits, specifically hair.
Then there's the green tie and the calculated inclusion of some ocotbots or ” living brainbots. ” Hmmmmmm…and then there's a reference to Eliot's ‘ specialty ” right above them! As for Anna, well Otto was going to propose to her before he sacrificed himself to let Peter resume control of his body. Otto is a pretty arrogant guy so if Eliot were a clone of Otto or a bot he might be presumptuous enough to think Anna would have said yes thus making her a Mrs. Remember that Otto has also traversed the multiverse and has intimate knowledge of the future. Then there's last we saw him where he acquired this:
Who knows what he has done with it. Remember too that his was written by Nick Spencer, the man taking over for Slott. And wouldn't you know that The Superior Octopus plays a pivotal role in ASM 800 by returning to the name Doctor Octopus clearing the way for a new superior somebody.
So… I don't know who Eliot is but some subtle clues lead me to believe Spencer is already weaving an intricate narrative. I think it's wise to bring back that costume. It was popular with fans.
In terms of speculation I instantly got sick to my stomach because there is a debate as to what the first appearance of The Superior Spider-Man is. Slott says Daredevil 21. But these days we don't trust the creators so it could be ASM 698 where Ock takes over Peter's body. Or it could be Avenging Spider-Man 15.1 where he is named or maybe it's ASM 700 where we see everything come together in a full appearance. When there are so many unclear options I tend to tune out.
Then it dawned on me, even if Eliot is the clone, or Ock and Anna's son from another time or just a bot or simply none of the above-he isn't the villain that once inhabited Peter's body. He is something new. In short, it's the costume that matters. That seems to be something that has proven true with other popular characters. And the costume we see in ASM 800 is not found in any of the books I just mentioned. It appears first in Avengers ( 2013 ) issue 14 in full and in issue 15. I mention 15 because the appearance in 14, while showing the complete costume in multiple panels, is a minor appearance and relegated to the backgrounds. It is more pronounced and foreboding in issue 15.
First appearance of The Superior Octopus/Clone/Elliot Tolliver
First Cover appearance of the degradation proof Otto clone/Superior Octopus Costume.
Jimmy Olsen Adventures by Jack Kirby
I don't usually mention trades but Jack's Olsen stuff is all relevant to the New Gods. As far as I can tell this is the only collection and the first printing is undervalued. The cover is also an unused Kirby piece from 1971.
Marvel Graphic Novel 36
First appearance of Willow
I mentioned this one last year but now Ron Howard has show even greater interest in a sequel.
Superman Earth-One Book 3
First appearance of General Zod as a relative of Superman
I am sorry but I will continue to give praise for Syfy's Krypton show. Season one continually dropped surprise after surprise including the idea the Zod is Superman's uncle? But that isn't the first time a family connection has been made. This book is for diehard collectors.
The Illustrated Fountainhead ( Ayn Rand Institute 1998 ) Frank Godwin
Zack Synder recently announced that his next project will be Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. I am really excited about this. For it's time Ayn's novel was a force. Emphasizing the spirit of individualism over conformity the book is a must read.
When things like this are announced I inevitably seek out comic adaptations. I was surprised to learn that in 1945 many Hearst papers published comic adaptations for 30 weeks starting in the LA Herald December 24,1945. Good luck finding that! Frank Goodwin did all the art for the serials with Rand's blessing through King Syndicate.
Any paper carrying the strips are probably rare but with many papers doing so we can't really consider any such paper the first appearance. although each is probably valuable in its own right.
In 1998 the Ayn Rand Foundation collected all the illustrations/sequential into one spiral bound volume. It's rare. The only other work or Ayn's to be adapted was Anthem in Fantastic Funnies pictured below but that was only an illustrated work, no comic art.
Rand's work influenced creators like Ditko and Frank Miller among others.
Famous Fantastic Funnies Vol. 14 issue 4
First and only illustrated Ayn Rand work
A-Force 2 Comixology Variant
Kamala Khan covers are heating up. Don't forget this one though. It isn't exactly easy to come by.
I kind of dig this one too and I don't see people talking about it much anymore.
X-Force 21 ( 2nd Print )
First appearance of Rusty as Firefist
Deadpool 2 is doing quite well and while the X-Force scenes killed the spec on Shatterstar and Bedlam Firefist was a major part of the narrative and the kid was excellent.
Dark Horse Maverick 2000
No one has come forward to expalin why Body Bags got hot but they are still selling. There was a short in this Dark Horse comic.
Ugly Dolls FCBD
First appearance of Ugly Dolls
Hulu has picked up an Ugly Dolls show. I though this property was dead. The dolls are actually pretty cool and some are very rare.
First comic after FCBD
Action Comics 775 ( newsstand preferred )
First appearance of Manchester Black
This book is a must read for any comic fan. If you haven't read it now is the time. Manchester was a casting rumor for Supergirl this week.
The Flash 170
First appearance of Cicada
Another week, another Flash casting rumor. This time it's Cicada! Who?
Star Wars: Phantom Menace 1,2,3
First appearance of Darth Maul
Arguably the most popular character from the much maligned 1999 sequels, Darth Maul is seeing renewed interest thanks to a brief, yet impressive appearance in the Solo film. This was also much more than a cameo as the movie sets up a sequel. Maul made his first comic appearance ( full and cover ) in issue 3 of the Dark Horse adaptation series from May 1999. But…..
Maul appeared via cameo as a hologram in issue 1 and in a cameo in issue 2.
Also….technically Maul's first is in the TPB and cover which Dark Horse released May 5th or 1999?! This is kind of crazy because they released the trade before all the issues. Each issue came out over the 4 weeks of May so issue 3 came out week 3. I say issue 3 is likely to be considered the first but the trade is the first appearance in full and first cover if we aren't counting the comics. I can't think of another instance where this has happened.
NOTE: There is a limited HC signed by the cover artist. I have seen sources claim it too was released in May 1999 but an isbn search shows January 2000. I have not been able to confirm inside the HC.
Also there are multiple printings of both so be careful.
Lando: Double or Nothing 1
First appearance of L7-37
There are few other books Solo fans might want to look out for. Considering how important L7-37 is her first could appreciate over time. There are multiple covers for this book. Here is the only one I really like.
Star Wars 7
First appearance of Aurra Sing
When Aurra appeared briefly in The Phantom Menace I think many hoped she was the next Boba Fett. Despite the let down Sing was used elsewhere and has indeed become one of those fan favorite characters. So it was kinda cool to get a name drop in Solo even if we learn that Beckett gets a lot of cred for killing her!