The Usual Suspects #29
Welcome to the 2nd edition of The Usual Suspects of 2019. In honor of that non-event, I wanted to look at some key second appearances. Actually this spun out of a G+ post started by MJ H last week. But the idea was further tweaked by CBSI’s own Skot Whitman, author of Comic Disambiguation and Wouldn’t That Make a Great Cover. Skot noted in the conversation how some second appearances also feature a significant 1st appearance as well. So with that, here we are looking at some Key second appearances that also feature a 1st appearance as well.
So, we are not going to get into a debate over what constitutes an appearance over a cameo. The list is what it is and it’s based on what is commonly accepted and may be noted on a CGC Label. Not a perfect system, but it’s what I am working with, so enjoy the list for what it is.
This isn’t a best of list or anything like that. It’s simply a list of books that fit the criteria I set for myself to narrow the scope. Just a few comics that I also found interesting and wanted to write about. As an example, Giant Size X-men #1. It’s widely regarded as the 2nd full appearance of Wolverine and features the firsts of Storm, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Colossus.
So in part to avoid the debate over whether Incredible Hulk 181 is really Wolverine’s 2nd appearance after the cameo in 180. Or if Hulk 182’s cameo is really his 2nd appearance. I am not covering it. Plus, I also already covered this book in Episode 19 back in November, so it’s way too early for repeats. So it’s a moot point.
Also don’t take me to task over the importance of the first appearances in the books presented below. I realize they can be pretty weak. But that is in part why I chose these books. This way the value associated with the book is due to the 2nd appearance and wouldn’t be confused with the importance over the 1st appearance of some second-rater. Take for instance, Captain Marvel #25 which is the second appearance of Thanos, but also the 1st appearance of Skragg. Do you really think the $1,500 someone dropped back in March for a CGC 9.8 was for the 1st appearance of Skragg? Just sayin’.
But how important are 2nd appearances? Do they matter to most collectors or are they just a novelty? Is it simply the next best thing and cheaper alternative to an out of reach 1st? Or are the necessity of the true collector?
I would venture to say a bit of both. There are quite a few 1st appearances on my to-do list, but I haven’t been able to check them off as of yet. Sure, I am in the market for a Marvel Spotlight #5 and a Special Marvel Edition #15; but it just hasn’t worked out for me yet. But in the meantime, I’m content to hold on to my MS#6 and SME#16, 2nd Ghost Rider and 2nd Shang Chi.
That is until I can grab those firsts for myself.
And I will get them eventually. I’m sure if I keep making smart decisions and maintain patience I will be able to add those to my PC sooner or later.
So on that note…let’s get into it.
2nd appearance of X23, 1st appearance of Tatania
So you really like X-23, but don’t want to drop a grand on an NYX #3 CGC 9.8? Then look to issue 4 for now. It’s got a great Josh Middleton cover that just grabs your attention. Even if you didn’t know what this book was, that cover just invites you to want to own it.
Now many 2nd appearances don’t demand much notice. It’s simply the next book in the series and mostly treated as run filler. But this book has demanded attention for a while now. It’s not a $300 CGC 9.8 for the 1st appearance of Tatiana after all. Is it?
I mean as a character she’s pretty interesting right? She likes animals. She’s a mutant. She survived M-Day as one of the 198. She can take on the form of whoever’s blood she comes into contact with, including animals. And if it’s an animal, she becomes like a were-creature or whatever, like a were-cat or cat lady.
A were-cat lady is pretty cool right? Definitely grounds for a $300 9.8 just for that epicness, am I right?
Ok, so maybe Catiana or whatever her name is isn’t that cool. But this is still a book that will cost you. Now 30% of the 1st appearance seems about right, I suppose. She is a popular character and people are still eager to grab her back issues. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Active Listings: There are a lot of copies of this available. Quick eBay search returns 101 results, but only maybe ¾’s of that are actually for NYX 4.
A lot of “not” NYX 4 listings. I gotta say the “not” listings bother me. I mean, I am obviously searching for NYX 4, and you as the seller know that but want me to see your listing even though it’s NOT what I am looking for. That’s like a telemarketer call. I didn’t ask to see your NYX #6. Thank you for explaining but I am completely aware that the number 6 is “not” the number 4. But thanks for wasting my time.
Anyway, there are lots of copies. The top listings are a pair of CGC SS 9.6’s signed by creator Craig Kyle. Following that are a couple CGC SS 9.8 signed by Stan Lee… I just can’t today. Why would you have him to sign this? It just doesn’t make sense.
Finally we have our first CGC 9.8 Blue Label available for $539. Not cheap. Or there are about a half dozen other 9.8’s available for between $265 and $425. Most in that $300 range. Looking for a raw? It’ll cost you from $56 to $105.
Market Analysis: So the last CGC 9.8 sale was $300 which was slightly above the $250 average. Oddly enough the CGC 9.6’s are trending down and both the last sale and the average for the last 3 months is actually below 9.4’s.
Actually the 9.4 was only a single sale at $110 back in October, but still 4 out of the last five 9.6 sales were less than that. Raws right now are only averaging about $30 which really isn’t bad considering a raw NYX 3 is closer to $350. So while there is interest in the 2nd, it doesn’t come close to the 1st appearance.
But there could be an opportunity to make a few bucks if you get a nice copy that’s got a shot at 9.8. I mean that’s a 10x jump from a $30 raw to a $300 9.8. Just saying.
2nd appearance of Iron Man, 1st Gold Armor
Now we go back for an old school entry to look at Iron Man’s 2nd appearance. We apparently are going way back since Stark is facing off against Captain Caveman in this issue.
My times have changed over the last 55 years. Look at the Iron Man we have on the silver screen compared to this big lug. Heck, times have apparently changed since the last issue when Iron Man was just Gray in issue 39.
Apparently the shiny gold makeover was needed to make Iron Man less intimidating to the general public. Seems like a logic assumption. Not sure if one issue was enough of a sampling to make that conclusion, but whatever. Stark is the brains, not me. So this 2nd appearance of Iron Man was also the 1st appearance to the Gold armor.
I know, you were probably expecting a character 1st appearance. But for Iron Man, his armors are just as important as any supporting character. Think back on all of the different looks he’s had over the years. Stark is a bit of a fashionista.
Always tweaking and updating this guy. The above doesn’t even represent all of his armors through the decades. And I think the movies have also done a pretty decent job of illustrating the sheer volume of different looks Stark has had over the years. I mean Iron Man 3 alone probably out did the above image.
That is some serious indecisiveness. Or maybe it’s just collectability. Perhaps Stark is just an OCD collector like many of us. Whatever it is, we certainly have come a long way.
Active Listings: A quick eBay search returns the Dirty Dozen. Twelve listings for this Silver Age beauty. Top gun is a $3,850 CGC 8.5. That’s a seriously nice grade for a book like this. But to put the second appearance into perspective, a CGC 8.5 of TOS #39 sold back in March for $38,100. Again at only 10% of the rate of a 1st appearance, I feel there’s some meat on the bone for this one. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $38k lying around. I don’t have $38 hundo lying around either, but that at least seems a bit less ridiculous to even daydream about.
Ok, the cheapest available is a pretty rough raw copy for about $375. That would be more my speed. Actually more like $38 would be my speed. Or at least $38 is what I would tell the wife it cost me after some wheeling, dealing, selling, flipping, credit, couponing, eBay bucks, limited time only discount purchase.
Market Analysis: This book is mostly in the green and appreciating in value. I did want to note the last sale CGC 9.4 for only $1,300. Turns out that was for a purple label that was cracked and sold raw. It was previously graded 9.4. See I took a picture with the old label next to the book. No it isn’t possible for me to hold that purple label next to any copy, it’s from this one I swear.
But seriously, why crack the purple labeled slab to sell raw? I get that no one likes a resto purple label, but you are still selling a restored raw copy which I would imagine is still less desirable than a high graded restored copy. It’s not like you are trying to fool anyone to hide the restoration as you are showing the purple label with the book. I just don’t get it. Maybe the promise of a press and regrade or a solid raw is more enticing than an icky purple label.
2nd appearance of the Black Panther, 1st appearance of Klaw (Ulysses Klaw).
Let’s stay in the Silver Age for a bit longer and have a gander at a gem from the iconic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four run. Think about how many key books and characters debuted during their run. For now, let’s skip over Fantastic Four #52 and look at the second appearance of the newest pillar in the Marvel Cinematic universe.
Seems weird to cover Black Panther’s second appearance in comics before I have done his 1st, but here we are. Don’t worry I have plans to do FF52 soon enough. But for now let’s keep on track with the current agenda and focus on FF #53 which also happens to feature the first appearance of Klaw.
This issue gives us a bit of the origins of both Black Panther and Klaw. It tells the tale of when an explorer, Ulysses Klaw, came to Wakanda to steal Vibranium, just like in the movie. And on that topic, Andy Serkis just killed it. The manic energy he exuded while on screen was just infectious. I was so bummed when he got offed by Killmonger. Oops.
Seriously though it’s been a year, if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet. Shame on you.
C’mon, it’s on Netflix so get to it. The rest of us will wait here for you… Seriously go ahead. The rest of us will grab some refreshments while we wait for you.
…Welcome back. Now that everyone is all caught up, we can continue with the presentation.
Active Listings: There are plenty of copies of this bad boy on the market right now. And it’s not that steep of a buy in unless you are looking for super high grade. I’m more of a bargain collector so a F/VF raw or CGC 4.0 for $150 is good enough for me.
You wouldn’t catch me anywhere near the $5k 9.4 PGX Stan Lee signed copy even if I had the money. That’s just kooky talk.
But outside of that, there is a CGC 9.6 up for about $3500 or a high grade raw for $1400. Lots of 9.0 and 8.5’s in the $450-$500 range. For comparison sake a CGC 9.0 of FF #52 sold in October for $6300. That’s another significant discrepancy.
I am not advocating that 2nd appearances should be anywhere as valuable or sought after as the 1st appearance. However, some of these examples should be worth a little bit more than what they are at the moment. I’m just saying that if you are telling me that I can have a classic Lee/Kirby FF that happens to be the 2nd appearance of one of the most important Marvel characters at the moment and also happens to be the 1st appearance of his most iconic villain in a VG/F raw grade for about $50, sign me up. In fact, I may start shopping for one tonight because I do not have this in my collection as of yet.
Market Analysis: Super High Grades of this are nuts. I get that this book is over 50 years old and that there are only 3 CGC 9.8’s in the census. But $12k for a CGC 9.8 while an 8.5 is only $300? That spread is ridiculous.
Outside of that this is a pretty reasonably priced book all things considered. I wasn’t joking about raws for $50 bucks. I’m seriously gonna get to shopping for one and work my way up to the FF #52. That book is a $550 raw. That’s going to require a bit of finagling to make happen. Prob gonna have to sell a decent PC book to come up with the scratch for that.
2nd appearance of the Punisher, 1st appearance of the Tarantula
Ok this last one has me in a bit off kilter. I was always under the assumption that ASM #135 was the 2nd appearance of the Punisher. I’m pretty sure I paid up for my 135 as if it were his 2nd when I bought my copy. Even the cover of 135 makes it sound that way.
Granted Return of the Punisher could mean his 2nd appearance or his 29th. He’s just back. But it turns out he actually appears at the end of #134 in the final panels to kick off the next issue’s events. Now if this were a 1st appearance, it would be debated and argued over as to whether a cameo constitutes an appearance…
But we’re talking a 2nd appearance so don’t believe the same “rules” apply otherwise it would get ridiculously confusing. I mean if his 1st full appearance is 129, but he shows up in 134 would you argue that it is his 2nd cameo? But he never had a 1st cameo. But you can’t call it 1st cameo if it occurs after his 1st full? But then what would you call 135? And does it even matter? Honestly…
At least not enough to debate it. His first appearance is not up for debate, and this is the second time we see the character. So 2nd appearance at least for the purposes of my article. But I almost forgot to mention the 1st appearance in this book, Tarantula.
One could argue that the value of this book may be based on Tarantula’s 1st appearance and not the Punisher 2nd. (Again I, like many others, thought the Punisher’s 2nd was 135 so whatever). Side note, I always thought Tarantula had a pretty cool design, even if the Kingsman shoes seem quite impractical.
Regardless, neither is as cool as Gabe Cash’s gun boots from Tango and Cash.
So you either know what I’m talking about on that one or you don’t. Sorry, I tried.
Active Listings: A lot of options on this one as it is from the Bronze Age. Top listing is a CGC 9.8 for $765. Following that are a pair of 9.6’s. One is a CGC 9.6 for $600 while the other is a CBCS 9.6 for only $386. That’s a crazy differential. Plenty of room in the cost to crack and submit to CGC if you cared to.
Up next is a decent raw copy that is looking for $135. The rest is a hodge-podge of raws and midgrade’s in the $50-$70 range. And if you’re not too picky you can grab yourself a low grade for only 10 bucks.
Market Analysis: Decent amount of movement on this. Prices are generally on the uptick. Mostly movement in the raws. That’s a lot of sales. Don’t really have more to say on this one. The numbers are all there.
Ok that’s it for this week, now it’s time for Last Call.
2nd appearance of Deadpool, 1st app. of Weapon X (Garrison Kane)
There are tons of this book out there. Tons. It’s seen a bit of a jump since the 1st Deadpool movie.
Deadpool’s second appearance can still be found in some dollar bins. Seriously, keep your eyes open. They’re out there.
But did you know that this is also the 1st appearance of Garrison Kane and his mega-collared, mid-drift, short-sleeved jacket thing. Urgh, just an awful look. I’ve had enough for one night. I’m gonna go watch Black Panther again.
Typical Sales Data courtesy of Covrprice.com:
CGC 9.8 – $78.00 on 11/1/18