Link, Renfield, Elric, Doom vs Black Panther and More!


Welcome back to True Firsts.  This week has been kinda weak spec wise but I have managed to put some picks together.



Astonishing Tales 6, 7

First appearance of Barbara Morse, first meeting and battle for Doom and BP, first cover for Doom and BP.

It is entirely possible Doom and BP have met before but this is the first time ( as far as I know ) where they go head to head.  This is important in the same way that Defenders 84 was and that book saw significant gains as a result.  Even that rumor has yet to be debunked and remember this new one is not proven.  But….

the entire spec on BP 2 has to do with the earthquakes occurring underwater threatening Wakanda, as revealed in Avengers Endgame.  Initially the assumption  was that Namor was responsible.  This makes sense but now there is a new rumor about Dr. Doom and his possible MCU introduction coming in BP 2. This issue is now a spec play for all the reasons above but when you read it you will learn that Doom is trying to mine Vibranium by tunneling under Wakanda causing earthquakes.  Yup.  Earthquakes.





Dracula Lives 11

First appearance of Renfield

Credit to Max from the comments for pointing this mag out!

There are other possibilities listed below that could contain some early obscure appearances





Marvel GN 26

First Modern appearance of Renfield

The Caliber Renfield series has seen an unexpected uptick due to Robert Kirkman movie rumors.  Renfield made some earlier comic appearances including his first here.




Elvira 13

First comic book appearance of Renfield ( named on cover ).

Here is another that predates the Caliber series with a much better cover than any of those issues!





First appearance of TAXX

Issue 1 and this ashcan are actually very rare and often sell for a high price. Check those dolla bins!



Nintendo Power 6

First appearance of Link 

I mentioned this all the way back in my video game special.  It is the first appearance of Link in a comic.  Inside these early issues there was a character called Nester and his adventures often brought him into contact with the earliest comic incarnations of popular video game characters.




Marvel Selects 2

This one reprints ASM 101 with a different cover.  Not a True First per se but I like including unknown reprints from time to time.




Spawn 22 Italy

First Foreign Jessica Priest Cover appearance

With Spawn 61 getting hot here is Jessica's first foreign cover appearance.  She may appear slightly earlier in the Swedish reprinting ( unconfirmed )




Marvel Must Haves 6 ( 2nd Print )

This one reprints the Ultimate Venom Saga.  The 2nd print if a ghost.  Ultimate Venom is the flavor of the week.





Spider-Man India 1, Special Ed.

First appearance of Spider-Man India

Speculation for Spider-Verse 2 has been mostly about Japanese Spidey and some others but Spider-man has a huge following in India and there have been some whispers about his inclusion.  He first appeared is this rare Gotham issue prior to the US issues.




Dark Empire 

First appearance of Holocrons

Leaks for Rise of Skywalker have the Wayfinder as a central plot point.  The device may be part of a split holocron created by Palpatine and divided between Vader and his former master.  It is just a rumor. At any rate the first appearance of holocrons was here.

There are many versions of this, the platinum being the rarest.




Crash Bandicoot Manga 1, 2

First comic appearance of Crash and other Bandicoot character

We are getting a Crash movie.  There were comics from 1998 and they are not cheap.




Image FCBD Recalled Cover

First appearance of Revival

This cover was recalled but some got out.  It is very hard to find.  With a Revival film coming this one could be a ghostly sleeper!






Trailer Park of Terror 2

Most of the covers from this insane series are dope.  This one is my favorite.  There issue 4 ashcan is all super rare.


Lacunae 1

This crazy series has a comic format but is filled with other treats including early GWAR, interviews with key creators and some killer, controversial covers like this one.




Sin City, Just another Saturday Night.

This prequel comic makes my list for rarity as well. This version is an Aussie Mini Comic only included with a DVD.  It is impossible to find.




Elric One Life

Who can top P. Craig Russell and Gaiman writing Elric?



Bubble Gun 1 ( Heroes Con )

Bubbles guns and chicks pretty much always make for great covers.




Ultimate Spider-Man 20

First UK Ultimate Venom Cover

This one appears to be quite rare!



Ultimate Spider-Man Activison 2005 Video Game Mini Comic

This rarity reprints the Ultimate Venom saga




Elric Balance 1 Incentive Bradstreet and issue 5 Virgin

All the Mattina covers are sick from this series and most of the others are as well.  My favorite is this Bradstreet cover which meets all the criteria for variant lovers; rare, badass and a cover for a property that has recently been optioned. This may also be the first Elric Variant.


I like this one too.



Most Noose covers are pretty controversial.  This one often flies under the radar.



Master of the Universe: Grizzlor the Legend Comes A Live

First Bruce Timm Comic Cover ( not first pro work ) 





Santa's Secret Cave

This rarity has a great cover.  I don't think that deer trusts his boss.  This one is also not listed in guide with MMG as publisher so it could be a different printing.





  • Avatar

    Which site am I supposed to be reading before I read your article? It seems every listing is missing the first sentence. For example, “Taxx is a parody of Maxx, rumored to have an animated feature released in 2023, by Bill Maus published by Image Comics, around the time of Maxx #5.”

    As always, a great list of several comics of which I was unaware, but I still have little idea why some of them are important.

    • Topher

      David you have been reading and commenting here for some time, now you make such statement?! All you need to know is that Taxx first appears in the ashcan. If you are a comic fan then you either already heard that the Maxx was optioned or you read my article from last week! If you have any questions as to why others are important please ask.

      • Avatar

        I had to google “Taxx” in order to find out he was a Maxx pastiche. A google of “Link” fails, but one extra sentence could have saved those of us who had to search.

        Legendary journalism professor and editor-in-chief of the New York Times, Max Frankel used to say something like, “Each time you mention OJ Simpson in an article, you must state, ‘Mr. Simpson is accused of murdering his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her companion, Ronald Colman.’ Someone reading your article doesn’t know, and it’s only 17 words.”

        I just feared there was a thread somewhere, that I don’t read, that was preface to your articles.

        • Topher

          My article titles give you the answer first and are designed for comic fans. That’s how I do it. When you read the article, Link and Taxx make perfect sense.
          While Mr Frankel may be a legend he wasn’t writing for such a specific readership that I assume is tapped in to what is current and relevant. I mean come on, if you are visiting CBSI and reading an article about first appearances you probably aren’t devoid of such knowledge.

    • Topher

      Also the cover section pics are often not relevant to any announcement though some may be. I now add them because I have no other place to spotlight sick covers I think people should know about. Thanks for reading as always!

  • Avatar

    I’ve been wrong before but I’m pretty sure that Renfield was first in Dracula Lives! #11 in the 1970s.

    • Topher

      Good find, I added it as a first magazine appearance and credited you!

    • Avatar

      There’s a Dell Dracula adaptation from 1962. I’ve not read it, but unless it cuts Renfield out, he should be in that.

      • Topher

        He is not in there.

        I would also like to note that Dracula Lives 11 calls him Redfield which may or may not simply be a printing error.

        It is possible Renfield appears elsewhere earlier. Here are some candidates I have been unable to read;
        Universal Pictures Presents ( Dell )
        Death Dreams of Dracula 1-3
        Big Bad Blood of Dracula
        Thew New English Library Editions from the UK
        Dracula in 3D
        Dracula Return of the Impaler
        Dracula the Impaler by Comax
        Dracula Lady in the Tomb ( odds are no on this one )
        Ghosts of Dracula
        Little Dracula
        Requiem for Dracula

        He does NOT appear in the Dell Dracula remake that sees him revamped in such an odd way.

        Admittedly Renfield is a bit of a rabbit hole and I just crawled out. Anyone else cares to dive in and finds valid info post it here, I’ll credit you.

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