Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full Appearances

by Joseph Overaitis

Blogger-Dome-Cameo.1st-Blog-1-300x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full AppearancesWelcome to Blogger Dome! Here, bloggers will argue different topics involving the comic book market and industry. This will be a combination of the Big Bang Theory meets the WWE. Smack talk mixed with comic book debates. Bloggers going at each other to amuse and educate our readers. And we want to hear what YOU have to say about it. This is the Blogger Dome! Our Blogger Dome featured topic today is “Cameo First Appearance vs First Full Appearance”.  I am Bud Weiser, the moderator for this historic event.   I would like to welcome our readers to the final debate between our candidates for the office of President of Blogger Dome.  Let us have the candidates introduce themselves!

My name is Joseph Overaitis 

I want to thank the town of Gotham City for hosting this Blogger Dome debate. Go Gotham Knights!  I wantBlogger-Dome-Debate-300x157 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full Appearances your vote because I am the better man for the job.  What can be said about my candidate that has not been said already?  My opponent, Harry Stone III, has still not commented on the record about where he stands on the Sokovia Accords. 

How can you trust a man who is more difficult to pin down than the current whereabouts of Nick Fury?  What does he think… that with a snap of his fingers I am going to disappear and stop advocating that First Cameos are the most worthy books in which to invest?  He is as wrong now as he was when he recommended readers buy slabbed comics rather than raw and then get them graded.

IMG_3653-300x273 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full AppearancesHarry: Hello Everyone! My name is Harry Stone

Thank you for welcoming me to the beautiful city of Gotham. I have always been more of a good ol’ Gotham Griffins fan myself, Go Green! But we’re not here to talk sports, are we? We’re here for the great Blogger Dome debate. My friend Sleepy Joe will try and distract you with witty comments and his best Mayor Aubrey James impression.

Are we really going to believe someone under investigation for aiding and abetting The Clown Prince of Crime during the recent Joker Wars? I, on the other hand, am a man of the people. I will give you nothing but truth, and the truth is that true first appearances are the best bang for your buck.

Let’s get this debate going!

Moderator: I would like to welcome our readers to the final debate between our candidates for the office of President of Blogger Dome. The focus of this debate comes from a question asked by one of our viewers. Agatha H. from Westview,  New Jersey asks, “I am stuck in this town and I am tired of watching sitcom reruns.  I lost a rare book of mine and now I want to find something new to invest in. 
Do you believe I should invest in Cameos or First Full Appearances?”  What a charming question Agatha!  We have not heard from anyone in Westview in a while, so thank you for your question. We will first have our candidates introduce themselves and then they will have three rounds to respond. Remember keep it clean. No low blows, shields, vibranium, batarangs, or magic lassos allowed for this final debate.

Round #1

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6IjU4ZTA5N2MzLTdiYWItNDI3Yy05ZWRkLWEzMzc2M2NjYTZmZi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-201x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full AppearancesJoseph: Agatha what a great question.  I want to make my position as clear as an Infinity stone; a cameo first appearance is the place to invest.  I am reminded of a quote from a movie that sums it up for comic book collectors, and that is “if you ain’t first, you’re last.”  That is something that has always been true.  The problem for comic book collectors is a position taken by a company years ago that affected generations of collectors.

The Overstreet Price guide was the bible for comic book collectors and investors alike.  This does not mean the guide was infallible.  One of the greatest mistakes the guide made was in the use of the words “cameo” and “first full”.  The true “first” appearance of Wolverine is Incredible Hulk #180.  The character is seen in complete form in that issue. 

The same applies to Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #299.  These are the true first appearances of the characters.  Overstreet and other price guide competitors of the time used for years “cameo” for those issues and “first full” to denote the next issues that became more valuable.

Get with the times!
IMG_3650-200x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full Appearances

The days of comic investors blindly following misnamed appearances are over.  If a cameo is the first true appearance of a character, then that is the issue that you should invest in.  There can only be one true first.  If you ain’t first you are last, and no one wants to be last. Well, except for Harry Stone III.

Harry: Thank you for that question, Agatha. Cameos versus first appearances has consistently maintained a steady cause for debate as well as confusion for many. I remember another quote from Talledega Nights, and when it comes to comics “I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence”. Now, Joe is trying to blame the universally respected Overstreet Price Guide for Hulk #181 being the king of the Bronze Age.
Let’s be realistic, most people didn’t know what the cover of Hulk #180 looked like until last year. The reason Hulk #181 is the most desired of the two is that multiple generations of collectors decided it was the true first appearance, not Overstreet. Collectors don’t want single panels, they want the whole shebang.
My opponent knows that.

Manipulated by Media

If anything, the recent and questionable rise of Hulk #180 is due to social media and highly invested sellers. We recently witnessed the far-reaching effects of internet echo chambers on the GameStop stock and our elections. The comic book market is not immune. How did this debate about cameos start and why? Why did a subject that has been settled for over 40 years suddenly become the center of heated debate? I propose that this recent change is largely because of sellers loading up on cheap copies and then blogging, tweeting, and posting about them incessantly. This is the case not only with cameos but with the once undesirable newsstands and later printings as well.
Similar to hedge funds in the stock market, the game is unfortunately rigged in favor of seasoned sellers that have been in the game for decades. On that note, I demand transparency from Joe regarding his campaign donations. I bet they are largely from Instagram sellers and social media influencers.

Round #2

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6IjM1Yzk0MzFkLTA0ZTQtNGI4Ni1iMmE0LWQxNzgwYzdjNDJhYy5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-200x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full AppearancesJoseph: If you believe what Harry Stone III just dumped on you then you probably believe that Harley Quinn is an innocent woman.  Harry, here are some facts that you cannot ignore and I got them from a reporter from the Daily Planet.  Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 is the first APPEARANCE of Darkseid.  I will use the 9.0 FMV because a copy sold this month.  The FMV for a 9.0 is $650. 

Now let us look to a 9.0 copy of  Forever People #1 that also had a sale this month.  The FMV for a 9.0 copy of his “first” full appearance is $375.   This issue came out only a few months after the true first cameo appearance and that issue is almost half the value of his true first appearance, however brief it may have been.  This book has been around for years so even with Overstreet’s faulty description the fans have sided with me.

Harry: Zzzzzzz…I’m sorry Sleepy Joe, what was that? Oh right, Jimmy Olsen #134 versus Forever People #1. And leave Harley out of this! I can’t argue with your point, Darkseid’s first cameo is absolutely worth more than his first full appearance despite it only being on the last page. What you’re neglecting to tell Agatha is that this is an outlier situation, not the norm.
You reached deep into your pockets for that one example, because it is a rarity. The fact is, first full appearances are usually more desirable than cameos and therefore better investments. We often forget that comic books are actually for reading and you simply can’t read a panel. People want that first full story and will usually pay much more for it.

Look at Gambit

In the case of Gambit, his first full appearance in Uncanny X-Men #266 is worth 320% more than his cameo in X-Men Annual #14. Amazing Spider-Man #300 is worth 900% more with its first full Venom appearance and classic McFarlane cover than his cameo in Amazing Spider-Man #299. Apocalypse’s first full appearance in X-Factor #6 is worth 230% more than his cameo in X-Factor #5. The list goes on and on and numbers don’t lie. Joe knows this, but he’ll tell you there is a secret cabal suppressing the fair market value of cameos. He belongs in a tinfoil hat, not in this debate.

Round #3

Joseph: Harry you kept blowing such hot wind with the last round that I thought you were, in fact, the Red Tornado.  Let us get serious for the final round.  People always put forth the Incredible Hulk #180 versus #181 example to prove that first full appearances are better to invest in than cameos. That is as much of a faulty premise as your position on the mutant registration act was decades ago.  In truly understanding if a cameo first appearance or first full appearance is more desirable we must compare apples to apples.  That is why I have always liked looking at two books that rarely get mentioned in these discussions.

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The X-Men argument

Uncanny X-Men is one of the gold standards of comic book titles for collectors and investors alike.  Many characters made their first appearances in this title.  One of those characters that had a lasting impact in comics and has also appeared in film is Bishop.  Uncanny X-Men #282 is the first appearance of Bishop that has been qualified as a mere cameo.  Bishop only appears in the last panel of the issue like Wolverine did in his first appearance, but what is unique here is the cover appearance.  Bishop is featured prominently on the cover of this issue. 

This month, a 9.8 copy has an FMV of $240.  Uncanny X-Men #283 again has Bishop on the cover.  This issue is qualified as his first full appearance in that he is prominently displayed in the issue.  If Harry’s argument would be true then this issue would be more valuable than his mere cameo first appearance, and yet a 9.8 copy has an FMV of only $140 this month.

This proves that when all things are equal and the cameo and first appearance of characters both appear on the cover, the cameo will be more valuable.  The cover factor was also important to the cameo and first full appearance of Darkseid.  No covers and the choice was cameo.  Both appearances on covers and the choice is cameo.  Harry, I think this election victory is mine!!!!

Harry: Joe is clearly an Agent of Hydra with the amount of deception going on. I do want to thank him for making my argument for me, however. His statement shows that cameos always come second to true first appearances. The only timeIMG_3674-193x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full Appearances they don’t is when the freshly introduced character actually ends up on the cover. So, in specific instances like Jimmy Olson #134 and Uncanny X-Men #282, it’s more about the cover appearances than that one panel, which leaves you wanting more.

What about ASM #316?

We’ve recently seen Amazing Spider-Man #316 and other first cover appearances take off thanks to the characters gracing their covers. First cover appearances are a whole other animal worthy of their own debate. His examples are again the exception, not the rule.
First full appearances such as Hulk #181 generally place new characters on the cover as opposed to last page cameos, a device used to get readers to buy the next issue. Darkseid doesn’t make his first cover appearance until his second appearance in New Gods #2, which could explain why in this one circumstance people might prefer his cameo to his full first as neither have him on the cover.
If Darkseid was actually on the cover of Forever People #1, would Jimmy Olson #134 be worth more? I think not. You’re entitled to your own opinion Joe, not your own facts. Fake news!

Post-Debate Cool-Down

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6IjcxM2Y1NzliLTRlZTctNDIxYi04MWRmLWRmYjNjNjNlMWY5NS5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-198x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full Appearances Joseph: I may not agree with Harry Stone III on all the issues, but I do think we can find common ground on this one.  Other comic book blog sites have recently started to promote the true first appearance as not the first cameo or the first full appearance as it has been known, but instead ads and other images.  Foom #2 in the GoCollect price guide is an issue that features a comic contest that a mere fan drew a character named “The Wolverine” that had metal under his skin.  Apparently, this is now the issue people claim investors and collectors should buy.

Dont forget…

In addition, Marvel Premier #19 is now being reported to be important.  The reason is not that this book has the first appearance of Colleen Wing, but instead because it has an ad for Incredible Hulk #181.  Please do not fall prey to these sites.  Harry Stone III may be the only person on the planet who failed to see the plot holes in Wonder Woman 1984, but even he can not be as gullible as the writers making those recommendations.

unnamed-191x300 Blogger Dome: Cameos vs First Full AppearancesHarry: I’ll agree with Joe there. There is a difference between liking certain comics and thinking they are smart investments. I’ve honestly always sought after first cameos and other quasi-first appearances such as previews and advertisements. Darkhawk’s preview in Marvel Age #97 and Spawn’s preview in Malibu Sun #13 are two personal favorites.
While I enjoy these quirky firsts, I don’t like their recent prices. The reason these substitute first appearances were cool was that they were affordable alternatives to first full appearances. I can’t justify spending over a thousand dollars on a preview, advertisement, or panel experiencing historically high fair market values.

Talking it out

I’ve had a lot of conversations in the past week with people regarding the overheated comic market and most are either skeptical or fed up. This spoof listing addressing recent trends such as cameos and newsstands sums up our current internet inflated market perfectly.
Coming up with new fads like cameos and newsstands is a trick of the trade for established sellers to make more money. That being said, after this Blogger Dome debate, we might have to use a crying Joe face on the next joke listing. And when I’m president, read my lips, NO NEW FIRST APPEARANCES!
Moderator: Thank you, Agatha. Good luck in Westview. Thank you, gentlemen! Thank you for keeping it clean. What do our viewers think about first cameos versus full first appearances? Drop a comment below.
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Harry has loved comics since he began digging through long boxes at Forbidden Planet in 1980s New York City. His primary focus is investing in overlooked and undervalued Bronze, Copper, and Modern Age keys. Don’t believe the hype! Check out Harry’s other blogs here!

Who would YOU vote for as Blogger Dome president? Be sure to vote on GoCollect’s Instagram! Thank you for reading this week’s battle! Do you have ideas for a future Blogger Dome? Let us know!

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Jeff Simoneau March 23, 2021 - 3:30 pm

Cameo vs. First Full… i think the same applies to Thor 337 and 338… the much anticipated and coveted introduction to Beta Ray Bill.

octoberland March 23, 2021 - 5:10 pm

Great debate here. I will say, though, that I think what is being argued is not related. That is, invest in the more popular book regardless as the market has already decided (H181). Look at the opposite (H180) for an arbitrage play if you’d like, but the market has already told us what to do. There might be undervalued books that offer higher ROI (H180), but it would be surprising if any established keys get swapped IMHO. As popular as H180 gets (and it has been undervalued) H181 will still best it.

That comes down to people buying what they like or are told to. H181 is likely the better book for a Wolverine fan due to cover and the guts. That’s pretty clear. To me, that’s just what the market wants and first / cameo / full are not really the point. It might help move copies to hear it’s his first app, but I think the other factors come into play. Also, SPGO134 is weird but the whole rollout of Darkseid is weird. I think Marvel borrowed this for their intro of Thanos to the MCU. Small snippets of him in multiple films until he finally took the screen. Anyway…

First / cameo is it’s own issue regardless of which is better to invest in. There needs to be uniformity to the classification and not this whimsy we have been tolerating. You illustrate this well up above with certain characters / books getting different classification than others. No rhyme or reason offered. Until comics come up with a set rule you cannot look at cameo / first / full as _THE_ reason to invest in a book.

I think if you can see the character it’s a first. I’ve said it before, but you cannot have a cameo without it being a first. If they showed up for the cameo, they were there. Hence, their first. BUT, that does not mean it’s the book people should buy for investment. Elbows / shadows / off screen is not normally what the market wants. But they are there so it’s their first. It’ll always carry value and is never a bad book to own, but the market will determine values.

Making investment decisions based upon the choice between first or cameo is looking at too many variables with no correlation. To wrap all that up, here is one character that covers nearly everything discussed. Kamala Khan.

Outside of a rare variant for CM14 (only priced up for scarcity), the Kamala book is generally CM17 2nd due to her on the cover. But it’s mainly the cover. She is given essentially a H180 treatment inside. All New Marvel Point One Now should be the winner for fans as it has her on the cover and the first story for her inside where she takes the name Ms Marvel (not just the unnamed female figure) similar to H181. All this is totally ignoring what is considered her first by Marvel. CM14 is an _ admittedly weak_ first but still her first (SPGO134). CM17 is not much better but again IMHO no different from H180. It’s the 2nd print with her on the cover folks want. Whew! So…

A rare variant for CM14 clocks in as the big ‘investment’ for Kamala and has little to do with her as a character, the contents, or the cover. It’s all about rarity for that one. 2nd place is CM17 but it has Kamala on the cover plus it’s a second print. It’s worth far more than the first print Cover A of CM14, CM17, and ANMPON. Again, scarcity plays in but she pulls a strong cover. The best book for her fans ANMPON (most like H181) and it’s 2nd print is pulling in 3rd place with her shown on the cover / full / first story about her and she takes the Ms Marvel mantel. Pull variants / 2nd prints / etc out and the investment ranking is ANMPON / CM14 / CM17.

ANMPON is the most valuable cover A and it’s a full with cover despite it being her 3rd app. Nearly 60% more costly than her first app. However, the variants and second prints of CM14 / CM17 are much more expensive than even the costly 2nd print of ANMPON. This just shows that cameo / first / full / cover has no definite baring on best investment once variants / 2nd prints / etc start mucking things up.

This is why IMHO there is no “answer” on how to invest beyond what the market is doing. Logic and underlying factors are not always nearly as important for investing which is counter to most investments. Particularly while important designations are nebulous. I believe factors are important and should be noted, but on their own not enough. This does not mean I believe the market is technically right on the reason for investing, but everything is only worth what someone will pay. If you are investing, it’s probably smarter to invest where the money is going.

Important note: investing and speculating are two different acts. Invest on good strength but speculate on the untapped. For speculation I’d change my Kamala comments but since Agatha asked about investments I answered with that in mind.

Sorry for rambling! I hope it is somewhat coherent. Thank you both for another fun read 🙂

– Craig Coffman

Joseph Overaitis March 23, 2021 - 7:25 pm


Great comments as always. This argument was unique in that it has been argued before the blogger dome battle. What we tried to do is analyze what has happened in the past to get what people may look to in the future. Harry and I argue a lot and we also agree on some points. We both realize that the market decides and that is what we tried to analyze with are dome: what factors may have influenced the markets. It was difficult. We then also brought forth the new market that is being “created” with ads and first images that people are trying to tell the market to consider. Your examples are again spot on and what we have to do is take factors from how the market responded. In the future if a cameo or a first full maybe we can have some way of knowing what issue to buy.

Finally Craig, make some suggestions for possible future dome battles. We love to research and present battles that interest our readers.

dave stevens March 24, 2021 - 11:17 am

Hulk 180 is the first appearance of Wolverine. I don’t know how anyone could argue that. Beyond this, Hulk 181 is a great book and the epic battle and future story development of Wolverine makes it something different, and more important to the Marvel universe, plus it has Wolvie on the cover, hence its value. The second appearance of Spider-Man has much more than his first as well. A lot of people forget how short his story is in that issue.

Joseph Overaitis March 24, 2021 - 1:47 pm


Back in the day you probably remember that overstreet used the word “cameo” and “first full”. It was the subtle use of words that was an attempt to justify why #181 was worth more than #180. That was because overstreet was more concerned with reporting the prices rather than attempting to find out the reasons why. I wonder how the market might have switched what issue to buy if they had used “first appearance” and “first full appearance” instead of of what was used.


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