I’ve written several times about potential inconsistencies in how investors view cameos vs 1st appearances. In some situations, the difference between a cameo and a first full appearance is quite clear. For example, consider the difference between The Incredible Hulk #180 and The Incredible Hulk #181. The cameo of Wolverine occurs in the final panel of Hulk #180, and then his first full appearances occurs in the next issue where he also appears on its cover.
But sometimes the line between a cameo and first full appearance is blurry. This rule is critical for investors since, as we all know, first full appearances are much more valuable than cameo appearances. Let’s discuss cameos vs. first appearances as they apply to two other characters in the X-Men universe: Mr. Sinister and Gambit.
Is Mr. Sinister’s Appearance in UXM #221 a Cameo?
Many have speculated that Mr. Sinister will serve as the primary antagonist for the MCU’s upcoming X-Men films. Feige likely won’t treat Mr. Sinister like a Malekith or even an Ultron and have him appear in only one movie; rather, he will likely tease Mr. Sinister’s appearance a few times (just as he did with Thanos) over several films before he directly confronts the X-Men in a Phase-ending finale like Avengers: Endgame.
We can foresee this because that’s exactly how Chris Claremont (one of Marvel’s greatest writers) teased Mr. Sinister’s existence for several issues. In The Uncanny X-Men #212, Sabretooth mentions Mr. Sinister by name for the first time. In The Uncanny X-Men #213, we see a shadowy image of Mr. Sinister when Psylocke probes Sabretooth’s mind. And then in The Uncanny X-Men #221, we see Mr. Sinister on the first three pages, although we only see his face clearly on three panels. After that, he disappears completely from the story. UXM #221 is hot. During the last three years, 294 CGC 9.6 copies have exchanged hands and the value of that book has risen nearly 58% during that period of time. Finally, he also doesn’t appear on UXM #221’s cover, which is something you often expect from first full appearances.
In contrast, Mr. Sinister appears throughout The Uncanny X-Men #239, appears on a cover for the first time, and yet this issue is considered his second full appearance.
Is Gambit’s Appearance in UXM Annual #14 a First Full Appearance?
I can accept that UXM #221 may contain Mr. Sinister’s first full appearance. After all, we do see his face clearly on three panels (and not just on one panel like Wolverine in Hulk #180). However, if that’s the case, then why is Gambit’s appearance in X-Men Annual #14 considered a cameo and not his first full appearance? Gambit appears in FIFTEEN panels throughout XM Annual #14 and has a substantial amount of dialogue on a few pages. In other words, he has much more of a presence in XM Annual #14 than Mr. Sinister does in UXM #221. He may not appear on XM Annual #14’s cover, but Mr. Sinister doesn’t appear on UXM #221’s cover either.
To me, if UXM #221 is Mr. Sinister’s first full appearance, then, to be consistent, investors should consider XM Annual #14’s first full appearance (and not The Uncanny X-Men #266).
In my opinion, it’s important for collectors to closely review potential purchases before investing and not blindly accept what the “experts” say about cameos vs 1st appearances. While some may say the market makes such decisions, as we know from the stock market, the market is sometimes wrong and corrections occur.
Will a correction occur with UXM #221 or XM Annual #14? Only time will tell!