We’ve all heard the arguments about cameos vs. first appearances, especially as it relates to The Incredible Hulk #180 and #181. Specifically, even though the first time Wolverine fully appears is on the final page of Hulk #180, Hulk #181 is by far the more valuable book for primarily two reasons: (1) Wolverine is prominently featured on the cover; and (2) he’s a major part of the story. I know, we’re here to talk about Ms. Marvel. But let me make this point.
You can apply this same rule to Hulk #181’s counterpart in the Modern Age — The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (ASM #300). Here, even though Venom appears for the first time on the final page of The Amazing Spider-Man #299, ASM #300 is much more valuable since Venom is prominently featured in the story (ASM #300’s cover is still iconic even though Venom doesn’t appear on it). In this blog, I want to take a look at Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel.
Should Carol Danvers’s appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 be considered a mere cameo?
I think this rule makes sense; while cameos may be first appearances, they’re just the appetizers for the main course. I just don’t think this rule has been applied consistently to other comic books. Consider Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (MSH #13) and Ms. Marvel #1 (MM #1). Applying the Hulk #180 & Hulk #181 rule here, MM #1 should be the more valuable comic book. After all, although Carol Danvers appears for the first time in MSH #13, I consider it to be a cameo appearance, as she only appears on a couple of panels. She doesn’t appear as Captain Marvel, and she doesn’t appear on its cover. MSH #13’s cover, instead, prominently features a forgettable character, Sentry.
Perhaps Ms. Marvel #1 should be considered Ms. Marvel’s first full appearance?
In contrast, Carol Danvers appears for the first time as Ms. Marvel in MM #1, she’s the focus of MM #1’s story and she’s prominently featured on its cover. Accordingly, MM #1 should be the much more valuable comic book; however, investors have instead flocked to MSH #13, driving up its prices.
According to GoCollect, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of MSH #13 is $31,000.00. That’s more than thirty times the value of a CGC 9.8 copy of MM #1. This is a much greater disparity in price than the difference between Hulk #181 and #180 ($45,000 to $11,500) or ASM #300 and ASM #299 ($4,100 to $450). The only meaningful way we can distinguish between MSH #13 and MM #1 is that MSH #13 was published nine years before MM #1. Nonetheless, I don’t think this fact alone justifies the huge price disparity between the two books.
Ultimately, the market determines which comic books are valuable and which ones are not; however, it could also be the case that MSH #13 is an inflated stock. It could be driven up in price by herd behavior. There are some indicators that investors may have changed their opinions about the values of MSH #13 and MM #1. Just a few weeks ago, MSH #13 had fallen 492 places. MM #1 had moved up seven spots to 22nd on GoCollect’s most popular Bronze Age books. If MSH #13 and MM #1 were stocks, in my opinion, MSH #13 is a hold and MM #1 is a buy.