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There’s been a lot of speculation about 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and “n”th printings as of late. I’m not exactly sure as to why, but I’ll give you some reasons why I leave these for the readers and save my investing money for the first print.
Later printings of a key book tend to have higher values because there are fewer of them out there it makes them more valuable because of this scarcity. Scarcity always plays a role in the collectibility of anything, but what is the scarcity of exactly? Is it really worth more (sometimes hundreds) for a different cover? The story is the same.
Defining The First Appearance
My issue isn’t with the scarcity – it’s with people naming it a “First Appearance” when it comes to later printings of comic books. If a character is introduced in Comic Book #8, then Comic Book #8 FIRST PRINTING is his first appearance. If Comic Book #8 is released in August 2020 and the second printing is released in September 2020, then that second printing NOT the first appearance of the character to me. The character was already printed a month prior. Typically, these later printings come around because people heard about the character or comic after it was already introduced and the demand is higher than what had previously been printed.
Cosmic Ghost Rider
I love Cosmic Ghost Rider. I think he’s a great character and I think he’s going to be around the Marvel Universe for a while. Personally, I don’t see a good reason for him to ever enter the MCU; he’s just too out there and too different from the original Ghost Rider to really have any kind of continuity in the MCU. I wouldn’t bank on CGR being the next Iron Man, even though it’s a cool character.
The rise in Price of Later Thanos #13 Printings
Fellow GoCollect blogger, Matt Tuck, covered the rising price of later printings of Thanos #13. I’m going to show you the order of the comics and why I personally don’t like First Appearance being labeled on the later printings.
Release dates of Thanos #13, #14, and #15
If we look at the release dates of CGR’s first appearance in Thanos #13, you will see how later printings stack up to forthcoming issues.
This book was released on November 22 of 2017. This makes it the first appearance of Cosmic Ghost Rider.
This book was released on December 31st of 2017. I don’t even think this is the first cover image of Thanos.
You might think this book came right on the heels of the 2nd print. Not quite. The third printing arrived on comic stands everywhere on April 20, 2018. That’s a serious time gap from the first printing.
This book features Cosmic Ghost Rider going head to head with the Mad Titan right on the cover. If you are thinking this is CGR’s first cover appearance, then you’d be right. Thanos #14 came out December 27, 2017, predating Thanos #13 2nd Print by a few days and Thanos #13 3rd Print by months as the first comic book to feature CGR on the cover.
This is the last example to show how later printings are marketed differently. Thanos #15 was released on January 24, 2018.
Let me reorganize these issues by their release date to make it visually easier:
Later Printings Release Dates
- November 22nd – Thanos #13
- December 27th – Thanos #14
- December 31st – Thanos #13 2nd Print
- January 24th – Thanos #15
- April 20th – Thanos #13 3rd Print
I don’t get it! Thanos #13 3rd Printing is not the first cover appearance of Cosmic Ghost Rider to me. It was released 4 months after Thanos #14. To the reader, yes – but as a collector, I don’t identify it as such.
My problem is when grading companies like CGC and CBCS add “1st Appearance of Who’sitnow” to a later printing. To me, it’s not. Again, for a reader it is. The first appearance (or cameo appearance) is the earliest date a comic book was released. They share a name, but the different cover makes it a different issue. So to me, it’s not the first appearance. For a grading company to add the First Appearance to a later print it sits weird with me. Technically it’s the first appearance… but also technically it’s not.
Later Printings Wrap-Up
That’s why these 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 15th printings are worth nothing to me. They are reader copies that meet demand. And that’s fine, I’ll be right there paying the cover price for these issues, but I won’t be dropping C-notes anytime soon. And it’s also fine if you want to continue collecting these for the rare pieces that they are due to printing counts.
What are your thoughts on these? Why do you collect later printings? Do you consider these later printings to be First Appearances still?