First Appearance Madness

by Matt Tuck

Venom-3-199x300 First Appearance MadnessNothing gets collectors buying out entire shelves like a first appearance, and Marvel in particular has been churning out the new characters like a Krispy Kreme. While prices are still high at the near-mint grade, these new characters may not be holding those levels for the long term.

Did I say new characters? Maybe “new” is a bit of a strong word. Sure, Knull seems to be a fairly new creation, despite stealing his look from Dracula in the old NES Castelvania games, but he’s the exception. These days, a new character is a mashup of older characters we already like. We’ve got Weapon H, who is Hulk and Wolverine thrown together by a 9 year old. Then there’s Cosmic Ghost Rider, whom I like, but he’s nothing original; while he’s Frank Castle turned Ghost Rider in the story, what he really is made of is Ghost Rider combined with Deadpool and sprinkled with Silver Surfer.

Whether you love or hate these “new” characters, the truth is they sell comics. All it takes is the rumor of a new character showing up in a comic, and people lose their minds buying the standard covers and all the variants. Let’s check in and see if how these first appearances are holding up.

KNULL

We’ll start with one of the newer creations, the symbiote god, Knull. After being teased in the first two issues of Donny Cates’ Venom series, we got our first full look at Knull in Venom #3, and he was an instant hit. Not surprisingly, collectors bought up 9.8s in droves and sent them to CGC before slapping them on eBay. Since July 22, there have been 41 sales averaging $87. Prices are steadily going up, and 11 of the past 13 sales have been for $90 or more.

COSMIC GHOST RIDER

Cosmic Ghost Rider is still going strong, but sales of Thanos #13 have plateaued for the most part. In April, when a standard cover 9.8 reached $340, it looked like Thanos #13 might not cap until it pushed into the $400 range, but that hasn’t happened. It’s still commanding a respectable $200 average, but its 90-day average has dipped to $187. This could be due to fans having their fill of Cosmic Ghost Rider since his self-titled limited series debuted last month. Speaking of which, the Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 Mark Brooks “virgin” edition in a 9.8 has been doing quite well; it’s averaging $157 and has already brought as much as $200. I’ll update you on all the Cosmic Ghost Rider variants in the coming weeks.

WEAPON H

Ah, Weapon H, AKA Hulkverine, how I loathe thee. You were made with no real creativity and add nothing to either Hulk or Wolverine’s mythos; you are here to profit from collectors getting impulsive over first appearances and to eventually sell action figures. It worked. Totally Awesome Hulk #22 sold out, although it was a relatively small print run. While it’s still commanding a decent price, at least in a 9.8, the past 90 days are beginning to dip. In the spring, it was regularly selling for over $200, but the past three months have seen an average of $141 with the most recent sale down to $110 as recently as August 26.

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