The Fool’s Gambit: X-Men #14

by Norman Robinson III

145668_0379d4481f46fdfb724bf8b637ea26d4450fef1a-1-192x300 The Fool's Gambit: X-Men #14What is the “real” first appearance of Gambit? The average comic book collector would probably say X-Men #266, but a growing movement of fans are disputing that claim. Instead, they see X-Men Annual #14 as the true first appearance. Many believe so much of the character is revealed, and in so many pages that calling it a cameo is just plain wrong. According to one website, this book is the “real” first appearance of Gambit. Be that as it may, this kitten is purring to be picked up, at $149, and a positive +21% it should be on your list. Can the fool’s gambit with X-Men Annual #14  actually pay off?

 

 

 

 

 

145668_0379d4481f46fdfb724bf8b637ea26d4450fef1a-1-192x300 The Fool's Gambit: X-Men #14X-Men Annual #14

The X-Men Annual #14 was created in 1990. It had an entire team of artists working on it. From Art Adams, Mark Heike, Kevin Nowlan, Michael Golden (art) with Chris Claremont at the helm writing. Apparently, many believe this is the first true appearance of Gambit. His actual first appearance according to the Overstreet Guide is X-Men #266. This appearance is officially considered his first cameo appearance. The dispute notwithstanding this book X-Men Annual #14 has increased in value and interest. Does this interest spark positive trends up and down the grades?

 

 

 

 

Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census   Return
X-Men Annual #14 9.8 $165 1,927   +25.6%
  9.4 $69.99     +54.2%
  9.2 $35     +5.4%
  8.0 $29     +7.4%
           

Obviously, with strong numbers over the last year, the interest has indeed picked up when even a grade 8.0 can return +7.4% return, why not purchase one. Typically Modern Age books with a little wear and tear are hard to sell and have little value. The fact this particular comic has increased in value in lower grades and 8.0 is about as low as Modern Age books go for value, baring some bigger keys. In comparison to X-Men #266, how does this cameo-upstart fare? 

 

146670_fd84d6a0ec576399508af69d9a677deb63cab121-193x300 The Fool's Gambit: X-Men #14X-Men #266

Around the same year that X-Men Annual #14 appeared, the same writer created the actual first appearance. Chris Claremont with Andy Kubert and Mike Collins created the first appearance of Gambit with X-Men #266. The returns for X-Men #266 have been lackluster as a Louisiana native after a night of partying during Mardi Gras. With the added caveat that X-Men #266 is worth a great deal more the lackluster results don’t really encourage ownership. Further, the X-Men #266 fact that the CGC Census has over 11,000 books in inventory compared to only 1,927 for the X-Men Annual #14, drastic difference imagine how many copies are in collections? I would guess there are so many of these in existence it is probably not as a good long-term investment as X-Men Annual #14, at least for the foreseeable future. My advice is to buy a couple at grade 9.4 and either hold them for investment value or just up until any positive catalyst. 

 

 

Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census   Return
X-Men #266 9.8 $385 over 11,000!   -.01%
  9.4 $128     +3.9%
  9.2 $125     +.01%
  8.0 $115     +8.2%
           

 

mr-mrs-x-12-cover_0-300x194 The Fool's Gambit: X-Men #14

Conclusion

The ragin’ cajun is full of life in his cameo appearance. Regardless of your belief about the first appearance vs. cameo the X-Men Annual #14 is a good bet. This cameo has a lower CGC Census inventory, a good argument as the heir apparent for first key status, and some exploding returns. You don’t need Gambit’s ability with games of chance to know this is a walk in the park, cheap, readily available, and up and coming X-Men Annual #14.  Stay safe during this chaotic time and order one online.

 

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