Aloha CHUniverse, this will be a new weekly I’m going to put forward as I get back in the comic game. The Oldest Trick In The Book is going to deal with disputed first appearances one character at a time. In your comic collecting I’m sure this has happened to you, buy a first appearance on eBay just to find out you got the cameo, or ununiformed, in shadow, cover only first appearance you’ve been tricked by the oldest trick in the book. This week we talk Havok AKA Alex Summers.
Alex Summers first appears in X-Men #54 it’s very affordable no competing cameo appearance to worry about. When I collect Mutants I’m a believer that the first appearance whether named or uniformed is when the character first appears because Mutants are born Mutants. Unlike normal superheroes that have a spider bite or super serum to gain their powers Mutants are born with powers and eventually learn how to use them. So in Xmen #54 1st Alex Summers he is throughout the whole book, I consider this first Havok as well even though he doesn’t use his powers until #55 because he is clearly labeled a mutant in the book as you can see below in the first panels when we meet Alex.
Now #58 which is commonly listed as first Havok is the current highest priced of the three. This book is first named Havok, first cover, and first uniformed but it’s also a whole 4 months later from issue #54.
So why are we talking Havok today, Xmen books are gaining and you can get all three of these books for a steal. I’m content with a #54 because it checks the boxes for me, there is a lot Keyness to #58 but hard for me after reading the books to call it 1st Havok being 4 months later. Hope that clears up Havok 1st keys.
When in doubt, always bet on the first “whatever” with a cover appearance.
58, although technically is not the first appearance of the person who will eventually call himself havok, it it is his first cover and In uniform. That’s why people like it…more “slab worthy” than the other issues.
I am interested to know how many other Mutants have multiple ‘1sts’ in the same manner as Havok. And of those characters, I would like to know what the market typically goes for. Whether that be the true 1st (no code name or powers shown) or the 1st Costumed/Code Named appearance.
Xmen 49 and 50 1st Polaris’s is almost identical to the Havok situation. Both books go for the same these days. We count things like baby Hope that go for more than lil girl Hope, and baby Cable goes for less than actual Cable. It’s markets choice pretty much. In Polaris case people get both.
True, lots of driving forces behind demand but in the end, it’s all demand that creates value. We get new characters and first appearances all the time without any demand. We have great books with super low print runs without any demand. So many combinations but without demand involved, there is no associated value.
If you look at desirable characters, that subsequently create demand, I would say that any given characters book with the highest value would be the book with said characters 1st appearance. I think this would hold true for 99% of comic characters. Whether that character is a super hero from the big 2 or just a normal sheriff killing zombies in an indie book.
The debate over true first appearances are part of the fun and part of the the pain. The market does get to choose which is the most important ‘first’ appearance, but this is a great example of a true first appearance. all good book to have in this case, great write up