No, not the band that performed “Africa.”

§ March 6th, 2024 § Filed under marvel, publishing § 4 Comments

Bryan says in response to my assertion that Venom made his first “on-panel” appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #300:

“I’m too lazy to go look, but doesn’t ASM 299 end with a splash page of Venom?”

Bryan is indeed correct, and in issue #298 we get this bit of business at the end of the issue:

…and then in #299 we get this page and a half leading directly into the shocking events of the extra-sized next issue:

Now to be honest, in my mind I’d remembered Venom’s pre-300 appearance as being restricted to his face popping up in the bottom-of-the-page next issue blurb. I’d forgotten that his cameos in these previous two issues amounted to quite this much.

The Overstreet Price Guide refers to #298 as “1st app. Eddie Brock who becomes Venom, #299 notes “1st brief app. Venom with costume,” and #300 gets “1st full Venom app.” I mean, I guess getting Venom’s gloves in #298 isn’t enough for the “1st in costume” honor, but you can kinda see what sort of splitting of hairs is going on here. To be entirely strict about it, #299 should get the “first Venom” since it’s our first look at him in toto. But #300 is an anniversary issue, and it has that striking cover, and yes it is a full issue featuring Venom in action, and thus it’s the one that gets the most attention from collectors.

There’s precedent, of course, with Wolverine’s first appearances in Incredible Hulk issues in 1974. Issue #180 is the actual first appearance, with the ol’ Canucklehead popping up on the last page in this two-panel sequence:

But again, #181 was the full-length in-story appearance of Wolvie, and had a kick-ass cover showing him in action, thus making this the most in-demand issue of the run. (Wolverine also appears in the opening pages of #182, and as we all know, was never seen again.)

So, yes, my statement of “first on-panel appearance” for Venom was incorrect, as he clearly shows up “on-panel” prior to #300. But like I said, I thought his only visual representation was in a blurb, not in-story, so I genuinely remembered #300 as The First One. And as far as collectibility and value goes, #300 is the most important one selling for many times the cost of the other two comics, with “first full issue appearance” and “first full appearance” being usually just shortened to “first apperance.” And those other two comics are generally just “cameo appearances” as far as the back issue market goes.

And the people pushing the house ads for Incredible Hulk #181 that were in earlier Marvel comics as the actual first appearance? GET OUTTA HERE WITH THAT NONSENSE

4 Responses to “No, not the band that performed “Africa.””

  • adam ford says:

    Why does he move his palm away at the same time as raising his fist? makes it look like he’s doing the mash potato.

  • Randal says:

    I searched this post with a fine toothed comb, and didn’t find the name Weezer in it at all.

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    “To be entirely strict about it, #299 should get the “first Venom” since it’s our first look at him in toto.”

    I know you didn’t mean the band, but I bet Venom plays a mean keytar.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Need you all the way! ROSANNA! Yeah!”

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