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Comic Characters with humble beginnings that became Big Time players

MoonKnight1
Friday, July 31, 2020 2:20:47 PM
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A couple of Forum posts recently got me to thinking - and you know how dangerous that can be! Shame on You

So I was thinking about first appearances of characters and how sometimes comic companies try to jam a new character down your throat - "The Next Big Thing!" and expect the readers to just accept it. Sometimes it works, more often than not it is much ado about nothing.

But there are plenty of characters whose First Appearance wasn't very hyped at all and they turned out doing quite well. Quite well indeed.

Here are the first two that I thought of. I know there are others and I can easily list several more but why should I have all the fun?

Any other character, Hero or Villain, that started out under the radar before becoming a major player?

Lobo
Sure, he did get on the cover but he was kind of a throwaway villain for the Omega Men at the time. He wasn't even named in the comic. Trust me, I have it and read it and nowhere is he called "Lobo". First appearance was 1983 (Keith Giffen) and he didn't appear again until 14 months later (with a drastically different look) when they finally revealed his name. Then he was in a back-up story in Omega Men in 1986. It wasn't until two years later that Lobo started to gain more poularity due to his showing up in Justice League Europe (Giffen again). Then in the 1990's he was a guest star in every single DC comic printed. Tongue


Sabretooth
Sort of a similar story to Lobo's. Sabretooth started out as a minor Iron Fist villain in 1977. Didn't resurface until three years later and then once again in 1982. It wasn't until 1986 and the Morlock Massacre that Sabretooth started recurring as an X-Men foe and nemesis of Wolverine.


What other characters have risen from obscurity to become significant figures in their respective universe?

Howie's Saying of the Week

If you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy and colorful and lively - Mel Brooks

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Thundercron
Friday, July 31, 2020 4:55:42 PM
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I think Harley Quinn is an obvious one. She only appeared two or three times during the initial Batman Adventures run, and it was a while before being introduced into the mainline DC Universe.
lcfrick
Friday, July 31, 2020 8:33:47 PM
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The Punisher is another easy one. First appeared in ASM #129 in October of 1973 and didn't hit it big until his mini-series over 10 years later in October of 1985.

In those 10 years he appeared in 10 issues of ASM (9 regular series plus one annual), 5 issues of Spectacular Spider-man, Giant Size Spider-man #4, 4 issues of Daredevil, 1 issue of Captain America, and only two stand alone appearances in Marvel Preview #2 and Marvel Super Action #1. Plus his last appearance before his stand alone series was Spectacular Spider-man #83 in July of 1983... so a two absence before hitting it big.

I always find it fascinating looking through the comic shops listings in old comics. ASM #129 is always a funny one because they make absolutely no distinction from the random issues around that. Just lumped in with everything together. I always laugh at how nobody had any idea how big he was going to get (though there are a number of recent comics which also have exploded in the same manner to ridiculous proportions.)
MoonKnight1
Tuesday, August 04, 2020 10:51:23 AM
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Those are great!

I am going to go ahead and say it.

Squirrel Girl

First appearance was in 1991. Her second real appearance was in Great Lakes Avengers in 2005! In between she was mentioned as having not gotten a Squirrel Girl 2099 solo title (Marvel Year in Review '92 - Magazine), featured on a Fleer-Skybox trading card and then name dropped by Blind Al in reference to Deadpool's SG Underoos. (How did Blind Al even know what was on Deadpool's underwear? Please don't answer that!). She has now taken the Comic Book World by storm!

Apparently Fabian Nicieza wanted to add her to the New Warriors in the 1990's but that never materialized. How different a character would she have been if that had been the case?

Howie's Saying of the Week

If you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy and colorful and lively - Mel Brooks

Check out my eBay store: Hall Liquidations
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